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Mountain gorilla in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

When is the best time to visit Rwanda?

Rwanda is a destination for all seasons, but the drier period from June to September is best for spotting the country's undoubted highlight, the mountain gorilla.

The rainy seasons from March to May and June to September are the optimum times for tracking chimpanzees.

Temperatures hardly vary throughout the seasons due to Rwanda's position just south of the Equator, with warm days and nights that can be cool, especially at altitude.

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Rwanda Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Kigali 27°C 81mm 27°C 90mm 27°C 104mm 26°C 162mm 26°C 106mm 26°C 22mm 27°C 8mm 28°C 28mm 28°C 70mm 27°C 102mm 26°C 117mm 26°C 85mm
Lake Kivu 26°C 96mm 26°C 84mm 26°C 113mm 26°C 123mm 26°C 110mm 26°C 53mm 26°C 28mm 26°C 70mm 26°C 117mm 26°C 141mm 26°C 136mm 26°C 118mm
Nyungwe Forest 20°C 167mm 20°C 175mm 20°C 199mm 19°C 255mm 19°C 169mm 19°C 42mm 20°C 14mm 21°C 39mm 21°C 102mm 20°C 157mm 20°C 187mm 20°C 172mm
Volcanoes National Park 18°C 138mm 18°C 172mm 18°C 219mm 17°C 235mm 17°C 142mm 17°C 56mm 18°C 36mm 18°C 76mm 18°C 139mm 18°C 199mm 17°C 188mm 18°C 133mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in Rwanda

Male silverback gorilla, Volcanoes National Park

Visiting Rwanda in December - February

The weather from December to February is drier across Rwanda, making this is a popular time to visit. However, it also means that prices are higher, so it's important to book well in advance. The warm, sunny conditions make it a pleasure to track gorillas and enjoy outdoor activities across the country.

Chimpanzee

Visiting Rwanda in March

The rains arrive in March and continue until mid-May, but this is the prime time to spot chimpanzees as fruit ripens and brings the chimps down to the lower reaches of the forest canopy. For those with good quality rain gear, gorilla tracking can still be undertaken, and there are often discounts on the permits.

Silverback in Group Thirteen, Volcanoes National Park

Visiting Rwanda in April

The rains continue throughout April, but chimpanzees sightings are still at their best and it's a good time to track gorillas. You may be able to take advantage of some good deals and discounts at this time of year. 

Giraffe in Akagera National Park

Visiting Rwanda in May

The rains begin to ease mid month and the parks are lush and verdant, with newborn animals making their first forays through the parks.

Golden monkey, Volcanoes National Park

Visiting Rwanda in June - September

The dry season in Rwanda, from June to September, is the peak time to travel. There is always the chance of a shower, however; especially in the rainforest, so waterproofs remain a good idea. Wildlife sightings become more common, so it's a popular time of year and prices rise accordingly.

Events & Festivals

  • Baby gorillas naming ceremony/Kwita Izina (September): The annual naming ceremony for baby gorillas in Rwanda was started in 2005 and is a mixture of recognising the country's conservation efforts, celebrating the birth of the next generation and admiring some seriously cute newborns.
Rolling hills between Kigali and Ruhengeri

Visiting Rwanda in October - November

October and November tend to bring quick bursts of rain that clear to reveal blue skies. It's an excellent time for photographers and the ideal period to admire Rwanda's beautiful mountain scenery.

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Practical tips for travelling to Rwanda, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.

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