Visiting Rwanda in January
January is a part of the short dry period and a great time for gorilla trekking as the hiking conditions are easier and the risk of malaria is at its lowest. There are often light clouds across the country, offering a more moderate temperature. Expect fairly dry terrain, but the weather in the Virungas can be a little unpredictable no matter the time of year.
Visiting Rwanda in February
The weather is relatively similar to January, with the start of the month being drier and the start of the rains traditionally beginning at the end of the month.
Visiting Rwanda in March
March is the start of the rainy season which continues until mid-May. Trekking for primates, including gorillas and chimpanzees, still continues but expect to get wet and muddy.
Visiting Rwanda in April
April follows suit with the rain, making it more difficult to hike around the Virungas, but if you are looking to track chimpanzees in the Nyungwe area this is still a good time. As the fruits start to ripen, the chimpanzees make their way down to the lower parts of the forest canopy and are easier to spot.
Visiting Rwanda in May
Rains can linger, but the parks are lush and verdant, with newborn animals taking their first steps in the world. For avid birdwatchers, May falls into the breeding season and the skies are filled with colourful birds. This is also a good month to avoid the crowds.
Visiting Rwanda in June
June marks the start of the peak time for travelling to Rwanda and is a great time to track mountain gorillas. With the rain less likely, the ground is getting drier making the ground a little more stable underfoot. Wildlife sightings become more common, so it is a popular time of year and prices start to rise accordingly.
Visiting Rwanda in July
If you are wishing to travel in July make sure to plan well in advance. Gorilla permits can be booked up to 15 months in advance and with this being the start of the European and American summer holidays, lodges and activities will fill up quickly.
Visiting Rwanda in August
August has very similar conditions to July, so we recommend booking well in advance. This is a particularly good time for Akagera National Park as there are only a few areas of permanent water, meaning that animals gather in higher numbers to drink.
Visiting Rwanda in September
There is more rainfall towards the end of September as we come to the end of Rwanda’s dry season. It is still a great time for gorilla trekking and often when the Kwita Izina ceremony takes place. This is the official naming of the baby gorillas and a celebration of the country’s conservation efforts. It is interesting, but lodges and camps are often completely booked out by officials and visiting dignitaries, so things can change at the last minute and thousands of people descend on the area.
Visiting Rwanda in October
October brings short bursts of rain that clear to reveal blue skies and a wonderful clarity of light. Another good time for photography. Trees and plants start to flower, making the landscapes ever more green and bringing lots of birdlife with it. This is still a great month to track gorillas if you do not let a little mud and rain deter you.
Visiting Rwanda in November
For chimpanzees, this is a great time to travel to Rwanda. Whilst the rain increases, the higher level of rain causes fruits to ripen, bringing the chimpanzees more out into the open in the lower forest canopy. This is a great time to combine mountain gorillas with golden monkeys and chimpanzees if you don’t mind the odd shower. Birding starts to improve.
Visiting Rwanda in December
December is another peak time to travel to Rwanda as the weather becomes drier and the short dry season starts. Given the holidays, it is important to book well in advance. Trekking for mountain gorillas could quite possibly be the best Christmas present ever!