What is the best time to visit Uganda for a Safari? If you are planning a safari to this amazing country then you ought to land on it at the right / best time of the year. But where is Uganda? Uganda is landlocked in the East African region in the middle of Kenya (Right), Republic of South Sudan (North), Democratic Republic of Congo (Left) and Rwanda – Tanzania (South).
So when is that best time of the year? We assume you want to make the most of your safari and probably assume you also want to view wildlife / mountain gorillas implicating you have to find these animals in larger numbers which can only happen during the dry months of the year. The best time to travel to Uganda is during the months of June – August and December to February (the driest months of the year). During these months, wildlife are available in plenty unlike in wet months where they tend to take shelter from the rain which might cause you to see them in less numbers especially for mountain gorillas. The scenery of the Savannah is much greener during wet months too which might prevent you from getting exceptional views from the respective national parks especially Kidepo valley National Park and Murchison Falls National Park.
About the climate, what you should know is Uganda’s rain comes twice in a year; In other words, Uganda has only two rainy seasons. The months of March to May are usually accompanied by extremely heavy rainfall, which leaves the weather unpredictable unlike the months of October and November that have little rainfall. To contradict this, i believe Uganda is an all year travel destination because of it’s location on the equator. The temperatures range between 23 – 29 degrees Celsius implicating you can still enjoy your safari during the rainy months. The only obstacle you might face is your safari vehicle getting stuck on the muddy roads of the national parks unless you are travelling in a 4×4 tour vehicle (reason why they recommend it).
The industry usually makes the most money during the drier months of the year because of the massive number of tourists that make their destinations to the country. This might be good for a traveler but disadvantageous too. Traveling in December might be the best time for safari in Uganda but this is the busiest months of the year and lodges are usually booked in advance. In fact, if you are searching for the best time to visit gorillas in Uganda then we suggest you either book your safari (plus permits) in no less than 6 months in advance to secure a good slot for December because tourists compete for good accommodation facilities several months in advance besides purchasing permits for the most visited gorilla families.
The low season months can also be the best time to go to Uganda especially for gorilla trekking because permits are sliced down to $450 by Uganda Wildlife Authority. Some tour operators go ahead and give discounts on permits during the low season implicating you can even get a permit for $300 – $350 which is quite a good deal. Another advantage of travelling during the low season is the fact that Safari lodges lower their rates to an extent that you can end up getting a luxury accommodation facility for a mid-range package. For a typical budget traveler, this can be the best time to visit Uganda gorillas if you have always had a plan of seeing gorillas in Uganda but rather had less finances for a comfortable safari.
I believe the best time to visit Uganda for a safari or holiday is the time you are comfortable with. Despite rain soaking up the soil during wet months, the sun can still shine, dry up the soil and life goes on. If you traveled during the dry months previously, this time try and alternate by booking a trip in the wet months to enjoy a slight alternate adventure in Uganda. Like said previously, Uganda is an all year round destination.