The Best time to visit Rwanda for a tour
Are you a traveler out there interested in exploring Rwanda and having a fantastic adventure but you are not sure of the best time to visit country for a tour? Well in this article we are going to tell you the best time to visit the country for particular safaris. As you plan to have a safari in Rwanda, you have to think about the weather patterns in the time you are going to travel and also the activities you want to do during your safari in order to have an amazing experience.
Rwanda has 2 seasons and these are the dry season and the wet season. Both seasons do happen twice a year and the dry season occurs in June to September and December to February while the rainy season occurs in March to May and October to November. During the dry season, there is always little or no rainfall, the vegetation in the parks is thin, the trekking trails are dry and the roads are slippery while in the wet season too much rainfall makes the road impassable, the trekking trails impassable, and the vegetation in the park thick which gives unclear views of park animals.
Yes, the best time to visit Rwanda for a tour is during the dry season that happens in June to September and December to February. Since the rainfall is little and sometimes not there at all, most of the safari activities can be done during this period and these include Gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, hiking, nature walks, game drives, boat cruise, and the canopy walk. If you want to engage in the mentioned activities then you should visit in the dry season.
In times of the dry season, there is always scarcity of food and this means that trekking of mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, or the chimpanzees takes a little bit longer because these primates go deep into the jungles to look for what to eat so the trekking might take longer but the trekking trails are always dry and there are fewer chances of rainfall.
Things you can do in Rwanda on a safari
The following are the key safari activities to do during the best time to visit Rwanda for a tour;
Game drives in Akagera national park
At any time of year, you can have game drives in Akagera national park and which is found in the northeastern part of the country. The game drives in Akagera national park are done twice a day which is early in the morning or late in the evening. The game drives in Akagera national park are done by people of all ages all you have to do is pay park entrance fees.
Akagera national park is the only place to do game drives in Rwanda and the morning or evening game drives do expose you to animals such as lions, giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, giant forest hogs, impalas, spotted hyenas, bushbucks, topis, zebras, cape elands, roan antelopes, waterbucks, and klipspringers among others.
Primate trekking in Rwanda is made in almost all the national parks within the country and the best time to trek these primates is the dry season when the trekking trails are dry and the rainfall is little or not there at all. The primates in Rwanda are so many but the famous ones are chimpanzees, golden monkeys, and the endangered mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorilla trekking is done in volcanoes national park as well as golden monkey trekking, chimpanzee trekking is done in Nyungwe forest national park and Gishwati-Makura national park. Trekking the primates of Rwanda is done at a fee and the people to participate must be aged 15 years and above. To trek any of the primates in the country you have to book the trekking permit in advance in order to avoid inconveniences.
Trekking in all national parks does start with a briefing at the park offices and later the armed ranger guides do lead you into the jungle to search for these apes. The moment you meet the mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, or chimpanzees, you are given 1 hour to be around these primates, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos. During the search, trekkers will be able to see some of the park mammals, primates, and different bird species.
Rwanda is home to a variety of bird species that are found in different parts of the country most especially the national parks. Birding in Rwanda is better done in the rainy seasons when there are migratory birds and permanent birds in the area due to plenty of food in the parks. Tourists in different parts of the country can encounter birds in areas of volcanoes national park, Kigali city, Akagera national park, Nyungwe forest national park, Giswhati-Makura national park, Lake Kivu to mention but a few.
Birders are advised to come along with their birding books and a pair of binoculars to see distant bird species. well trained guides do lead you around these areas to see birds such as Shelley’s crimsonwing, Albertine owlet, Rwenzori double-collared, dwarf honeyguide, handsome francolin, dusky crimson wing, collared apalis, Rockefeller’s sunbird, strange weaver, baglafecht weaver, grey-backed fiscal, red-backed shrike, bateleur, African rock pigeon Rwenzori batis, white-backed vultures, cinnamon-chested bee-eater and African jacana among others.
Tourists interested in carrying out cultural tours in Rwanda are advised to visit the country in the dry seasons when there is little or no rainfall and the roads leading to the community people passable. Cultural tours in Rwanda can be done in the local communities such as the Iby’Iwacu cultural village, the Batwa, and communities around different national parks. During the same tour, you can visit museums such as Murambi genocide museum, Kigali genocide memorial, Gisenyi memorial site, and Nyanza memorial site among others.
Mount hiking is one the top selling activities can can successfully be done after understanding and booking your tour during the best time to visit Rwanda ie dry seasons. Tourists interested in carrying out hiking activities in Rwanda are advised to come into the country in the dry months because it’s during these days that the hiking trails are dry and easy to hike. Hiking in the dry season doesn’t affect the speed of trekkers and as you hike you see different park animals clearly because the vegetation is short.
The most hiked mountains in Rwanda are found in volcanoes national park and these are Gahinga, Muhabura, Karisimbi, and Bisoke. The other mountain to hike in Rwanda is Mount Kigali which is located in the city. To hike any of the above mountains you will need a hiking permit and the activity starts early in the morning with a briefing and it’s the rangers that lead the hikers to the summits. At the summits of these mountains, you will have aerial views of the surroundings.