If your dream is mountain gorilla trekking, Uganda is the place to go. Rwanda is the only other country in which these gentle giants can be encountered on a trek, and Ugandan permits are a fraction of the price charged over the border. Apart from gorilla trekking, there are lots of other things to do in Uganda. The country is home to many primates and Kibale NP offers amazing chimpanzee trekking and habituation experiences. Kidepo Valley, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks are great for game drives in a savannah environment with plenty of lion, buffalo and elephant, as well as a range of antelope species. The country is particularly scenic and has a lot to offer to people with a keen interest in natural history and those who enjoy active holidays.
Uganda is a unique destination offering a wonderful mix of savannah and forest parks. Gorilla and chimp trekking are highlights, but many smaller primates can be seen as well. Uganda also offers great savannah safaris, and all of the Big Five are present. Lion is quite common in Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Kidepo National Parks, where they can often be found hunting Uganda kob. Primates are especially well represented in Uganda. Patas monkey, red-tailed monkey, l’Hoest’s monkey, golden monkey, Ugandan red colobus and Uganda mangabey are some of the specials. The black-and-white colobus is widespread throughout the country. Uganda is home to a wide variety of antelope species. The Uganda kob, the national antelope, is locally common, while the rare sitatunga antelope is found in six national parks in the country but rarely seen.
The best time for wildlife viewing is in the Dry season (December to February and June to September). Some of the roads are impassable during the rainy seasons (September to November and March to May). Gorilla can be tracked year-round, but the experience can be spoiled – to some extent – by heavy rain in the Wet season.
Weather and Climate
Straddling the equator, Uganda has little year-round fluctuation in temperature. The hottest months are January and February when the average daytime range is 24°C to 33°C (75°F to 91°F) with peaks of up to 40°C/104°F in the far north. The south has two Wet seasons: from mid-September to November and March to May, but it can really rain at any time. The north has one continuous Wet season from March to November and a more obvious Dry season from December to February.
In general, the south of Uganda shares the same tropical climate as Kampala. The city has a slightly milder climate due to its location near Lake Victoria. The parks in the south tend to be a bit warmer during the day and cooler at night. The areas at high altitude, including the gorilla parks, get considerably colder. Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley in the north are warmer with daytime temperatures averaging 32°C/90°F.
Dry Seasons – June to August and December to February
Wet Seasons –March to May and September to November
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Uganda is between June to August and December to February, which is during the Dry seasons. Wildlife viewing is at its peak. Primate walks in the forest are a big part of any safari in Uganda. The habitat of rainforests is, by default, very wet, and one can’t avoid rain completely. However, after heavy rain, the skies often open up to bright sunshine. All parks are best visited during the Dry seasons from June to August and December to February.