Uganda is a year-round destination, with many of its iconic attractions including gorilla and chimpanzee tracking, being available throughout the year. The country’s fairly consistent equatorial climate ensures that visitors will always be able to enjoy worthwhile experiences no matter when you travel. Uganda’s seasons can broadly be defined as dry from December – March followed by typical East African rains during April and May. A further dry spell runs from June through to September and brief rains may occur during October and November.
Below follows a seasonal calendar highlighting some of the experiences that can be enjoyed.
A popular time for rafting enthusiasts to visit as conditions are better than in other parts of Africa. White water rafting is available throughout the year but busiest in the dry season.
Visitors to Semliki Wildlife Reserve during the dry season are likely to see large breeding colonies of red-throated bee-eaters on sandbanks during a boat trip on scenic Lake Albert.
As the dry season comes to an end, the wildlife sightings in Kidepo come into their own. Wildlife gathers along the Narus River and visitors are likely to see vast herds of buffalo and elephant.
Gorilla permits reduce in cost from $600 to $450 for April - May (and in Nov.) Although wetter conditions can make trekking more challenging, viewing a gorilla remains a top wildlife encounter.
Rains settle the dust of the dry season and a clear day can provide breath-taking views of the conical Virunga Mountains from Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, home to Uganda’s only golden monkeys.
The Uganda Martyr’s Trail commemorates the early Christian missionaries and the conflict experienced during the late 1800s. 3rd June is Martyr’s Day, celebrating the history of Christianity in Uganda.
A very popular month for gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Visitors planning to travel at this time of year should consider booking permits as early as possible.
Sport fishing is generally best during the dry season.
August can be an excellent month to fish for Nile Perch in the waters below Murchison Falls or on Lake Victoria.
Uganda is one of Africa’s finest coffee producers. During Sept coffee beans are harvested. Visitors to plantations are encouraged to do so as part of the tour then enjoy a local brew.
Uganda celebrates its Independence on 9th October and the early part of the month sees many cultural festivities celebrated in and around Kampala. The festivals showcase the vibrant dance and traditional dress of Uganda’s many tribes.
Although wildlife in the savannah reserves tends to be easier to spot in the dry season, the short rains of November coincides with wildlife giving birth to their young offering visitors frequent sightings of newborns.
The Rwenzori Mountains, Africa’s highest mountain range, offer excellent mountaineering opportunities without the crowds.
December is the start of the dry seasons which can make for better conditions.