Going on a gorilla trek is one of the most exciting adventure trips you can have in East Africa! One of the most common questions that we get from clients is - when is the best time to go gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking can be done year round
Gorilla trekking can be done throughout the year. Uganda has a warm tropical climate and temperatures range from 25–29°C (77– 84°F) range on average during the day. The gorillas live in the mountains at altitude and the temperature can drop to around 10°C (50°F) in the nights and early mornings.
The thing to take into consideration is Uganda’s rainy seasons
Like most East African countries, Uganda has two rainy seasons, referred to as the long rains (between the end of February - end of May) and the short rains (between October - mid-December). These periods are likely to have tropical downpours, which are over quickly each day, but can make trekking to see the gorillas especially muddy and slippery.
Low season rates
That said, the wet season is when the lodges charge low season rates and sometimes the gorilla permits are discounted by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. This makes this a very affordable time of year to go gorilla trekking.
The best time to go gorilla trekking in Uganda (High Season)
The best time to go gorilla trekking in Uganda is in the long dry season from June to September and during the short dry season from mid-December to early February. As Uganda’s climate is tropical, there may still be a shower or two, but it is generally drier, which makes the ground less slippery.
The dry season also happens to be the best time to enjoy a safari in Uganda, as the bush is less dense, making spotting wildlife much easier. The dry season is also the best time to enjoy chimpanzee trekking or white water rafting on the Nile River.
Altitude affects temperature
As the gorillas live at altitudes 1,190 to 2,607 m (3,904 to 8,553 ft) above sea level, the temperatures can drop quite a bit. This means your gorilla trekking clothing is important. You will likely wear layers for your gorilla trek. We highly recommend a light rain jacket, long-sleeved shirt, proper hiking boots, and gardening or sturdy gloves. These are important as you will be grabbing hairy, thorny and rough vines and vegetation in the jungle and they will protect your hands.