Tourism in Rwanda is popular for mountain gorilla trekking and many tourists planning to tour Rwanda wonder when they visit and see gorillas in Rwanda. The best time to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda has been popularized to be during the dry season, however, the best time can depend on when you are able to plan your gorilla tour to Rwanda.
As Acacia safaris, we have expertise in planning gorilla holidays both in Uganda and Rwanda, therefore, here we give you details what the best time to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda is with the advantages and disadvantages leaving the choice of when to trek to you.
The dry season is referred to as the best time to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda. This is during the short and long dry seasons of the year. The short dry season in Rwanda is from mid-December to early February. The long dry season is from June to September. Both the short and long dry seasons are the best times for gorilla trekking.
June – September (long dry season): The period between June to September is the longest dry season in Rwanda and the best time to trek gorillas. During this time hiking is easier as the trails are not so muddy and slippery.
There are also very low chances of rainfall during this season of the year but since it is a tropical jungle anything can happen and it can rain. This time is when most tourists come to trek gorillas in Rwanda and permits are in high demand.
December – February (short dry season): The short dry season and also the best time to visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking is the best time for travelers who want to see the mountain gorillas but also especially for those who want to go birding as well. During this time migratory birds are present in Rwanda.
During the dry season, it offers the easiest hiking or walking conditions in the forest. This is because the forest is drier and therefore sliding or the risk of falling is low. Generally walking in drier conditions or summer is much more comfortable and lively than when it is raining.
With the fact that the season is dry, camera equipment and any other gadgets can easily be carried and stay protected. This makes even photography easier and therefore one can take very clear photographs with less cloudy backgrounds.
In the dry season, the malaria risk is also low.
Disadvantages of gorilla trekking in the dry season
Though a great time for hiking, photography and low risks of malaria, the disadvantage with this season is that there are very many people visiting at this time.
With many people preferring to travel and trek gorillas in Rwanda at this time, this makes most of the services expensive. This is also the peak season and therefore bookings should be done as early as possible, at least 6 months early.
For budget travelers, this isn’t actually a good time to go gorilla tracking in Rwanda. In the peak season, most of the services are expensive unlike in the low season when most things are discounted and affordable.
Gorilla Trekking in the rainy season
In the rainy season, you can definitely trek gorillas in Rwanda but bearing in mind that this is when the trekking trails are muddy and steep. Hiking or walking in the park becomes much difficult unlike as it is in the dry season.
The advantage of trekking gorillas during the low season is that you could actually pay less with several discounts for accommodations and travel services. It’s a good time for budget travelers to go gorilla trekking.
Since it is rainy, the disadvantage is that you may get soaked during the trek and also fail to have good pictures. Camera equipment and other electronic gadgets that are not waterproof may also be at risk in the rainy season.
Note that Volcanoes National Park which is where the mountain gorillas live is open all year round for gorilla trekking and therefore you can take a Rwanda gorilla safari in the rainy season. You just have to be much fit to walk and pack a rain jacket to cover yourself. The gorillas will be waiting to share their habitat with you.
Note: Unlike gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest National Park is best done during the rainy season. This is during the two rainy season’s one from mid-February to early June and the other from mid-September to mid-December.
They are easier to trek in the rainy season since they move for short-range, this is because food is easier to find. In the dry season, food is scarce and therefore the chimpanzees walk for longer distances which makes tracking tiresome.
Customize a gorilla safari to Rwanda and see the gentle giants. You can also include other activities like chimpanzee trekking, birding, canopy walk, golden monkey trekking, and wildlife game drives and take a long Rwanda safari trip. In case you are much more interested in more wildlife tours, include wildlife tours to Uganda, Kenya safaris, or Tanzania tours.
Here are some of the recommended itineraries that tourists can choose when going on the East Africa safari.