Equatorial Uganda has a pleasant warm and tropical climate with insignificant seasonal variations, making it good to visit year round. There are wetter months that make certain plans and activities somewhat trickier which are worth factoring into your Uganda Safari Trip planning.
Average temperatures in Uganda are around 21.5°C (71°F), dropping to a minimum of 12°C (54°F) at night time, with altitude also affecting this. Being on the equator, rainfall ranges between 1,000 and 2,000 millimetres each year, but depending on time of year these can be short bursts which give rise to clearer skies.
In the recent years climate change has caused somewhat irregularity of weather patterns, with seasons becoming harder to predict with time. But Let’s break down what we clearly understand from staying in Uganda.
BUFFALO & LION — You can see this year round in Kidepo, best to avoid the rains from June to September.
CHIMPANZEES — Kibale Forest is the best place to see chimps as they move swiftly through the forest.
MOUNTAIN GORILLAS — Best time to track the gorillas is the dry season; from December to March and June to October.
SHOEBILL STORK — Found in the Mabamba swamps, one of the most sought after birds in Africa.
The first of the southern rain seasons, those looking to trek to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga National Park may want to avoid this period. Gorilla trekking is not impossible at this time, however these southern regions experience more rain generally, and the trekking conditions are more favourable during drier months. The northern rain season runs from April to October, but most of the northern areas are unvisited by tourists.
This is the longest dry season with ideal conditions for gorilla tracking in the southern parks and for visiting Uganda overall, so if you can be flexible we would advise visiting during this time. As gorillas reside in the rainforest, we still recommend taking waterproof clothing even during these drier months. This is peak season, so prices can be higher. Spotting other wildlife in Uganda at this time is also more likely.
A short rains period, gorilla trekking may again be slightly harder during these months as it is wetter under foot. These months can also be great for birding, as trees and plants are flowering and birdlife is visible. It is even possible to enjoy specialist birding tours at the end of the rainy seasons. Photography conditions are excellent, with short rains giving rise to blue skies that create some great, clear images.
Another peak time to travel, this short dry period is good for wildlife sightings. The drier periods can be ideal for those looking do other outdoor activities such as hiking and climbing. Our preferred months of travel in the dry periods are February and September; this is because some preferential rates are available and it is less crowded than the traditional peak months of travel during the Christmas and peak summer months.