With about 1000+ mountain gorillas remaining in the world, gorilla trekking is the most thought after activity for every tourist who plans or is visiting Uganda the pearl of Africa. This Makes mountain gorillas rank number one as the best tourist attraction in the country. Since gorilla tracking is the top leading attraction of the country, many tourists have a question of what is the best time to go gorilla trekking. Below is the best time to visit the country for gorilla trekking.
There is no specific time to trek mountain gorillas since it is an all-year-round adventure experience. However, the dry season is considered the best time to trek mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two dry seasons are experienced in Uganda-short and long. The short dry spell occurs in the months of December, February, and the longest starts in June, July, August, September.
Gorilla treks in Uganda are done only in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park and given the kind of habitat where these creatures live, the mean temperatures experienced range from 21.5-27 which is maximum and minimum temperatures rise from 7 to 20 degrees Celsius. Looking at rainfall amount received, over 2390 mm of rainfall is received every year, and the fact that it lies near equator and considering the kind of habitat, you have to expect it to rain at any time. Mgahinga National Park stands between altitude 2227 and 4127 meters and comes with cool equatorial kind of climate thus offering very pleasant and ideal weather conditions.
The advantage with the dry season is that it comes with minimal rainfall amount and the ground remains relatively drier making it easier to hike through the dense vegetation and steep slopes while you are in search of mountain gorillas. December is always the busiest month of the year not only in Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park but across all the ten national parks in Uganda. You are therefore advised to reserve your gorilla permits as early as possible.
It is also possible to trek mountain gorillas during the rainy/wet or low season. It starts in March, April, May, and October, November. The advantage of this wet season is that most gorilla safari lodges reduce the cost of accommodation so as to attract more visitors. Besides, there is plenty of forage for gorillas to feed on and most of these massive creatures keep around making it easier to find them. Also, it can rain, and later the sun comes out, and still you continue with your adventure.
Given the nature of gorilla habitat, whether you plan to trek mountain gorillas during the dry season or wet season, every trekker needs to pack appropriately starting with essentials items like waterproof hiking boots, water, energy-giving snacks, long-sleeved shirts or t-shirts, a camera with no flashlight, hat, rain jacket or poncho, sunscreen, waterproof daypack, trousers, insect repellent, a walking stick that you can find at the park headquarters or at a lodge.
In summary, when planning for a gorilla trek, it is important that you identify the best season with the easiest trekking conditions regardless of the low rates during the low season.