THE BEST TIME TO TREK MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
Every client wants to get the best out of the fee paid for gorilla safaris in either Rwanda or Uganda. The first question that arises is-When is the best time to trek Mountain Gorillas? While mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda can be trekked throughout the whole year, drier months of June, July, August, and early September then December up to February are the most preferred. There is no guarantee that it won’t rain as Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a tropical rain forest and its climate is influenced by micro conditions of the area. During high season gorilla permits to visit gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Bwindi National Park is at USD1500.00 and USD700.00 per person respectively.
The wet seasons, Bwindi experiences the wet seasons which are mild and wet in the months of November, September, march and May.
During these seasons it rains very heavy and also drizzles for the entire day. Although the wet seasons are divided into two the short rains and the long rains of March to May being short and September to November being long.
Gorilla trekking can be done all year round in Bwindi, but during the low seasons of rain it becomes challenging because the trails are slippery and hard to hike.
The park is also close to the equator making the rain to come unexpectant. It gets cold especially during the night and mornings.
There is a report that describes the weather patterns of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park using data collected at ITFC from Ruhija. Two climatic parameters were used to describe the weather patterns at Ruhija and these are rainfall and temperature. The two have been chosen because they have profound influence on the distribution of plants and animals and can easily be interpreted.
There are two rainfall peaks (March-May and September-November) and two dry season troughs (December-January and June July). The two main wet and dry seasons at Ruhija have been constant over years (at least from 1963-1999). During the 1987-1999 study period, the wettest year was 1988 and 1999 was the driest. The study shows that there has been a temperature increase since 1983. This was based from the data collected since 1987 to-date and compared with the available climate data from Butynski (1984) and the meteorological data of Kabale since 1918.
According to the study, Ruhija has a mean daily maximum of 190C and a mean daily minimum of 140C. Mean annual temperature is 16.30C. These contrasts with the 1963-1987 data for which the mean daily maximum was 200C and mean daily minimum 70C, and a mean annual temperature of 130C.
This study further shows that June and July are the coldest months while September and March are warmest. The two coldest and warmest periods correspond to the two dry season troughs and rainy season peaks respectively.