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Mountain gorilla in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

When is the best time to visit Rwanda?

The best time to visit Rwanda is during the drier period from June to September, when you’ve got a greater chance of spotting the country’s undoubted highlight: the mountain gorilla. Visit the country during the rainy seasons (March to May and June to September) if you want to track chimpanzees, as this is the best time to do so.

However, Rwanda is a destination for all seasons. Temperatures hardly vary throughout the year, sitting at a steady 63F-81F (depending where you visit) due to Rwanda’s position just south of the equator. The days are warm but the nights 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 81°F 3" 81°F 4" 81°F 4" 79°F 6" 79°F 4" 79°F 1" 81°F 0" 82°F 1" 82°F 3" 81°F 4" 79°F 5" 79°F 3"
Lake Kivu 79°F 4" 79°F 3" 79°F 4" 79°F 5" 79°F 4" 79°F 2" 79°F 1" 79°F 3" 79°F 5" 79°F 6" 79°F 5" 79°F 5"
Nyungwe Forest 68°F 7" 68°F 7" 68°F 8" 66°F 10" 66°F 7" 66°F 2" 68°F 1" 70°F 2" 70°F 4" 68°F 6" 68°F 7" 68°F 7"
Volcanoes National Park 64°F 5" 64°F 7" 64°F 9" 63°F 9" 63°F 6" 63°F 2" 64°F 1" 64°F 3" 64°F 5" 64°F 8" 63°F 7" 64°F 5"

Month-by-month guide to traveling 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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Travel advice

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

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