Planning for a safari will require you to know what time would best suit you. If you don’t mind the rain, then visiting Uganda at any time of the year is ideal. You may choose to travel when the climate is dry or when the price is low or when there are few visitors in the park. All parks are open all year long.
The warm and tropical climate makes Uganda an ideal destination that can be visited any time of the year! The Average temperatures are 21.5°C and when they drop, it’s usually to a minimum of 12°C. The Lake Victoria also contributes to the unique weather patterns to the climate.
In the rainy season (long rainy season) March to May and (short rainy season) October and November, there is plenty of wildlife to be seen because there is abundant of food. Migratory birds can be spotted. However, roads may become inaccessible after heavy rains and forest trails get slippery. Afternoon thunderstorms should be expected, and it might drizzle. The wet season does not necessarily mean there are heavy downpours throughout the day. Rain can be experienced at night and maybe a few hours of a downpour during the day. One can still enjoy a holiday this season.
The best months are June, July and August, December, January and Feb for game viewing, bird watching in most of the parks. The trails are dry and not slippery thus trekking can be easy. Wildlife is easier to spot as animals gather around water points and there is also little undergrowth for the animals to hide. You will also have enough time for bird-watching. However, some would say the most ideal time is between late May to September, when there’s less rain and the food is abundant. From November to April, migratory birds can be found in the parks. Birding is best done early in the morning and it’s easy to spot many bird species at that time. The Shoebill is best sighted in the dry season from January-March.
In the peak season which is between June to September the prices and cost of safari are usually higher and most tourists prefer this time because it is cooler and the rain isn’t bothersome. The parks tend to be crowded. December also tends to be overcrowded with residents booking for holidays especially during the Christmas season. Booking in advance will save you any disappointments. The upside of trekking gorillas during this period is that the gorillas are not so far and trekking them will be in a short period since they are easily found in the lower slopes since food is abundant for them.
The low season being April and May are usually discounted by Uganda Wildlife Authority and many tour operators, giving a discount of $ 150 less for a Uganda safari gorilla permit. You will, in the long run, see considerable saving when travelling in a group. There are fewer people in the parks.
Dress in loose clothing throughout the day but bear in mind you may need warm clothing for the chilly evenings. Long sleeves and trousers will shield you from red soil dust, colder evenings, mosquito and other insect bites. Don’t forget to use sunscreen and insect repellant to protect your skin. Raincoat and sturdy boots are essential in case it rains and trekking.
It is expected for birders to carry a birder’s guidebook, a pointer, a pair of binoculars, Sunglasses, hats, sturdy hiking shoes, and enough water.
In summary, the pros and cons analysis for each travel month in most Uganda National Parks can be highlighted below:
|SEASON||MONTH||PROS OR CONS|
|Dry season||January||Best Time, Trails dry, best wildlife viewing, migratory birds|
|Dry season||February||Best Time, Trails dry, best wildlife viewing, migratory birds|
|Wet season||March||Low season, not crowded, migratory birds|
|Wet season||April||Low season, not crowded, migratory birds|
|Wet season||May||Low season|
|Dry season||June||High Season, Best Time|
|Dry season||July||High Season, Best Time|
|Dry season||August||High Season, Best Time|
|Dry/ Wet season||September||High Season, lesser rainfall|
|Wet season||October||Low season, lesser rainfall|
|Wet season||November||Low season, lesser rainfall not crowded, migratory birds|
|Dry season||December||Best Time, Trails dry, best wildlife viewing, migratory birds|
However, at the north in Kidepo Valley National Park which is in an altitude: 999- 2,349m. The area is semi-arid. Temperatures can reach as high as 40°C/104°F, but average around 29°C/84°F in the afternoon and 17°C/63°F at night. There is one wet season April to August which differs from most of the country which experiences two.
With this information, you can consciously decide which time best suits you depending on your budget, your climate likes and activities you plan to enjoy.