When to see Africa's Primates

The climate in both Uganda and Rwanda is warm, throughout the year with average daily temperatures ranging from 20-30° Celsius (approx 70-85 Fahrenheit) depending on location. Bwindi and the area around Fort Portal/Kibale can get cool during the night because of the vegetation and altitude, however the lower-lying parks such as Kidepo Valley, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park can be much hotter.

The regions ‘wet’ seasons are from March to May for the long rains and October to November for the short rains. However, when hiking in Uganda’s rainforests to see the gorilla's, wet weather is common all year round.
Due to Uganda’s equatorial sun, we recommend that all our visitors take the sensible precautions.

Below is some more detailed information on both Uganda and Rwanda.


Rwanda offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in Africa whether it be the dramatic Virunga volcanoes, the best place in the world to see the mountain gorilla, or the forest of Nyungwe, one of the largest mountainous forests in Central Africa, home to chimpanzees and large groups of Colobus monkeys. Its climate makes it a great place to visit year round.


Because of its high altitude, Rwanda has a pleasant tropical highland climate, with a daily temperature range as great as 14°C (25°F). Temperature may vary considerably from region to region because of the variations in altitude. The average daytime temperature is about 30°C except in the highlands where it is much cooler. There are four seasons; long rains from mid March to mid May, short rains from mid-October to November; long dry period from mid-May to mid-October and short dry season from December to mid-March. The north-east has more rainfall than other parts of the country. It is still perfectly possible to travel during the rains, indeed the scenery can be stunning and the flora lush and it can be ideal for photography of both the gorillas and the scenery.

There is no “best time to visit Rwanda”, as each season has its merits.


Mountain Gorillas Safaris: In the Volcanoes area of Rwanda you can expect to find bamboo specialists such as golden monkeys and mountain gorilla as well as habitat tolerant species such as buffalo and elephant. The best time for sighting animals is during the dry season between mid December to March and mid May to mid October although it is easy to track and see them year round.

Bird watching: Rwanda is a fantastic destination for bird watchers with an incredible 670 species recorded in an area smaller than Belgium. Lush flora will attract many species but sightings may be easier during dry periods - mid December to March and mid May to mid October.

Quick Facts

Scientific Name: Gorilla beringei beringei

Size: Males: Up to 6 feet tall, standing. Females: Up to 5 feet tall.

Weight: Males: 350 pounds. Females: 215 pounds.

Lifespan: 40-50 years

Habitat: Dense forest, rain forest

Diet: Herbivorous (vegetarian)

Gestation: About 8 1/2 months

Predators: Predominantly humans. Occasionally leopards.


Uganda is a stunningly rich and fertile country offering extensive savannah plains and dense rainforest as well as big cats and mountain gorillas. It is a great place to visit year round but the wettest months of April, May and October, November, may make some plans slightly trickier.


Because it lies on the equator, Uganda has a warm climate all year round and seasonal variations are insignificant. The average temperature is 21.5 °C (71 °F) with the highest temperatures reached in January, February, March and the lowest in July, August and September.

The rainfall pattern is the main consideration when visiting Uganda with the wettest months being April, May and October, November. Camping and travelling on some roads may be difficult during these months.


Officially there are 342 mammal species in Uganda including its large primates such as apes and gorillas.

Primates: The best time to visit Uganda for sighting large primates is during the dry season between December to March and June to September, however gorilla tracking safaris are possible year round and the rains enrich the beauty of the rainforest. Gorilla Tracking is a year round possibility.

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