Anytime of the year is an awesome time to visit Uganda. You just have to put into perspective why you’re visiting the “Pearl of Africa”, what you want to see and experience on Africa safari in Uganda.
Uganda like other Eatern Africa destinations, has two weather seasons (dry season and rainy season) that are the main determinant of when you can visit. The two seasons are spread throughout the year and sometimes not easily separated especially for regions close to the equator.
Travelling between March to May (the first rainy season of the year) means you’ll have to look a bit harder for wildlife; the African savanna plains are dense, making it much easier for the savanna animals to hide from sight – but the landscapes will show off a picturesque emerald green cover.
If you’re not much for the game and into landscape beauty, this is the most beautiful time to visit Uganda. You may have to carry your raincoat or stay in the vehicle to ready yourself for a few showers each day (and the occasional drenching downpour).
April to September is when the Great Migration northwards happens, when tens of thousands of wildebeest crash their way across East Africa, from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara, in search of food and water.
This is East Africa’s massive attraction that sees travellers overflowing into Uganda’s rainforest jungle to catch sight of the endangered mountain gorillas.
June to August and December to February is generally dry and cooler — considered the business time of the year (peak season). This is the best time for gorilla trekking and in the savanna parks, vegetation is less, animals gather around watering holes, making wildlife easier to spot. Parks in Uganda don’t feel crowded like the neighboring Kenya and Tanzania. The skies are clear; there is less rain and more sunshine
By January, the rains have drastically reduced to almost none and the region enters its first yearly dry spell until early March, clearing February for an awesome experience in Uganda.
7 reasons why you should visit Uganda in February;
1. It’s the driest time of the year
So it’s one of the best times of year for seeing wildlife. The undergrowth is sparser, making it more difficult for the animals to camouflage themselves, and they have further to travel for water. On a safari across the savanna, you’ll be rewarded with giraffes, elephants and gazelles on parade, while an African jungle hike makes for an unforgettable mountain gorilla trekking experience.
2. The best time to track gorillas and chimpanzee
Uganda’s most precious jewel are the more than 500 mountain gorillas that inhabit it’s tropical rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks.
Visiting these sanctuaries in the rainy seasons can leave a rather bad impression of the country for the roads are impassable and the drenching rains are annoying.
Visiting in February when the forest floors are dry, little or no rain and the trails are passable will deliver the right dose of experience on your visit to Uganda. You’ll find your hike and tracking experience an unforgettable memory to cherish forever.
3. It’s shoulder season
After the excitement of December & January holidays, less people are travelling, flights are cheaper, and accommodation prices have come down. It’s much nicer travelling business, staying in premium safari camps and riding the savanna plains with little or no crowds.
4. The temperatures are a little higher during the day
With temperatures around the 30 degree Celsius mark, the weather’s perfect for making the most of hotel and safari camp swimming pools. Walking the rainforest jungle floor on a steamy hot day gives the right temperatures under the shadows of massively huge old trees. Great time for a Hike in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Oh, and if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, coming back to winter with a tan isn’t bad either.
5. The pleasant evenings
Uganda’s cities have an awesome outdoorsy nightlife especialy the big ones Jinja, Kampala and Mbarara; think rooftop bars, beer gardens and outdoor restaurants. Order a Tusker or Nile Special beer and a ‘relex’ (a pan fried egg and wheat dish) and settle in for an evening of travel stories with your fellow adventurers.
6. It’s a great time for bird watching
It’s ALWAYS a good time of year for bird watching in East Africa, but from September to April migratory birds from North Africa and Europe make their way south to nest, and take advantage of the warm (and dry) weather. Along with seeing spectacular local birds like Black-headed lapwing, Orange weaver, Red-throated alethe and the famous rare and near-endemic Shoebill.
7. Into hiking? Climb Mt Stanley (minus the crowds)
At an elevation of 5,109 m (16,763 ft), it is the highest mountain of both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, and the third highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) and Mount Kenya (5,199 m).
The peak and several other surrounding peaks are high enough to support glaciers. Mount Stanley is part of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO world Heritage Site and it’s a popular trek for avid hikers.
Making the climb in February means the slopes are dry, and it’s much less busy than the peak June to October season. It’s also cooler than during the summer months; you’re more likely to encounter snow the higher you get.