Best Time for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda & Rwanda
Best Time for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda & Rwanda is that time of the year when the activity is easily done without any hindrances. Uganda and Rwanda are known famously for being homes to the rare and endangered mountain gorillas that roam around in their habitats in the countries. Rwanda’s mountain gorillas live in Volcanoes National Park, and the park has 10 habituated mountain gorilla families that are trekked all through the year. The gorilla families are Ugenda, Karisimbi, Bwengo, Susa, Agashya, Kwitonda, Sabinyo, Umubano, Amabano, and Titus.
There is another family called Hirwa that used to live in Volcanoes National Park but has since moved to Mgahinga National Park in Uganda.
Uganda on the other side which is home to over half the world’s population mountain gorilla population has 21 habituated mountain gorilla families living in 2 parks thus Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park, these gorilla families are available for trekking all year round. The gorilla families are Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Katwe, Bitukura, Oruzogo, Mukiza, Kyaguriro, Nshongi, Mishaya, Busingye, Bweeza, Kahungye, Bikyingi, Muchunguzi, Bahati, Nkuringo, Christmas, Bushaho, Nyakagezi and Hirwa in Mgahinga National Park
Thousands of travellers visit Uganda and Rwanda yearly to get a glimpse of these rare primates and enjoy the several mountainous forest trails of the gorilla’s habitats; however, the commonest question normally asked is when is the best time of the year, a person can have a gorilla trekking trip in either Uganda or Rwanda.
Gorilla trekking in both countries can be done all year round because of the tropical nature of the countries’ climates, your ability to have your trekking experience whichever time of the year you decide to have it.
That said, during the rainy seasons the forest and mountain trails are quite soggy and though they are totally trek-able they present some toughness to the trekkers and can make your trekking experience more tiring. Also, the rain times during the rainy seasons are unpredictable, you never know when the rain will come, sometimes you will trek with no raindrop other time the rain may find you in the forest and this will really disorganize your experience, other days it may rain the whole day and you fail to go out to your trek.
The rainy seasons in Uganda and Rwanda run from March to May and October to November.
Therefore the dry season is the best time to have a gorilla trekking trip in both countries. The forest and mountain trails are drier with a little sogginess, so they are more trek-able and present fewer difficulties for the trekkers. Also because there is no rainfall during that season, you don’t expect any rain interference during your trek.
Because the dry seasons are the best times for gorilla trekking in both countries, they are also peaking mountain gorilla trekking seasons, so travellers intending to have their trekking experiences during those seasons for both countries should book their mountain gorilla trekking permits way in advance and this applies also to their accommodation, transport and all the other things that are related to a gorilla trekking trip.
The dry seasons in Uganda and Rwanda run from June to September and December to February.
Even we the different season’s trekkers should know that mountain gorilla trekking is more strenuous in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park compared to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
Bwindi National Park trekking is made more strenuous because of the impenetrable forest that is thick with compacted trees and always darkish even in dry seasons, this makes it challenging to navigate the trails but the challenge is worth it. Also, the gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable forest are always deep in the forest and at high altitudes, this makes the trekking longer because you of the time you take to get to the gorillas and also where the gorillas are always in high altitudes and the temperatures there are most cases not favorable to the trekkers.
Mgahinga National Park is a similar story with the high altitudes and also because of the volcanoes in the park the volcano terrains are quite steep so they also make it tough to trek but it’s a worthwhile experience.
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is not as strenuous as Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park because of its fairly steep volcano terrains and the Hagenia forest is not as thick as Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
Mountain Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda cost 600 USD currently but will cost 700 USD in July 2020 well as mountain gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda cost 1500 USD.