Best time to visit Rwanda

The dry seasons, more comfortable for trekking and safaris, are mid-Dec to early Feb, June to Sept.
Don’t be put off by the November shorter rains and March-May longer rains as you will have the forests, lakes and mountains to yourself. And occasionally cheaper gorilla permits, too. The majority of visitors come to Rwanda to see gorillas, and so the best time is often whenever you can get a highly in demand permit. Keen photographers may even prefer the rainy season, as there is less light contrast coming through the trees, allowing you to focus solely on your subject matter.

Rwanda Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
13
26
75
FEB
13
26
102
MAR
13
26
118
APR
14
25
186
MAY
13
25
107
JUN
12
26
23
JUL
12
26
9
AUG
13
26
35
SEP
13
26
90
OCT
13
26
109
NOV
13
25
140
DEC
13
25
101

Rwanda, month by month

Things to do in Rwanda

March is the beginning of the longer rainy season which goes on through April and May. The end of May can often be dry already, however, and yet still devoid of visitors avoiding the ‘big rains’. June to mid-September is the long dry season and the most popular time to visit. You may still get showers during this time though. September sees a very special event take place in Musanze: Kwita Izina, which is a gorilla naming ceremony and celebration of mountain gorilla births. The Kigali International Peace Marathon takes place in May and is a very special event. If you are taking part or just watching. There are three races, a full marathon, half marathon and a 10km run for peace. Tutsi Genocide Memorial Day is 7 April, a public vacation and understandably a very solemn day indeed. If you are going gorilla trekking, things have dried up again in December after the short rains of October and November. So if you’re looking for alternative Christmas vacation ideas then you could do at lot worse than heading to Rwanda to go gorilla watching. Same thing goes for January for a spectacular New Year celebration. The Tour du Rwanda is a spectacular country wide race run by the Rwanda Cycling Federation. It keeps changing dates, however, so keep an eye on their website. At the moment it is scheduled for February/March, although it originally ran in November and has also taken place in August. It’s a good one though, just a bit of a moveable feast. Independence Day takes place 1 July every year in Rwanda, celebrating the day in 1962 when Rwanda was freed from Belgian colonial rule.

Our top Rwanda Vacation

3 day Rwanda gorilla safari

3 day Rwanda gorilla safari

A gorilla safari taking in some of Rwanda’s iconic locations

From £1250 3 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Rwanda or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Responsible Travel recommends

Paul Calcutt at our supplier of gorilla trekking vacations in Rwanda, Natural World Safaris:
“A lot of people think it is going to be searingly hot, because of the misconception that all Africa is hot. But in fact it is quite temperate during the day, early to mid-20°Cs, and at night time we will light a fire and stick a hot water bottle in the room for you. So, jumpers and things to keep warm in the evening are good.”
Marta Marinelli from our Rwanda supplier, Exodus Travels:
“The dry season goes from June to mid-September so this is generally the best time to visit as rain may make some of the activities such as the gorillas and chimps treks much harder due to the mud. There is also a short dry season from December to February. It is quite special to spend New Year’s Eve in front of a group of 12 gorillas so those looking to spend a different Christmas and NYE have this choice.”
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Ryan M. Bolton] [Gorilla - intro: Henrik Palm] [Bonfire: Annie Spratt] [Gorilla eating: Andrew Kahumbu]
Convert currencies