Rwanda Gorilla

When is the Best Time to Visit Rwanda?

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Written by
Jamey Lowis

Published on: August 15th, 2017

Last modified: June 12th, 2024

Stable weather makes June to September the best time to visit Rwanda. During these drier months, fewer rain showers make conditions perfect for seeing the gorillas. If you want to explore the great outdoors we recommend avoiding the long rainy season of March to May.

One of Rwanda's main draws is the opportunity to go gorilla trekking but there are also other reasons to head to this lush central African country. There are three national parks to explore and a large wildlife population, as well as burgeoning tea and coffee industries.

Gorilla Trekking
Tea plantations
February - May
National Parks
June - September
Gorilla Rwanda

When is the Best Time to Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?

For many travellers, the main reason for visiting Rwanda is, understandably, the chance to see gorillas. And while it is possible to go gorilla trekking throughout the year, the best possible times are during the dry patch from mid-December to the beginning of February, and over the longer dry season from June to September. Drier weather means a lower risk of contracting malaria, as well as easier hiking through the forest terrain, which can be muddy and treacherous in wet weather. Because Rwanda is so close to the equator, it is wise to pack waterproof gear even during the dry months, as the weather can be unpredictable.

Gorilla Rwanda

Gorillas aren’t the only attraction: you can also go chimpanzee trekking. The best time for that, if you’re visiting Nyungwe National Park, is during the rainier parts of the year – the middle of February to the beginning of June, and the middle of September to the middle of December. During these periods, it’s easier for guides to find the animals. In the drier seasons, the chimpanzees tend to venture further into the denser parts of the forests to find food, and so it’s not as easy to locate them.

Rwandan jungle

Best Time to...


Enjoy a Cuppa

The moderate climate and rich volcanic soil are responsible for tea being Rwanda’s main export. Hills and mountain sides are blanketed in tea plantations, and some of the producers around Nyungwe offer tours. Learn about how tea is grown, harvested and eventually makes its way to your cup. If tea isn’t your thing, these are also a large number of coffee plantations, with Rwanda’s beans being exported far and wide. As harvest time approaches the coffee cherries turn a dark red, transforming the emerald green fields, between February and May. Some producers are beginning to welcome visitors and offer tours, but it’s not as wide-spread as the tea industry.


Visit the National Parks

Besides its wildly popular primates, Rwanda also has a wide variety of other animals across its three national parks. The dry season is ideal for the best viewing opportunities. In addition to spotting gorillas at Volcanoes, and chimpanzees and monkeys at Nyungwe Forest, look out for giraffes, elephants and other animals at Akagera. Although the horrific genocide that swept the country in 1994 resulted in the decimation of the lion population, several lions were donated to Akagera in 2015. Bird watchers can look out for close to 700 species of bird spread across various regions. Nyungwe Forest alone has around 280 species.

Whatever you want from your trip to Rwanda, our team of expert travel designers are ready to help.