Mountain Gorilla trekking is a highly sought-after safari activity in Africa, specifically in the countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and DR. Congo. Typically, the best time for a Uganda gorilla trekking safari, gorilla safari Rwanda or Congo gorilla tours is during the dry seasons, and as such, the rainy season is often seen as an impossible time for gorilla trekking. However, it is important to note that gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo are an all-year activity and can be undertaken at any time of the year, with experiences remaining relatively consistent regardless of the season.
When it comes to determining the best time for a Rwanda gorilla safari or gorilla safari Uganda, the dry seasons in Rwanda typically fall within the months of June to September, and December to February. Similarly, in Uganda, the dry season is within the same time frame, between June and September, and December to February.
Despite the general preference for dry seasons, many tourists may wonder why they should not consider going for gorilla trekking in the rainy or wet season. The rainy season can provide a unique and different experience for those willing to brave the elements. The lush vegetation and misty landscapes can add an extra layer of intrigue and beauty to the trek. Additionally, gorillas are active all year round, and the chance of encountering gorillas and other wildlife during the rainy season is just as high as in the dry season. However, it is important to note that the trails can be muddy and slippery during the rainy season, so proper footwear and gear are essential.
When planning a gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda or Uganda, it is important to take into account the rainy or wet seasons, as they can affect the overall experience. In Rwanda, there are two wet seasons to be aware of:
Similarly, in Uganda, the months of March – June are considered the wet season of the year and are not recommended for a Uganda gorilla trekking tour. Uganda receives most of its rain between March and June, with rainfall totals of more than 500 millimeters (mm) during this season. The short wet season in Uganda is from October – November, during which the rains are light.
The rainy season is often associated with chilly weather and inclement conditions that make many people want to stay indoors. However, it’s important to note that Rwanda does not experience extreme weather conditions such as winter, and as such, Rwanda safaris or Rwanda tours are still possible during the rainy season. For those considering going on a Rwanda gorilla tour during this time, there are several reasons why it can be a great option.
Firstly, the rainy or wet season is known as the low season in terms of tourism, as there are fewer travelers to the country compared to the dry season. This can be seen as an advantage, as it means that the parks are less crowded, allowing for more thorough exploration with greater interactions with guides and park rangers.
Additionally, during the rainy / wet season, gorillas can be found in the lower slopes of the park. Volcanoes National Park sits at an altitude of 3711 meters above sea level, which can pose a challenge for tourists who are not experienced hikers or have joint problems. The rain makes gorillas come to the lower slopes, allowing for faster sightings and ending the trek less exhausted.
Another advantage of going on a gorilla trek during the rainy season is that accommodation can be easily booked, with less congestion in hotels and lodges. During this season, hotels have low occupancy, which means that travelers can take advantage of discounted food and sleeping services, making it a great option for budget travelers.
Furthermore, obtaining a gorilla permit for trekking is also more convenient during the rainy season, as there is low demand for permits, which means that visitors have a higher chance of getting a permit and trekking even within a short period of booking, such as a month or even weeks.
For those wondering how to plan their safari during the rainy season, joining a wildlife safari to the parks located in the northeastern part of the country is a wise idea, as these parks receive less rain.
When planning for a gorilla trekking adventure during the rainy season, it is essential to pack the appropriate clothing and gear to ensure a comfortable and successful trek. In order to stay warm and dry, it is recommended to bring along cotton clothing as it absorbs moisture and dries quickly. Additionally, waterproof hiking boots are a must, as the trails can become muddy and slippery during the rainy season. Garden gloves can also come in handy to protect your hands while navigating through dense foliage. Insect repellent is also a crucial item to pack, as the rainy season can bring an increase in mosquitoes and other bugs.
It is also important to note that even during the dry season, it can still rain on your gorilla trekking safari day. Therefore, it is wise to bring along long sleeve shirts and trousers to provide extra protection from the elements. This applies to all gorilla trekking safaris, whether in Rwanda, Uganda or Congo.
While the rainy season may present some challenges, it also offers unique advantages for those who choose to embark on a gorilla trekking safari during this time. The lush and verdant vegetation can provide a beautiful and scenic backdrop for your trek and the gorillas themselves may be more active during the rainy season as they have more food sources available. With the right clothing and gear, a gorilla trekking safari during the rainy season can be a truly unforgettable experience.