Uganda and Rwanda both have the mountain gorillas as their best selling tourist’s attraction and it is very important for those planning to go gorilla tracking in both countries to know when is the best time to do so, otherwise it may not go as smooth as hoped if the timing is so wrong.
It is wise to make your booking in the most favorable months and only go for the other months if you have no choice.
Despite the fact that you can track gorillas all year in both Uganda and Rwanda because it is relatively wetter all year round in the forests where these mountain gorillas live, there are so many tourists that prefer to track gorillas from June to September as well as from December into January until February.
From around late February through March, April and May, it is usually the long wet season in Rwanda and very many tourists endeavor to stay away from Rwanda during these months because it always gets very wet, muddy and slippery that tracking the gorillas becomes very difficult. But it’s also important to note that during the rainy seasons, there is abundance of gorilla food along the lower slopes and it’s also colder on the upper slopes therefore most of these mountain gorillas will keep along the lower slopes where it is warmer and can also easily access their food. This means seeing them may not take longer hours as usual, during these months, it is likely that your trek adventure won’t be a full day long activity and it is evident with some trackers who get to meet the gorillas just after a 2 hours hike.
When to trek gorillas In Uganda, Best time for gorilla trekking
This is the same case in Uganda but the rain season in Uganda comes in around the months of March, April until May. But the rain is often very heavy that it may make it very difficult to track as you can’t walk through the jungle amidst very heavy rain along steep slippery terrains. The rain however can pour even during the dry season because these are rainforests.
Factors that most trackers consider when going for gorilla safari
The seasonality of trackers is more about the weather seasons in the countries where most trackers come from as well as the nature of their jobs which determine when they can get the annual leave than it is about weather changes in Uganda or Rwanda. For instance, Europeans often travel more when it is summer back at home and then the numbers reduce when it’s winter.
Also, there are those that target the annual seasonal discounts on the gorilla permits and they would rather come in around April and November when the permits are cheaper costing only $350 instead of the $600 that they cost rest of the months.
Also around the same time so many accommodation facilities and lodges where travelers stay while on a gorilla tour reduce their prices too thus making trips carried out in April or November a lot cheaper than the same trip done during the rest of the months.
In every case, the decision is always yours so you have to choose what favors you no matter time of the year, you will still meet them regardless of the hassle or how easy it was to get to them and you have the same experience at the end of the day.