Climatically, Rwanda is fairly temperate and favours travel all year round, thanks to its compact size, proximity to the equator and high altitude, which gives it a fresh highland feel and consistent temperature. If there are noticeable variations, it is usually due to differences in altitude or seasons rather than regions; when looking at one particular area the climate does not fluctuate much month by month, although the northeast is known to experience more rainfall. Broadly speaking, there are four seasons to consider when planning your Rwanda trip with us. The average daytime temperature is around 30°C or 86°F, except in the highlands where it is much cooler. The capital of Kigali enjoys an average temperature of 21°C or 70°F.
March – mid-May
This is Rwanda’s long rain season, and it can be unrelenting, which is particularly marked in the mountainous regions. Gorilla tracking is less suited to this period, although if you are looking to track the chimpanzees in the Nyungwe area this can be an optimum time, as the figs and fruits within the forest ripen and they tend to see seen lower down in the trees eating, are more stationary and also seen in larger groups.
Mid May – mid-October
This is the long dry season with ideal conditions for gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park and for visiting Rwanda overall, so if you have complete flexibility with your dates we would recommend travelling during this time. Animal sightings are more common in this time, with golden monkeys and mountain gorillas as well as habitat tolerant species such as buffalo and elephant all more visible in the dry season. As gorillas reside in the rainforest, we still recommend taking waterproof clothing even during these drier months. This is also peak season in Rwanda, so prices can be higher.
Mid-October – November
A short rains period, these months can also be great for birding, as trees and plants are flowering and visible birdlife is prolific, and it is even possible to enjoy specialist birding trips (specifically late November/early December or late May). Green seasons also make for excellent photography conditions, with rains tending to be quick and heavy before clearing to blue skies – ideal for capturing scenery.
December - February
Another peak time to travel, this short dry period is also better for animal sightings. The drier periods can also be ideal for those looking to hike, canoe or climb, with no need for shelter from rain. Lodge prices tend to be higher during these busier times of year.
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