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Best Time to Visit Rwanda

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Female mountain gorilla with baby in Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

As Rwanda lies on the equator and offers a moderate year-round climate, the best time to visit the country is from June to September, but can greatly depend on the purpose of your visit.

Whether you are adding a gorilla-trekking experience to an east African safari, solely embarking on a gorilla excursion, eager for a visit to see the golden monkeys, or taking a break from your journey in the exceptional mountainous terrain, Rwanda’s diverse landscape and friendly people offer guests a truly warm welcome.

Enjoy the rich history and culture, explore the beauty of parks and forests, experience the distinctive grandeur between city highlights and unforgettable wildlife encounters as you uncover the best time to visit Rwanda.

Overview

  1. Best Time for Gorilla Trekking
  2. Best Time for an East African Safari Addition
  3. Best Time for National Parks
  4. Best Time to Avoid the Crowds
  5. Best Time to Discover Rwanda’s History and Culture
  6. Best Time for Spring and Summer Activities
  7. Best Time for Fall and Winter Activities
  8. More Travel Information & Tips

Best Time for Gorilla Trekking

Family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda

Family of mountain gorillas in Rwanda

Best Months: May | June | July | August | September or December to March

One of the key focuses on any visit to Rwanda is to engage with gorillas and the best time to visit for gorilla trekking is in the drier months of May to September. This is peak season in Rwanda and ensuring gorilla permits are obtained several months before your trek is key.

To optimize the milder climate and avoid heavy crowds, consider planning your visit for the end of May, June, early September or any time between December and March. Your treks will start early and the clearer, longer days make the hilly trails pleasant.

Best Time for an East African Safari Addition

Great migration wildebeest river crossing in East Africa

Great migration in East Africa

Best Months: June | July | August | September | October

As many safaris in Kenya and Tanzania take place in the milder and drier months of May through to September, if you are considering adding a gorilla trek to your journey, June through October is the best time to consider visiting.

The Great Migration is a much-sought-after highlight of an East African safari and takes place between July and October, which provides a perfect entryway to another dream-like opportunity of witnessing gorillas in their natural habitat and discovering the charms of the capital city of Kigali.

Best Time for National Parks

Greater blue-eared starling in Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Best Months: June | July | August | September

While gorilla trekking is the most popular reason for visiting Rwanda, this beautiful country offers adventures in national parks and nature reserves, forests, grasslands, and dramatic sloping hills, and the best time to visit these parks is from June through September.

Discover canopy walks and chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park or bird watching in picturesque Akagera National Park. Focusing these adventures in the milder winter months of June, July, and August provide the best opportunity to enjoy the wilderness and wildlife, the drier weather allowing for excellent animal sightings and the temperate climate encouraging walks or hikes.

Best Time to Avoid the Crowds

Chimpanzee in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

Best Months: December | January | February | March | June | September

The best time to visit Rwanda to avoid the crowds is from December through March, and again from May to June and in September.

Travelling off-season offers visitors the chance to explore and experience without the massive crowds. Establishments are quieter and spending time in the cities or out in the parks and forests feels more relaxed.

The beginning of the year offers a few dry months, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy gorilla treks and golden monkey discoveries, and being perfect for those wishing to do some chimpanzee trekking. Consider the milder period between late May and early June, as well as the beginning of September, just before and after peak season.

Best Time to Discover Rwanda’s History and Culture

Kigali, Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda

Best Months: May | June | July | August | September

The best time to discover Rwanda’s history and culture is from May through September. While you can certainly visit Rwanda’s cities throughout the year, considering combining your urban stay with a gorilla or chimpanzee trek is a good idea.

Discover Kigali on foot or visit communities in Ruhengeri, before setting foot in Volcanoes National Park, making the most of the milder and less crowded time of late May and early June, when the temperatures are just right.

No matter when you choose to learn about Rwanda’s past and culture, your experience will be extraordinary, as you immerse yourself in the cities, towns, and villages throughout the country, with each new destination revealing a new truth about the country Rwanda.

Best Time for Spring and Summer Activities

Traveler observing gorillas while gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Best Months: October | November | December | January | February

The best time to visit Rwanda for spring and summer activities is from October through February.

The rains arrive in Rwanda from the end of October, with a short break between December and March, and with this comes a lush landscape and perfect weather for trekking.

Bird viewing in the Akagera National Park is wonderful at this time of year and late December through January offers a great opportunity to embark on gorilla and chimpanzee trekking. Take a rain jacket in case and step out into mother nature’s wonderland as new life blossoms.

Highlights: Bird Watching in Akagera National Park | Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park | Chimpanzee Trekking in Nyungwe Forest

Best Time for Fall and Winter Activities

Golden monkey in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda

Golden monkey in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda

Best Months: June | July | August | September

The best time to visit Rwanda for fall and winter activities is during the dry season, particularly from June to September.

Late fall and winter are popular seasons for stepping out into national parks, onto walking trails or exploring tree-top canopies in the forest, not forgetting embarking on ever-inspiring gorilla trekking.

The dry season makes it perfect for safaris and the cooler days make for comfortable trekking. Enjoy a walking tour of Kigali and spend time relaxing on your accommodation grounds within the crisp, mild climate that makes it an ideal place in which to unwind after a busy day exploring.

Highlights: Visit the Genocide Museum in Kigali | Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park | Golden Monkey Trails in Virunga Mountains

More Travel Information & Tips

Mist in the rainforest or Nyungwe

Rainforest of Nyungwe, Rwanda

Rwanda is a beautiful country that offers visitors a breathtaking landscape intertwined with a rich culture and unique, once-in-a-lifetime encounters. Spend time in Rwanda learning about the history of the nation and embark on gorilla treks, walking trails and captivating mountains.

To find out more about your Rwanda itinerary options, take a look at our Rwanda Tours. When you are ready, fill out a Trip Request to speak with a Zicasso Travel Specialist or call our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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