Best time to visit Uganda


Temperature & rainfall

Uganda sits squarely on the equator with an average altitude of around 1,000m, which tempers the heat and means this really is a year-round destination. March-May and Oct-Nov see the highest rainfall, but gorillas are still lurking in the mist – although trekking to find them will be slippery and slower. However, accommodation and even gorilla permits can be much cheaper at this time. The best time to visit Uganda is June-Sep, which is the peak season – but Uganda remains happily oblivious to mass tourism and you won’t need to worry about crowds.

WHEN NOT TO VISIT UGANDA


A MONTH BY MONTH GUIDE

March, April and May see the heaviest rainfall in Uganda, with shorter rains in October to November. This doesn’t affect your chances of spotting gorillas, although be prepared for a soggy, slippery trek! Waterproofs, and waterproof boots, are essential. It’s also believed that the gorillas linger on the warmer, lower slopes during wetter weather, so your trek may be shorter.

The wildlife is not migratory in Uganda so you can still see plenty of game in parks such as Queen Elizabeth, although thicker vegetation makes spotting the animals a little harder. Do be aware that the already appalling roads will become even more bone shaking.

Murchison Falls in the northeast has a drier climate, so is a good place to head during the wetter months.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority, which issues gorilla tracking permits, offers discounts of up to 25 percent in April, May and November – well worth it if you’re on a budget.

June, July, August and September are the peak months as they are generally dry (though rain can fall at any time), and coincide with school vacations. This is the best time to visit Uganda, but book well in advance, especially if tracking gorillas – as permits will sell out months in advance.

December, January and February are also great months to visit. Generally dry (though rains can linger into December), the wildlife will be lured to waterholes, making this a great time for boat safaris. Migratory birds are also present.

Throughout the country, the temperature drops quite considerably at night – you’ll need a jumper or cardi. This makes it much easier to sleep. But it never reaches the chilly extremes of places such as Kruger of the Kalahari.

BEST TIME TO VISIT UGANDA


RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL RECOMMENDS

Jackson Araali, from our leading Uganda vacations supplier Primate World Safaris: “The best time to travel in the year would be between the months of January and February then June to September. The weather is perfect, dry Season with little or no rainfall. Wildlife viewing is better when game is more concentrated around water sources and tracking gorillas and chimpanzees is much easier when the ground is dry.”
Paul Callcutt, from our supplier Natural World Safaris: “March, April, May is a heavier rainy season, but having said that, I was there in May this year in the Kyambura Gorge doing chimpanzee trekking, and there was no one there except me and some guides because most tourists don’t come until the end of May when, traditionally, the rain stops. People do work in ‘calendars’ but of course weather doesn’t work like that. I think there is a lot to be said of going in the last few days of what is supposedly the wet season, because when I was there it was perfectly dry and there was nobody there.”
Photo credits: [Temp chart - leopard at sunset: Jorn Eriksson] [Jackson Araali quote: Justin Raycraft]
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