Best time to go Gorilla Trekking
The best time to go gorilla trekking depends on a few factors, including country, weather, availability of permits, and your personal preferences. Whilst gorilla trekking is possible year-round, seasonality plays a big part in when we’d recommend visiting.
If you’re looking for Central Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon or Central African Republic), it’s possible to have a great trip during the rainy season since the terrain is flat and rains normally occur in the afternoon and night. The air is often clearer and a great chance to see animals that you can only see during the rainy season such as Bongos or grey parrots. It’s really based on your personal preference and what you’re looking to experience.
For those looking for Rwanda and Uganda then you might want to look more closely at the dry/wet seasons:
The dry season is generally considered to be the best time to go gorilla trekking as the weather is more predictable and trekking conditions are more favourable. In both Rwanda and Uganda, the dry season occurs from June to September and December to February.
During this time the trails are less muddy and easier to navigate, making the trekking experience more comfortable for most. Some of our favourite times for gorilla trekking is the ‘edge of season’ in February or September when it is slightly less busy and you are on the fringe of ‘the rains’ which is great for photographers.
Wet season in both Uganda and Rwanda runs from March to May and October to November. Gorilla trekking during this time can be more challenging due to heavy rains, which make the trails slippery and muddy. It’s worth remembering that gorilla trekking permits may be more readily available during the wet season and some people prefer the reduced crowds and lush greenery.
What to wear on a gorilla trek
For a successful day of gorilla trekking, the choice of essentials depends on the time of year you plan to embark on this adventure. To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience, we recommend having the following items with you:
- Lightweight Clothing: Expect the trek to be hot and demanding, so opt for lightweight clothing to avoid discomfort and unnecessary sweating from thick materials.
- Rain Jacket: Although not guaranteed, there's a possibility of rain during the trek. Be prepared by carrying a good quality rain jacket to keep you dry and protected.
- Sturdy Walking Shoes: Negotiating muddy and uneven terrain requires reliable, water-resistant hiking boots. Ensure you have broken them in before setting off on your journey.
- Long-Sleeved Top and Trousers: Despite the heat, covering your skin with long-sleeved attire is vital to shield yourself from bug bites and scratches while trekking.
- Long, Thick Socks: Similar to the long-sleeved clothing, wearing long, thick socks prevent bugs from coming too close to your legs and feet, enhancing your comfort and safety.
By having these essential items in your possession, you'll be well-prepared for an unforgettable gorilla trekking experience. Remember to plan according to the time of year and follow the guidance of your knowledgeable guides to make the most of this remarkable adventure.