Best Time To Visit Uganda | Best Time To Go To Uganda For A Safari | When To Go To Uganda?

If you want to safari in Uganda and wondering when to go to Uganda? or what is the best time to travel to Uganda? When should I visit Uganda? The best time to visit Uganda is during its two dry seasons, from December to February and June to August.

Most Uganda safari destinations are at their best during this time of the year. The climate is mild and mostly dry. However, You can safari to Uganda at any time of the year. However, the best time to visit Uganda is during dry seasons.

Best Time To Visit Uganda, Best Time To Go To Uganda For A Safari

Kisoro Region Of Uganda

The dry season is when to go to Uganda for the best game viewing. The foliage in national parks in Uganda is sparse. Animals tend to congregate around water sources making them easier to locate. Hiking conditions are easy. So, this is the best time to go to Uganda for gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, and mountain climbing.

The dry season is generally considered the best season to visit Uganda. But if you prefer to economize on your Uganda tours, a rainy season visit – March to May and September to November – is also well worth considering. It is the perfect time to take the advantage of discounted low-season rates on accommodation and tours.

Birding in Uganda is fantastic all year round but is at its peak between November and April when migrant species are present. Temperatures barely change throughout the seasons, at around 24 to 30°C, so you can safari in Uganda all year round.

For more information on when to visit Uganda, you can use our detailed month-by-month guide below or simply enquire with our Uganda safari expert. 

The General Dry Season in Uganda

  • Between December and February,
  • Between June and August
  • These 2 dry seasons of Uganda are the best months to take Uganda wildlife safaris and see amazing wildlife but also, it is the perfect month for visitors on Uganda hiking safaris.
  • In the savannah reserves, vegetation is less and animals gather around water sources, making wildlife easier to spot.
  • Also, primate watching tours in Uganda, including Uganda gorilla tours, and chimpanzee tracking are very easily done during dry seasons.
  • The sky is very clear and there is less rain and more sunshine.
  • You need to book your Uganda gorilla safari permits in advance.

The General Wet Season in Uganda

  • April, May, October, and November are the wettest months in Uganda
  • During this time of the year, some Uganda roads to different safari destinations become very bad and cars often get stuck.
  • Forest trails can become slippery and challenging
  • During this time camping, gorilla trekking, and mountain hiking become very difficult.
  • You won’t be able to change your expensive gorilla permit if it pours with rain; departures go as scheduled.
  • Plenty of rainfall also means that wildlife in Uganda savanna parks tends not to congregate conveniently around water sources.
  • However, the scenery of the savannah reserves is greener and you’ll still see plenty of Uganda wildlife during the wet season.
  • There are several newborn animals in Uganda in major Uganda National Parks.

Best Time To Go To Uganda – By Month

If you’re planning a safari to Uganda for the first time, understanding the best season to visit Uganda is a great place to start.  Here is a month-by-month guide on the best time to visit Uganda. Remember that some events straddle the months, and all events are subject to change.

January

January is part of the short dry season in Uganda. It is one of the hottest months of the year and days are generally dry and sunny. But as Uganda’s climate is tropical there may be some rainfall, but these are unlikely to affect your Uganda trip.

January is one of the best times to visit Uganda for fantastic game viewing. There’s less vegetation in the various savannah Uganda National Parks. Animals tend to gather around the remaining water sources. It’s also an ideal time for gorilla and chimp treks. The forests are less muddy and the trails are less slippery. If you wish to combine your Uganda safaris with gorilla trekking in Rwanda this is a perfect time to do so.

This month is a fantastic month for seeing migratory birds in Uganda. Migratory birdlife is a superb subject for keen photographers. January is a popular month to travel, so rates can be high and gorilla permits need to be booked well in advance.

January Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (28°C)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (18°C)
  • Average rainfall (50mm)
  • Average daylight (12 hours)

February

February is the last month of the short dry season in Uganda. Like January, February is a great time to visit Uganda for Uganda birding safaris, Uganda gorilla tours, and particularly game viewing.

Boat safaris on the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park and Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park are brilliant this month. Wildlife tends to congregate at the water sources. Temperatures will still be hot throughout the country. So afternoon relaxation between game drives will be pleasant. Skies are likely to remain clear.

Kibale Forest National Park comes to life in February. You’ll be able to witness up to 13 species of primates in Kibale from Colobus monkeys to the much-loved chimpanzees. The trekking trails will be dry and easy. Therefore this is a great time for travelers of all abilities to go Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.

February Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (28oC)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (18oC)
  • Average rainfall (61mm)
  • Average daylight (12 hours)

March

March is the beginning of the long rainy season in Uganda. Rain is unlikely to continue all day long but it can come in heavy downpours. Rain is usually followed by brighter weather. Days are comfortably warm. Temperatures are pleasant.

Although none of the national parks of Uganda are at their best during this time, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing in safari areas like Queen Elizabeth National Park. And as this month lies outside of the peak season, so prices are likely to be lower. There will also be plenty of availability at a wide selection of Uganda safari lodges.

Another benefit of traveling at the beginning of the rainy season is that there is a lot of food for gorillas on the lower slopes of the mountain. Therefore, although gorilla trekking may be difficult due to wet, muddy, and slippery terrain, the gorilla trek can be short. March is the last month you’ll be able to witness migratory birds of Uganda. They’ll begin to depart and won’t return to the country until November.

March Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (27oC)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (18oC)
  • Average rainfall (175mm)
  • Average daylight (12 hours)

April

The long rainy season in Uganda continues during April, which is usually the wettest month of the year. You should expect heavy rainfall. There are usually blue skies and sunshine immediately after the showers.

The rains fill the waterholes and rivers in the Uganda national parks. The vegetation becomes lush and gorgeously green. But this can make wildlife viewing more challenging. You won’t find large concentrations of wildlife congregating around waterholes on your Uganda wildlife safaris.

You can still track chimpanzees and gorillas at this time of year. However, you’ll need to be prepared for the wet weather and difficult trekking conditions. Properties have excellent availability. Rates are relatively low. Murchison Falls National Park in the northeast has a drier climate, so it’s a good place to visit during April.

April Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (26oC)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (19oC)
  • Average rainfall (175mm)
  • Average daylight (12 hours)

May

May is the end of the long rainy season in Uganda. If you’re not too worried about experiencing rain during your Uganda safari trip or Uganda safari tour, it can be a lovely time to visit Uganda.

Landscapes will be lush and verdant after months of rain. This may make wildlife more difficult to see. But the vegetation will create stunning backdrops for photography. The wet season is also the peak time for animals to give birth. So, May is a good time to look out for the young in the Uganda wildlife safari parks.

Some roads and trails may be very muddy at the beginning of May depending on the intensity of the rainy season.

May Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (25oC)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (17oC)
  • Average rainfall (147mm)
  • Average daylight (12 hours)

June

June marks the beginning of the long dry season in Uganda. There is usually plenty of sunshine during June. But as Uganda has a tropical climate there’s still a chance of rain.  All Uganda wildlife safari parks are accessible again enabling you to witness everything that this amazing country has to offer.

As it is the peak season, prices will be higher and permits will need to be booked well in advance. However, one of the benefits of Uganda, as opposed to some other African safari destinations, is that the parks rarely feel busy or overcrowded allowing you intimate wildlife encounters and unforgettable experiences.

Some boutique Uganda safari lodges may fill up fast during the peak season so book early and secure your space at your preferred accommodation. Being the first month after the wet season, June still enjoys lush landscapes so can be a great time to travel if you want to combine wildlife viewing with photogenic scenery.

As June lies within the dry season, temperatures are warm with clear blue skies making it ideal for both Uganda gorilla trekking tours and game drives.

June Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (25oC)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (17oC)
  • Average rainfall (74mm)
  • Average daylight (12 hours)

July

July is known as the best time to visit Uganda as it lies within the dry season. Warm temperatures and minimal rainfall mean the climate is at its best. All Uganda safari activities (things to do in Uganda) are accessible. Although peak season corresponds with higher prices, easy trekking conditions make it a preferred time to travel.

Gorilla trekking, chimpanzee treks, and game viewing to see the unique tree-climbing lions are great wildlife encounters you can experience in July. The temperatures are particularly high when gorilla trekking in July. This is also increased by the exertion of trekking and the recommendation of wearing longer (but lightweight) trousers and sleeves when in the forest.

In the rest of the country, temperatures will be slightly cooler particularly around Lake Victoria due to the location being at altitude. Mornings and late evenings may still be cool so it is always good to have extra layers on hand.

Although children under the age of 15 cannot participate in gorilla treks, thanks to the plethora of other safari options July can still be a good time to take a family Uganda holiday.

July Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (25oC)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (17 oC)
  • Average rainfall (46mm)
  • Average daylight (12 Hours)

August

August can be a fantastic time to visit Uganda.

As it lies quite late on in the dry season, wildlife is easier to spot in the game parks in Uganda meaning you should have amazing sightings of elephants, lions, buffalos, and perhaps even elusive leopards. All of the Uganda safari parks are at their best at this time, so travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park to see four of the big five and then on to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking.

It may still rain at some points in August so it is best to pack for all weather conditions. We advise booking accommodation well in advance during the dry season, as properties have limited availability. Property prices are high in August.

August Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (25oC)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (16 oC)
  • Average rainfall (86mm)
  • Average daylight (12 Hours)

September

September is usually classed as the end of Uganda’s dry season. However, depending on when the short rains arrive it may be that there are some downpours throughout your safari.

In Bwindi and Mgahinga, Uganda gorilla safari tours always go ahead as planned despite the rainfall, so please be prepared for a wet walk.

You may be lucky and have a completely dry month, in which case wildlife will be easier to spot thanks to grazed-down vegetation and the fact that waterholes will be dwindling by this point in the season so animals will gather around the remaining water supplies.

September Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (27oC)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (17 oC)
  • Average rainfall (91mm)
  • Average daylight (12 Hours)

October

October is the start of the shoulder season so prices will be lower and lodge availability will start to free up. This does of course mean weather will be more unpredictable, but despite the rain, temperatures are likely to remain warm.

Most national parks of Uganda will be accessible at this time they just won’t be at their best. The climate at Murchison Falls National Park is steady year-round so a visit to see the River Nile and the impressive falls is a great add-on to an October wildlife safari in Uganda.

Wildlife sightings will still be possible in the game reserves so look out for tree-climbing lions hiding out during rain showers or the endangered mountain gorillas of Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks sheltering under large leaves.

October Climate Averages

  • Day time average maximum temperature (27oC)
  • Nighttime average minimum temperature (17 oC)
  • Average rainfall (97mm)
  • Average daylight (12 Hours)

November

Thanks to the rains throughout October, Uganda’s vegetation is starting to thrive in November. Dry plains become verdant. Although this makes wildlife sightings more difficult, the landscapes are stunning.

As November is a shoulder season in Uganda, prices may be lower at this time. If you’re not opposed to some arduous trekking and potential rain, it is possible to trek gorillas at this time but please be aware this is not the optimum time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

November sees the start of the best Uganda birdwatching season (November-April) as migratory birds arrive. Uganda is known for its huge variety of birdlife, with over 1076 Uganda bird species recorded.

November Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (27oC)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (17 oC)
  • Average rainfall (122mm)
  • Average daylight (12 Hours)

December

By December the short rains have stopped, making it an ideal time to travel to Uganda. Not only are the landscapes lush and photogenic but all parks are accessible too. The ground underfoot will start to dry out as well, meaning mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking will be more manageable.

However, with more desirable conditions comes more travelers. December is a particularly busy time to travel as Ugandan families are on holiday, as are western tourists looking to get away over Christmas and New Year.

If you wish to travel during this period you must book in advance to secure gorilla trekking permits and to ensure your preferred Uganda safari lodges are available. All migratory birds should have arrived by this time so there will be a huge range of species to look out for if you are on a Uganda birding safari.

December Climate Averages

  • Day-time average maximum temperature (27oC)
  • Night-time average minimum temperature (17 oC)
  • Average rainfall (99mm)
  • Average daylight (12 Hours

Best Time to Visit the National Parks of Uganda

  1. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The park is open for gorilla trekking all year long, but the best times to go to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are from June to August and December to February.

  • At these times, the forest trails are drier and therefore less slippery.
  • Drier trails make for easy mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda
  • Also, your chance of a dry gorilla viewing experience is higher during these months.
  • This might result in a better experience and photography will be easier.
  • Gorilla permits need to be booked long in advance at any time of the year

The Wet Seasons in Bwindi is From March to May and September to November.

  • Some access roads may become hard to travel as the trails become slick.
  • Forest trails might become slick and hard to use
  • It tends to be misty and wet
  • Rain might interfere with the experience and taking photos
  • However, many localized forest Uganda birds are in the breeding season and easily located by call.
  • A good 4×4 vehicle is essential.
  1. Kibale National Park

Kibale is open for chimpanzee tracking any time of the year. But June and July and December to February are the driest months and are therefore the best times for chimpanzee tracking in Uganda’s Kibale National Park.

  • During this time, hiking trails are dry which makes tracking chimpanzees very easy
  • Days are lovely and sunny

The Wet Season in Kibale National Park is March to May and August to November

  • Rain can make the forest trails challenging
  • Rain might interfere with the experience when watching and photographing the chimps
  • However, this is a great time visitor on Uganda birding safaris
  1. Queen Elizabeth National Park

The park can be visited at any time of the year. However, the best time to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for wildlife viewing is in the dry seasons from June to July and June to July.

  • During this time wildlife viewing is easier because the vegetation is thin, and animals gather around water sources.
  • Drier routes make the game drive and chimpanzee trekking in the Kyambura gorge very easy.
  • There are plenty of sunny days

The Wet Season in Queen Elizabeth National Park is March to May and August to December.

  • During the wet season, roads may become inaccessible after heavy rains, and forest trails get slippery
  • Afternoon thunderstorms should be expected, and it might drizzle for days at a time
  • However, you will still see a variety of wildlife
  • The scenery is beautiful and green and migratory birds can be spotted.
  1. Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park offers good wildlife viewing throughout the year. However, viewing wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park is generally good during the dry season from December to February.

  • During the dry season, animals are spotted easily since they tend to gather around water sources
  • There is plenty of sunshine and almost no rain
  • The risk of Malaria is less since there are fewer mosquitoes
  • However, the heat in January and February can be unbearable

The Wet Season in Murchison Falls National Park is  From June to November.

  • This park is in a dry part of Uganda and the rains rarely interfere with your Uganda safari here
  • However, when it rains some roads may become hard to travel
  • The scenery is lush with greenery and there are migratory birds
  1. Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo is found in Uganda’s semi-arid region and can be visited throughout the year. However, the dry season(September to March) is the prime time to see wildlife in Kidepo Valley National Park.

  • Spotting wildlife is very easy during the dry season as animals tend to gather around remaining water sources and vegetation thins.
  • It generally sunny with few cloudy days
  • However, it is very hot and dusty

The Wet Season Months in Kidepo Valley National Park is From April to August.

  • During the wet season, Kidepo Valley National Park is pleasantly less hot and the scenery is beautiful.
  • Migratory birds can be found, and birding is at its best
  • However, animals disperse from the valleys, moving to higher ground where they are more difficult to locate.
  1. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can be done the whole year. However, the best time to visit Mgahinga National Park for gorilla trekking is during the drier season (June to August and December to January).

  • At this time the trails tend to be easier to navigate and spending a precious hour with the gorillas might be more pleasant when it isn’t raining.
  • Days are sunny
  • Uganda gorilla trekking permits should be booked in advance

February to May and September to November are the Wet Seasons in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

  • During the wet season, you can still trek the mountain gorillas but trekking is hard and road conditions can be bad.
  • It might drizzle for days, and it tends to be misty and wet
  • Hailstorms are common
  • However, migratory birds are present and when the clouds lift, the views are amazing
  1. Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo can be visited at any time of the year but the months of June to August and December to February are the best time of the year for Lake Mburo National Park.

  • The dry season presents the best game viewing opportunities as the vegetation thins and animals tend to gather around the lake.
  • There are plenty of sunny days

The Wet Seasons in Lake Mburo National Park is From March to May and From September to November.

  • During the wet season, is also good when animals can be seen in the open valleys
  • There are fewer people and accommodation rates might be lower
  • Migratory birds are present
  • The air is clear, and the landscapes are green
  • However wet roads may become difficult to negotiate
  • Occasional rainstorms may interfere with game drives
  • A good 4×4 vehicle is essential.
  1. Semulik National Park

The hot dry time is January to February and is a good time to visit.

In Semuliki National Park rains anytime from October to December and March to May when many roads become challenging to use. A good 4×4 vehicle is essential.

Conclusion

Equatorial Uganda has a pleasantly warm and tropical climate with insignificant variations in temperatures, making it good to visit year-round. But depending on what you plan to do in Uganda – like safari game drives, boat cruises, gorilla trekking, Chimpanzee tracking, or bird watching tours – some months offer better weather conditions than others.

Our safari experts are happy to create tailored Uganda safari for you and can discuss the best options based on your wildlife preferences and the time of year you wish to travel.