Best Time to Visit Uganda for Gorilla Trekking
Uganda is an icon of the world’s foremost tourist attraction; the mountain gorillas, with a half of over 880 individuals in the world. The world’s impressive creatures are only inhabited in the jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, 550 km from the capital city Kampala and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Bwindi’s remarkable and unforgettable wildlife encounter for visitors is mountain gorilla trekking in the remote and exotic Bwindi Impenetrable forest, Kabale-south western Uganda. Currently, Uganda is a popular global travel destination throughout the year to any visitor who plans to choose a destination due to the ideal climatic conditions and the strategic location at the equator.
Mountain gorilla trekking is one of the experiential adventures Uganda offers to her world visitors. This adventure requires the clients to be physically fit as it involves hiking the terrains within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The Park has 4 major tracking trailheads and 12 habituated gorilla families. The gorilla trek starts by registration and briefing of the visitors at the 4 main tracking trailheads of Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo.
Note that, gorilla trekking in Uganda can be done any time of the year in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park where the rare Apes are inhabited, because of the suitable rainy seasons in the gorilla habitats. It is the right of a client to make a choice on the convenient time she or he wants to travel but the best time for most visitors to travel is around June-September and December, January and February.
There are 2 main wet seasons, the short wet season that begins around October-November and lastly the long wet season that begins around March to May. However, it is important to know that the weather changes do occur and predicting the best season or time for gorilla trekking sometimes becomes hard. Visitors need to know that rains can also be received during the dry season. But the most important to be aware is that, during the wet seasons, a lot of food is available for the mountain gorillas especially on the foothills of the park and gorilla trekking becomes easy because the Giant Apes remain feeding within the downslopes. Also the rains do not take long, an approximate of 1-2 hours then the sun comes out again and mountain gorilla trekking can still take place.
The average temperatures in Uganda range from 21.5 C to 71 F and sometimes they drop to 54 F in the night. The highest rainfall amount is between 1000-2000mm and mostly received in the tropical rainforests like the Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
Because June-September and December-February are the best months of the year for mountain gorilla trekking due to dropped rains drop and the destination is mostly dry, December is the peak season for any national park in Uganda and most busy month and the visitor needs to book for his or her accommodation as early as possible.
The seasonality of the mountain gorilla trekkers is brought about by the changes in the weather patterns in the visitor’s country of origin and the kind of jobs. During summer time in Europe, there are many travelers for gorilla trekking while during winter the number drops.
However, some visitors can take the advantage of the low season where prices for the gorilla permits drop from $600 to $450 and the accommodation facilities as well lower their charges because there are few visitors in the destination.
Though the wet season has always affected visitor’s journey, it does not mean that visitors don’t come because the season is comprised of both the wet and dry season. Mountain gorilla trekking like any other safari in Uganda goes well even during the wet season and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is always open for the visitors.
Because Uganda has a high terrain, and cool climatic conditions, visitors who plan to travel for gorilla trekking should be familiar with the ideal gorilla trekking conditions without necessarily being attracted by the low prices at a low season. Hence the best time for visitors to travel gorilla trekking is within the two dry seasons; June-September, December-January and February.
In conclusion, the mountain gorilla trekking adventure like any wildlife safari can be done by the visitors at any time of the year. However, hiking the terrain can be hard especially during rainy season that makes the terrain muddy. It is important to know best season to avoid disappointments during the trek.