Uganda sits squarely on the equator with an average altitude of around 1,000m, which tempers the heat and means this really is a year-round destination. March-May and Oct-Nov see the highest rainfall, but gorillas are still lurking in the mist – although trekking to find them will be slippery and slower. Usually there’s a tropical shower at night or a shorter shower during the day, but in Uganda you can trust that after rain comes sunshine! However, accommodation and even gorilla permits can be much cheaper at this time. The best time to visit Uganda is June-Sep, which is the peak. The weather is no reason to avoid your Ugandan safari in the wet season – you might even consider it because of the easy availability of gorilla permits.
As in the rest of the world, the East African climate is changing, making it more difficult for us to predict the weather during your Ugandan safari. However, in Uganda the temperature is very stable and pleasant, with sunshine almost 365 days a year. During the day, the temperature averages between 23 and 27°C, although in some places it can be quite cool at night.
One remarkable aspect about Uganda safaris is: whether you travel in the dry, dusty months or in the wet season – but Uganda remains happily oblivious to mass tourism and you won’t need to worry about crowds. If you spot a lion or leopard, it is very likely that you will be the only one to see it – even in peak season!
Because Uganda is located near the middle of Africa, close to the equator, the weather in Kampala (the capital city) is warm throughout the year. Although travel is possible throughout the year, there are certain months that are more comfortable than others because of rain.
On average, the driest months of the year in Kampala are July and February, during which time the daily high temperatures will generally hover in the upper 80’s and lower 90’s. The nighttime temperatures during these months will generally drop to the lower 60’s.
The coldest months of the year in Kampala on average are April and November, during which time the daily high temperatures will generally reach the lower 80’s. The nighttime temperatures during these months will fall to the lower 60’s on average. This temperature comparison shows that there is little variation from month to month.
The two rainy seasons are from March through May, and from the end of September through January. Although it is possible to visit during these wet seasons, trekking and many of the outdoor activities available in Kampala can be more challenging during the dry months. A benefit of travel during the wet months is discounted hotel rates around the city.
Generally there is no reason not to book your African safari, more so with Globetrotters Travel and Tours because we have activities lined up all year long that will have you covered and not thinking about any weather differentials. Let’s break down the weather changes on a monthly basis to help ease your understanding about the whole topic.
March, April and May see the heaviest rainfall in Uganda, with shorter rains in October to November. This doesn’t affect your chances of spotting gorillas, although be prepared for a soggy, slippery trek! Waterproofs, and waterproof boots, are essential. It’s also believed that the gorillas linger on the warmer, lower slopes during wetter weather, so your trek may be shorter.
The wildlife is not migratory in Uganda so you can still see plenty of game in parks such as Queen Elizabeth, although thicker vegetation makes spotting the animals a little harder. Do be aware that the already appalling roads will become even more bone shaking.
Murchison Falls in the northeast has a drier climate, so is a good place to head during the wetter months.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority, which issues gorilla tracking permits, offers discounts of up to 25 percent in April, May and November – well worth it if you’re on a budget.
June, July, August and September are the peak months as they are generally dry (though rain can fall at any time), and coincide with school holidays. This is the best time to visit Uganda, but book well in advance, especially if tracking gorillas – as permits will sell out months in advance.
December, January and February are also great months to visit. Generally dry (though rains can linger into December), the wildlife will be lured to waterholes, making this a great time for boat safaris. Migratory birds are also present.
Throughout the country, the temperature drops quite considerably at night – you’ll need a jumper or cardigan. This makes it much easier to sleep. But it never reaches the chilly extremes of places such as Kruger of the Kalahari.