Kwezi Outdoors Ltd Logo

Best Time to Visit Uganda: Month by Month

The best time to visit Uganda is during the dry seasons, from June to August and December to February. This period is ideal for gorilla trekking, wildlife safaris, fishing expeditions, mountain hikes, and cultural experiences. For bird watching and lush landscapes, the wet season from March to May and September to November is also appealing, with the added advantage of lower tourist numbers.

Angler with a prized giant Nile perch caught in the Nile River in the Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda

Angler with a prized giant Nile perch caught in the Nile River in the Murchison Falls National Park in UgandaJanuary is the driest month of the year and one of the best months for a Uganda safari. This month is one of the best months for gorilla trekking, fishing safaris on the Nile River, mountain climbing, chimpanzee tracking, and for photography safaris. Wildlife game drives are great because the grass is shorter. 

Kayaking is very popular on the Nile River in Uganda. Kwezi Outdoors offers kayaking and whitewater rafting packages on the River Nile

Kayaking is very popular on the Nile River in Uganda. Kwezi Outdoors offers kayaking and whitewater rafting packages on the River NileFebruary is another great time to visit Uganda. It is ideal for gorilla trekking, hiking, game drives, sport fishing, and whitewater rafting on the Nile. Clear weather conditions make for great birdwatching, with an abundance of migratory birds. Book your gorilla permits early as permits sell out quickly from December to February. 

A tourist photographs a family of gorillas

A tourist photographs a family of gorillasUganda's long rainy season begins in March. However, you can still enjoy the best of Uganda, including cultural experiences, gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking. Gorillas often head to lower, warmer areas during the rainy season, making treks shorter. 

Mweya Safari Lodge in the lush green Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda

Mweya Safari Lodge in the lush green Queen Elizabeth National Park in UgandaApril is the peak of the rainy season. Forests come alive with lush greenery and flocks of birds. During the rainy season, gorillas usually stay on the warm foothills of mountains. This means that the trekking routes, although slippery, are usually short in distance. 

Uganda is a great birding destination with a count of over 1060 species. Kwezi Outdoors offers birding safaris to Uganda

Uganda is a great birding destination with a count of over 1060 species. Kwezi Outdoors offers birding safaris to UgandaMay is the last month of the first rainy season. Lush plants bloom, beautifying the landscape with an emerald green color.  May is also a great month for birdwatchers. Bird flocks continue their journey across Africa, with many stopping off in Uganda's parks and countryside. 

gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda.June is a fantastic month to visit Uganda with Average day time temperatures at around 27 degrees Celsius. The rains have passed, forests and savannas are lush green, and skies are blue. As gorillas retreat up the mountains, gorilla trekking generally takes longer but is much more enjoyable. This is gorilla trekking peak season in Uganda, so book your gorilla permits well in advance. 

A juvenile mountain gorilla in Uganda's jungles

A juvenile mountain gorilla in Uganda's jungles

July is by far one of the best time to visit Uganda. Warm temperatures and minimal rainfall mean all activities are possible from gorilla trekking, wildlife drives, and birdwatching, to fishing tours. The gorillas have retreated back up to their misty mountain forests, but hiking conditions are still perfect. For your Uganda safari in July, you need to book in advance as competition for permits and lodges is very high.

Lions with the cub - lions are one of the Big 5 that you should seek out on your Uganda safari with Kwezi Outdoors

Lions with the cub - lions are one of the Big 5 that you should seek out on your Uganda safari with Kwezi Outdoors

August is the final month of the dry season in Uganda, conditions across the country remain perfect. Wildlife congregates around the few remaining watering holes, meaning sightings are common. Four of the Big Five are active with sightings of lions, elephants, buffalo, and the ever-elusive leopards. Migratory birds flock to the southern regions, making it a great time for bird enthusiasts.

Rhinos drink in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in the Uganda

Rhinos drink in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in the Uganda

September ushers in the start of the short rain season in Uganda. The rains aren't enough for the vegetation to blossom like it does during wetter months, and so animals head for the waterholes which makes sightings easier and more frequent. Gorilla trekking becomes more difficult as the routes are become muddier.

Tree climbing lions are unique to the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. This is one of two parks in Africa where lions spend more time in the trees, and thus the name. Look out for these lions on your Uganda safari with Kwezi Outdoors

Tree climbing lions are unique to the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. This is one of two parks in Africa where lions spend more time in the trees, and thus the name. Look out for these lions on your Uganda safari with Kwezi Outdoors

In Bwindi Forest, the gorillas descend to the lower slopes of the mountains. This makes the gorilla trekking much shorter, though the are routes tougher. Despite the rains, there’s still plenty of wildlife on show, including the tree-climbing lions of Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kidepo Valley’s Kavirondo bush babies.

Uganda is a birdwatching paradise with over 1060 species recorded here. Look out for your specials on Kwezi Outdoors birding safaris

Uganda is a birdwatching paradise with over 1060 species recorded here. Look out for your specials on Kwezi Outdoors birding safaris

The country is remarkably beautiful and green at this time of year. The thick vegetation can impede on wildlife viewing, but the landscapes are picturesque. Gorilla trekking is difficult as the tracks in the forest are muddy and roads are sometimes impassable. Other attractions are the colorful bird species flying into the parks. There are over 1060 bird species recorded in Uganda. 

The Rwenzori Mountains is Uganda are Africa's 3rd highest mountain after Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. The Rwenzoris are home to some of the only tropical glaciers still existing in the world. Kwezi Outdoors has climbing safaris to the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda

The Rwenzori Mountains is Uganda are Africa's 3rd highest mountain after Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. The Rwenzoris are home to some of the only tropical glaciers still existing in the world. Kwezi Outdoors has climbing safaris to the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda

December is the end of the wet season, and the start of the dry season making it one of the best times to visit Uganda. It is great for wildlife viewing, gorilla trekking, mountain climbing to explore Rwenzori's tropical glaciers, and birdwatching. Christmas is a big celebration in Uganda making December an especially busy time to travel. Ugandan families are on vacation and many people arrive from abroad for the Christmas and New Year break.  

Uganda experiences a tropical climate due to its equatorial location, characterized by relatively stable temperatures throughout the year. The climate is influenced by factors such as altitude, the presence of lakes, and the East African Rift Valley. Here’s a general overview of Uganda’s weather:

Dry Seasons:

    • December to February: Enjoy relatively drier conditions in most of southern Uganda during these months, with the north and east experiencing a clear dry season and minimal rainfall. It’s an ideal time for activities like gorilla trekking, fishing trips, hiking in the mountains, and wildlife safaris.
    • June to August: While June and July are the driest months in the south, occasional rain may occur. In the north, including Kidepo Valley National Park, these months are part of the Wet season, with a semi-arid climate. It’s a popular time for tourists with gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, birdwatching, cultural tours, and wildlife safaris.

Wet Seasons:

    • March to May: This is one of the wetter seasons, characterized by increased rainfall. But it still brings sunny days on the lush greenery and landscapes.
    • September to November: Similar to March to May, these months experience higher rainfall. The country becomes vibrant with vegetation.

Temperature:

    • Average Temperatures: Uganda generally has warm temperatures, with daytime averages ranging from 23°C to 30°C (73°F to 86°F).
    • Altitude Influence: Temperatures can vary with altitude. Higher elevations, such as the gorilla parks, may experience cooler temperatures, especially in the morning.

Altitude Variation:

    • Uganda’s diverse topography includes lowland areas and high-altitude regions, influencing temperature and climate. The Rwenzori Mountains, for example, have glaciers and alpine conditions due to their elevation. 
    • Some visitors when out gorilla trekking or tracking golden monkeys in Mgahinga may experience altitude sickness.
      Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: 1,160 meters (3,806 feet) to 2,607 meters (8,553 feet) above sea level.
      Mgahinga Gorilla National Park: 2,227 meters (7,306 feet) to 4,127 meters (13,540 feet) above sea level.
      These altitudes contribute to the unique habitats found in both parks and play a role in shaping the climate, vegetation, and overall biodiversity of the region.

Rainfall Patterns:

    • Rainfall is more pronounced in the central and western regions. The eastern and northeastern parts, including Kidepo Valley National Park, are drier with a semi-arid climate.
    • The south, including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, can receive significant rainfall, contributing to the lush rainforest environment.

Lake Effect:

    • Uganda is home to several lakes, including Lake Victoria – the world’s second-largest freshwater body, and source of the Nile River. The presence of these large water bodies can influence local weather conditions, providing moisture and affecting temperatures.

Humidity:

    • Humidity levels are generally high, especially in the central and western parts. This contributes to the country’s lush vegetation.

Understanding Uganda’s weather patterns is crucial for planning activities such as gorilla trekking, safaris, and other outdoor adventures