February is an excellent month to visit Uganda because it’s one of the moderately dry periods that won’t have your itinerary interrupted by downpours. And the vegetation during this time is the greenest, great for photography. Besides that, you must consider why you’re visiting the “Pearl of Africa” and what you want to see and experience on holiday in Uganda.
Like other Eastern African destinations, Uganda has two weather seasons (dry and rainy) that are a primary determinant of traveling around Uganda on a safari vacation. The two seasons are spread throughout the year and sometimes not easily separated, especially for regions close to the equator.
March to May
Traveling between March to May (the first rainy season) means searching for wildlife will be somewhat challenging. The savanna plains have dense vegetation and tall grass, making it much easier for the savanna animals to hide from sight. But the landscapes will show off a picturesque emerald green cover great for photography.
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 stay in the vehicle or carry your raincoat to ready yourself for occasional drenching downpours.
April to September
From April to September, the Great Migration northwards happens, when tens of thousands of wildebeest crash across East Africa, from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara, searching for food and water.
East Africa’s massive attraction sees travelers overflowing into Uganda’s rainforest jungle to catch sight of the endangered mountain gorillas.
June to August and December to February
June to August and December to February are generally dry and cooler — considered the year’s busiest time (peak season). That is the best time for gorilla trekking.
In the savanna parks, vegetation is less, and animals gather around watering holes, making wildlife easier to spot. The skies are clear; there are less rain and more sunshine. Fortunately, national parks in Uganda don’t get crowded like in neighboring Kenya and Tanzania.
By January, the rains have drastically reduced to almost none. The region enters its first yearly dry spell until early March, clearing February for a fantastic holiday experience in Uganda.
7 reasons why February is the best time to visit and travel around Uganda
1. It’s the driest time of the year
So it’s one of the best times of the year for seeing wildlife. The undergrowth is sparser, making it more difficult for the animals to camouflage and travel long distances for water.
On a game drive across the savanna, you’ll encounter large herds of giraffes, elephants, and gazelles on parade. At the same time, a forest jungle hike makes for an unforgettable encounter with rare primates like mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and many forest dwellers.
2. The best time to track gorillas and chimpanzees
Uganda’s most precious jewel is the more than 500 mountain gorillas in its tropical rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks.
Visiting these sanctuaries during the rainy seasons can leave a somewhat wrong impression of the country, for the roads are impassable, and the drenching rains are annoying.
Visiting in February, however, will make you fall in love with the country’s rural attractions. During February, the forest floors are dry, with little or no rain, and the trails are passable. You’ll find your rural or forest walking experience an unforgettable memory.
3. It’s shoulder season
After the excitement of the December & January holidays, fewer people are traveling, flights are cheaper, and accommodation prices have come down. It’s a much nicer traveling 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 degrees Celsius mark, the weather’s perfect for enjoying hotel and safari camp swimming pools.
Walking in the jungle on a steamy hot day gives the right temperatures under the shadows of massively huge old trees—a great time for a trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Oh, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, coming back home to winter with a tan isn’t such a bad idea, either.
5. The pleasant evenings
Order a Tusker or Nile Special beer and a ‘relax’ (a pan-fried egg and wheat dish) and settle for an evening of travel stories with your fellow adventurers.
6. It’s an excellent time for bird watching
It’s always a good time of year for bird-watching in Uganda. Notably, from September to April, migratory birds from North Africa and Europe travel 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 lathe, 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 in 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.
Doing 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.