When is the perfect time to go for mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda? Which months of the year should tourists have to avoid and those perfect to visit Uganda or Rwanda for gorilla tracking.
While mountain gorilla tracking can be done at any time of the year in either countries where gorillas are found, due to the relatively wetter/rainy seasons in the national parks, many visitors frequently prefer the months from June to September and after that December, January and February.
Rwanda receives the first rains in late February through March, April and May thus numerous visitors try to avoid these months from these months because of fear of getting muddy and all wet while on a gorilla trek. But during these months, due to the rains there’s a lot of gorilla food down slope and it’s much colder on the upper slopes. So the mountain gorillas continue the lower slopes where they find it warmer and find food easily. So if you track the gorillas during these months, most likely your trek won’t be a long one – numerous trackers find the gorillas after 2 hours hike and by 2PM are back.
The same applies to Uganda despite the fact that Uganda receives the first the rain in March, April and May. Obviously the undeniably the rains (not generally heavy however) make it somewhat harder to trek the steep landscapes. Even then, the rain only comes for like 1-2 hours in like every 2-3 days and the sun turns out. We have realized that even in the so called drier months, the rain may come in.
This seasonality of gorilla trekkers can also be caused by the weather seasons in the tourists’ home country and the nature of jobs. For example when it is summer in Europe, the number of tourists going for gorilla trekking increase and when it comes to winter season the number decreases.
However, some tourists always use the advantage of the seasonal discount gorilla trekking permits. Recently for instance, the Uganda Tourism Board (UWA) reduced the price of gorilla permits by 30% for non-residents foreigners. A gorilla permit in Uganda costs USD350 for the months of November 2015. The rest of the time it costs USD600. Also different accommodations and lodging facilities in and around the national parks will also offer discounts on their rates during the same months.
At all the case and explanation may be, the experience shows that mountain gorilla trekking in Africa can be done at any season of the year and you will almost get the same experience.