Trekking with mountain gorillas in Africa is an activity which can be done all year round, but the best time to visit would be during the drier seasons other than the wet seasons.
Since watching gorilla involves hiking uphill through thick African rainforests, the best time to go is definitely the drier season. The dry season runs through December –February, June – September.
Why visit during the dry season
Enjoy cool dry weather. Its not a guarantee that there will not be rain since it’s a tropical climates, but in the dry season it rains and stops.
Best hiking conditions – roads and tacking trails are dry and less slippery and no mud hence a less strenuous trekking experience.
It should not be forgotten that the mountain gorillas reside within areas of high altitudes and tropical rain forest – Bwindi Impenetrable Natural Forest that can experience rains any time and this explains why boots, long trousers, raincoat and jackets together with an umbrella are always include in a gorilla tracking package. However mild the showers(usually in the months of March ,April and May for Uganda) may be, they always have an impact on the trekking activity since movements within the forest can become a bit tricky through the muddy and sogged ground as well as climbing over the slippery rocks within the volcanoes.
Rwanda, experiences her rainy seasons in the months of February, March, April and May, making the trekking activity a bit strenuous due to the wetness and muddy ground which stops some tourists from visiting the country around this time. Despite all this, in the rain seasons, there tends to be a lot of food at the lower slopes of the volcanoes together with lower temperatures which keeps the mountain gorillas with in the lower slopes of the park thus simplifying the trekking process as these creatures can be located just after a short period of time and with this possibility, many tourists still opt for mountain gorilla trekking even in the rainy seasons.
Even still, mountain gorilla trekking is affect by both the weather conditions within the visitor’s home country and also the country to be visited. This the case like in Europe ( when it’s summer time, many travellers flock the African countries for several tourist activities and visit less in the winter seasons back at home.
At times, weather changes alone cannot be used to explain the rate at which visitors can flock a country like Rwanda or Uganda for the mountain gorilla tracking adventure and other related tourist activities. The change in the prices of the gorilla trekking permits too can be used to understand the seasonality of trekkers / tourists in a given a country, like when the gorilla permits are issued out at 600USD in Uganda in the high seasons, the number of visitors is high but sill even when issued at a discount to 350 USD, the number of visitors is goes higher than before since there’s saving offered. All these determinants can be used when trying to understand the seasonality of visitors for mountain gorilla trekking in either Rwanda or Uganda.
With that said, mountain gorilla trekking in both Rwanda and Uganda can be enjoyed at any time of the year depending on one’s choice as to when to undertake it.