Best Time to Visit Rwanda

Rwanda is also known as the ‘Land of a thousand hills’. This small country is in East Africa around the Great Lakes Region. It is one great destinations for mountain gorilla trekking. If you are planning a safari to Rwanda, you may also not want to miss chimp tracking. One of the major question is when is the best time to visit Rwanda.

The best time to visit Rwanda is throughout the year. This is because Rwanda is a destination for all seasons. But, drier seasons of the year is best for spotting the mountain gorilla. The rainy seasons run from March to May and June to September are the optimum times for tracking chimpanzees. There is no major variation in temperatures throughout the seasons. This is because of Rwanda’ location. The country is just south of the Equator.

Best Time to Visit Kigali Rwanda

One will want to know the best time to visit Kigali if planning your vacation in Rwanda. Kigali is the capital city and is in the heart of Rwanda. This city enjoys a temperate climate with a good amount of rainfall. This is because of Kigali’s high elevation. It is important to note that temperatures may vary slightly from one season to another.

Temperatures in Kigali, Rwanda

The temperatures in Kigali range from daytime highs between 25C and 27C (77F to 81F), and evening lows of 14C to 16C (57F to 61F). April through June are the coolest months, while visitors who opt to travel between June, July, August and September are likely to experience warmer, drier weather in Kigali thus the best time to visit the city.

Like the rest of the cities in East Africa, Kigali also has two wet seasons: the long rains and short rains. The long rains extend from March through May, with some showers possible even in January and February. The months of October to November experience the short rains, with December generally having a bit of rain as well.

It does not rain continuously throughout the day during the wet seasons, and there are times in Kigali when the sun is out. The hilly areas of Kigali and the countryside have a cooler climate with slight variations compared to the flatter lower altitude regions. It’s important to keep in mind that the global climate has been affected by global warming, and Africa has been experiencing uneven weather patterns as a result. Accordingly, Rwanda has had its fair share of unexpected weather changes.

What to Do in Kigali Rwanda
The capital city of Kigali is a lively hub that serves as an excellent starting point for excursions in Rwanda. If you are here for corporate purposes, meetings, or on holiday, you will find that urban activities are not hampered in any way by the weather. While the dry season might attract more pleasure-seeking visitors, businesspersons are likely to spend time here all year round.

Best Time to Go to Rwanda by Activity

A Rwanda safari tour is a pleasurable experience if you choose the right months of travel in Rwanda. Even so, it’s helpful to plan your African trip to Rwanda by taking into account the specific activities you intend to undertake. Gorilla trekking excursions to the Volcanoes National Park are best undertaken between June and September. This is because it is the long dry season in Rwanda.

You may also consider visiting in the short dry season. This is from mid-December to mid-February. While some rain is to be expected during this time, Rwanda gorilla trekking through the forests is easier. You will also have fewer mosquitos and other insects to deal with.

Other than the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda has a variety of other parks and reserves dedicated to the conservation of wildlife. The best times to visit them are, again, during the dry seasons. However, the landscape takes on a gorgeous lushness in the wet season that is simply stunning to view and experience.

Best Time of Year to Visit Rwanda by Month

Rwanda is one of the lushest and most spectacular countries on earth. However, this small East African country can be pretty tricky when it comes to weather. Rainy season and dry season often intermingle. Therefore, the best strategy is to generally be prepared for all kinds of weather. Read on to hear all about what Rwanda has to offer in the different months and find out the best time to time to visit Rwanda, ‘the land of a thousand hills’.gn up

January

January is one of the best month to go to Rwanda on safari. It is important to note that January 1 and 2 are public holidays in Rwanda. As a result, the main cities of the country are generally pretty quiet. January is part of Rwanda’s short dry season. It is an extension of December, January, and February dry season. This makes January an excellent time for a safari tour in Rwanda. You can also try out kayaking on Lake Kivu, biking the Congo Nile Trail, and hiking. Any of the adventures in Volcanoes National Park are all great activities this time of year. The average temperature during the month is 69°F (21°C)

February

The whole of Rwanda gather together to celebrate National Heroes Day on February 1. Most stores will be closed, and a lot of tourism operations will cease as well. National Heroes Day celebrates and remembers the lives of the victims of the Rwandan genocide. Also, the Rwandese celebrate those that fought against the genocidal mandate in 1994. The weather during this month is fairly moderate, although layers are recommended especially for tourists venturing into the North and Northwest of the country. This is a great time to visit Rwanda’s national parks and Lake Kivu. The temperatures will be 69°F (21°C)

March

This is the beginning of Rwanda’s longest rainy season. It lasts from March to May generally and starts to get pretty heavy around mid-March. Plenty of rain gear is recommended, as well as general layers to take on and off throughout the day. The rains towards the end of the month can last for several hours. However, rainfall at the beginning can occur, while daily, for just a short amount of time. Plenty of possible activities would include safari to Akagera National Park and city tours around Kigali. However, make sure to have a little flexibility when it comes to possible rain delays. The Mashariki African Film Festival also often occurs at the end of March. This festival showcases some of the continent’s most impressive cinematography. Temperatures are fairly stable at 69°F (21°C) with 13 days of rain.

April

This is one of Rwanda’s rainiest and most harrowing months. The country commemorates the Genocide Against the Tutsi in 1994 on April 7. The entire country shuts down that day, and often a few days after or before April 7. Businesses are closed, stores are shut down, and few restaurants (other than those inside hotels) stay open. Although stores and businesses reopen after a week, loud parties and music are often discouraged for several weeks. By the end of the month, however, the country is up and running again. Due to the heavy rains, tourism at the end of the month can often be low cost, making the end of April a great time to save some money. You also expect fewer crowds and check out the country’s impressive national parks and attractions. You will have up to 17 days of rain with temperatures at 68°F (20°C)

May

The first of this month is Labor Day, a holiday officially celebrated in Rwanda with the closure of many businesses and stores. The long rains continue throughout the month of May in Rwanda. Hiking can sometimes be difficult due to the soft ground after the many weeks of heavy rainfall. However, alternative activities around the country like visiting Lake Kivu and the scenic twin lakes outside of Musanze. You may also enjoy game drives in Akagera National Park. You should prepare for some serious rain though, and pack accordingly. You will be looking at 14 days of rainfall and temperatures at 68°F (20°C)

June

This marks the end of rainy season. June is the beginning of one of the best months to travel to Rwanda. The very best of rainy season and dry season intermingles during this month. You will experience light showers infrequently and the country still looks incredibly green and lush from all the rainfall in March, April, and May. For avid hikers, the ground finally hardens up enough to make trekking through Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe Forest a little bit easier and encourages the endangered mountain gorillas in the park to come out of hiding. To celebrate the beginning of summer and dry season, bars, restaurants, and events frequently occur all over Kigali. Temperatures are still at 68°F (20°C) with about 3 days of rainfall.

July

The dry season continues and there is a lot of reason to celebrate. July 1 and July 4 are national holidays that celebrate Independence Day and Liberation Day respectively. Massive parties, concerts including the annual Kigali Up music festival happen in July. Many people including locals and tourists alike travel around the country to take advantage of the days off. It is also peak season for tourism in Rwanda and prices are a little higher than normal. Reservations in most restaurants and hotels need to be made in advance. This is also when it gets hot and it can be really hot. Bring layers for some cool evenings, and some light clothing for those sweltering summer days. Make sure to check off those activities that require dry weather. This includes traversing the Congo Nile Trail and doing a bit of hiking in Nyungwe National Park are all great options for July. You are looking at a day of rainfall with average temperatures at 68°F (20°C)

August

This is another dry month at the peak of high season. Laze away those summer days on the shores of Lake Kivu and the twin lakes, beating the heat with some cool dips into the calm water. Though sometimes overcast, the hot temperatures and dry climate make this month a really easy one to travel around Rwanda. Buses leave on time, raincoats are rarely needed, and animals in Akagera National Park gather around the remaining water sources, making August an excellent time to try your hand at lion and rhino spotting. The annual Umuganura festival, Rwanda’s harvest festival, also takes place in late August. You will be looking at 4 days of rainfall in August with the temperatures going up to 71°F (22°C)

September

September is a great month for a safari in Rwanda. This is especially true for those that want some good weather at slightly better deals in Rwanda. The beginning of the month is generally quite dry, though rainy season begins again the last few days of September. This is an excellent time of year for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, chimpanzee trekking and bird watching in Nyungwe National Park, and general safari tour to Akagera National Park.

Kwita Izina, Rwanda’s baby gorilla naming ceremony, occurs in early September. This means the whole country will be flooded with adorable photographs of baby gorillas and high-profile celebrities eager to support Rwanda’s animal conservation work. Tourists are able to attend the ceremony, though tickets and accommodation arrangements ought to be made far in advance. There are about 9 days of rain and the temperatures are at 70°F (21°C)

October

The months of October and November make up the short rainy season in Rwanda. It can get pretty cool during the month of October at night, so rain gear, hats, and some light jackets are definitely advisable. The Rwanda Film Festival also occurs towards the end of October in Kigali, and the public film viewings showcase Rwanda’s bourgeoning creative sector and talents. Take advantage of the lower prices this month for accommodation, traveling around the country as well as getting to know the vibrant city of Kigali. Rainfall average 14 days with temperatures at 70°F (21°C)

November

Another rainy month, November is still a great one in Rwanda for Rwanda safari. You need to check out Rwanda’s impressive museums. They include the Ethnographic Museum, the Genocide Memorial, and the King’s Palace Museum. You can also get some outdoor activities in towards the end of the month. Layers here are key, however, some days can be sweltering hot and sunny, whereas others are quite wet and cold. It is low season in November however, before the busy tourist rush of December, makes exploring the country all the cheaper, easier, and calmer. Rains can be up to 15 days with average temperatures at 69°F (21°C)

December

December is a really fun time to be in Rwanda. Businesses around the country celebrate the Christmas and New Years vacation with a lot of raucous parties and events, and the weather is perfect for pretty much every activity the country has to offer. Make sure to book activities and accommodation in advance, as tourists around the world use their vacation time to visit Rwanda as well. Rwanda Gorilla trekking, lake visits, forest hikes in Nyungwe National Park, coffee plantation tours, and safari drives are all excellent activities for December. The weather is also not so hote as we are looking at 12 days of rainfall and temperatures at 69°F (21°C)

Now that you have the information about the best time to travel to Rwanda, why not take time to look at what to do and book your African safari to Rwanda appropriately.