Many tour operators and hospitality industry players are decrying the low tourism season in Rwanda at the moment. However, there are other operators and tourism players like Virunga Community Programs that have come up with innovative programs to ensure that the low tourism period doesn’t adversely affect their operations.
Most visitors would like to know the best time to visit Rwanda. We have compiled you some of the best months when you can get the best out of the country in terms of your travel, since majority of tourists normally want to get the best and memorable experience on their Rwanda safari.
The Best Time To Tour Rwanda
The best period you can visit Rwanda is between mid-May and Mid-October. Why? This is the long dry season, and makes ideal conditions when you want to track the gorillas. Tracking the gorillas during the rainy season can always be challenging, especially when you must endure a rainy day. There are normally 4 seasons to consider when you are planning your Rwanda tour. But the weather is fairly temperate and it favors travel all the year round. This is because of the country’s compact size, together with its proximity to the equator and the high altitude that provides it some fresh highland feel plus consistent temperature.
As mentioned before, you may track the gorillas in Rwanda, and the wider Virunga massif all year round. But you shouldn’t forget that rainier months make tracking more difficult and challenging owing to muddy conditions.
When To Visit: By Season
This is the country’s long rainy season, and it may be unrelenting particularly in the mountainous regions. Tracking the gorillas is less suited to this period. However, when looking forward to tracking the Chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest area, this may prove to be the ideal time since the fruits and figs found here ripen and the chimpanzees will come lower down the trees to eat. They will be more stationary and likely to be seen in larger groups.
Mid-May to Mid-October
This is a long dry spell with perfect conditions for tracking the gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park and also for seeing Rwanda’s wide array of exciting wildlife. Therefore, when you have some flexibility with your dates, Virunga Community Programs recommend travelling during this period. Wildlife sightings are more prevalent at this period, with the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, buffaloes and elephants more visible during this dry time. Since gorillas live in the rain-forest, we advise that you have waterproof clothing even during the dry months. Note that this is also peak season in Rwanda, therefore gorilla trekking costs are higher.
Mid October to November
Short rains period, and the months may be great for bird watching since plants and trees are flowering and birdlife is quite vibrant. It’s even possible to enjoy some specialist bird trips with Virunga Community Programs. Also green seasons make for amazing photography conditions, since the rains tend to be heavy and quick before clearing due to perfect blue skies, a condition ideal for capturing amazing scenery.
December to February
This is another peak period to visit the country. The short dry season is perfect for animal sightings. Also the drier periods may be ideal for those looking forward to canoe, climb mountains or hike. You don’t need to shelter for the rains! However, accommodation charges tend to be higher when it comes to the peak periods.