Best time to visit Rwanda

Best time to visit Rwanda
Lake Kivu, is one of the African Great Lakes | Photo: Kingfisher Journeys

With a warm temperatures all year round, Rwanda known by its natural beauty and biodiversity attracts many tourists almost round the year. Located in the heart of Africa, Rwanda is blessed with an amazing wildlife, beautiful hills and plains. However attractive Rwanda is, it is well to note that the weather is a bit complicated. Rainfall and dry season in Rwanda both occur twice in a year. Nonetheless, there is much to be experienced in this beautiful country and if you are planning on visitingyou’ve come to the right place. Wondering when is the best time to visit Rwanda? Here, see Dream Africa’s climate guide for the best time to visit Rwanda.

January

January is part of Rwanda’s dry season which spans from mid-December to February. This is a great time to travel to Rwanda as the weather is friendly for hiking the awesome volcanoes, Tracking Gorillas and a host of activities including biking and kayaking. January 1st and 2nd are public holidays in Rwanda, so this is a good time to socialize with the locals. 

Average Temperature: 21°C (69°F)

February

best time to visit rwanda for weather
Kayaking on Lake Kivu | Photo: Kingfisher Journeys

February is an important month in Rwanda as this is the time of the year they celebrate National Heroes Day to remember the 1994 Genocide where an estimated 800,000 lives were lost. If you are visiting Kigali, an interesting and inspiring place to visit is the Genocide Memorial. The weather in February is considerably fair, it is a great time of the year to visit the Volcanoes National Park also known as Rwandan National Park and also take your adventures to Lake Kivu.

Average Temperature: 21°C (69°F)

March

Be sure to include your rain gear when travelling to Rwanda during the month of March as this time of year marks the first and start of the longest rainy season. There are several fun activities to experience in Rwanda during this month including the Rwanda’s largest film festival, Mashariki Africa Film Festival often held annually. Other activities you can enjoy are tours and you can also visit the safaris.

Average Temperature: 21°C (69°F)

April

April is the month known for the highest rainfall and the wettest in most parts of Rwanda. This is probably the worst month for Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking, however this is possibly the best time for bird lovers as April is their main breeding season and several bird species can be sighted in their bright colours.

Average Temperature: 20°C (68°F)

May

Tourist activities such as hiking, Gorilla Trekking or biking are not so popular in the month of May due to the wetness and softness of the ground as a result of the continued rainfall. If you are visiting Rwanda during this time of the year, be sure to remember your rain gears when packing your luggage. You may still enjoy Rwanda in May as the rainfall brings the forest to life, brandishing the beauty of nature. The rains do ease up towards the end of the month, making it a good time to track Gorillas and Chimps who would naturally come out to the forest floor to enjoy the ripe fruits.

Average Temperature: 20°C (68°F)

June

When is the best time to go to Rwanda
Misty forest of Nyungwe National Park | Photo: African Parks Network

The first and longest dry season in Rwanda begins in June with very sparse drizzles. This is one of the best times to visit Nyungwe National Park or go Gorilla trekking. It is best to book way in advance if you intend to go Gorilla trekking during the month of June due to its rising demand by tourists. Many animals begin to come out of hiding in June including black rhinos, Giraffes, Elephants and Leopards many of which can be found at Akagera National Park. 

Average Temperature: 20°C (68°F)

July

Rwandans celebrate Independence Day on July 1st and National Liberation Day on July 4th, both of which are public holidays which means there will be lots of parties for you to enjoy. If you plan on visiting Rwanda in July, note that this is the beginning of the summer holidays and many tourists usually travel during this period. Be sure to make your bookings quiet early as hotels and resorts tend to fill up quite fast.

Average Temperature: 20°C (68°F)

August 

August has a similar weather to July and is considered as one of the best months to visit Rwanda. With the dry weather, there are only a few places for animals to gather and drink water which makes it a good time to visit the parks like the Akagera National Park where a variety of animals like Lions and Rhinos can be spotted. Just like July, it is advisable to book way ahead of time if you plan on visiting Rwanda in August.

Average Temperature: 22°C (71°F)

September

best month to visit rwanda
Rwanda’s national parks will keep you captivated | Photo: Cyril Ndegeya

In September, the long dry season gradually comes to an end with rainfall starting from the middle and gradually increasing towards the end of the month. September is an amazing time to visit Rwanda as the weather is still quite warm and Gorilla Trekking is more fun and easier. It is also a great time to visit the conservation parks and spot Chimpanzees of Mahale or other fun activities like bird watching or hiking. You can as well explore the Savannahs to spot big animals like Elephants.

Average Temperature: 21°C (70°F)

October

With the short rains becoming more regular in October, the lush vegetation of Rwanda comes to life offering tourists a range of beautiful green sceneries and blossoming flowers for awesome photographs. Temperatures begins to drop so you might want to prepare for cold weather especially at night. Due to lower visits during this time of the year, prices drop, so you can take advantage of this if you are on a budget.

Average Temperature: 21°C (70°F)

November

The short rains continue in November and the weather in Rwanda remains cool. Due to the wetness of the ground, it might not be the best time to Track Gorillas but the Chimps come out more to enjoy the fruits. Due to the less rush, it is cheaper to visit Rwanda in November. You can also visit the interesting Rwanda Museums at this time as well as enjoy amazing photography. 

Average Temperature: 21°C (69°F)

December

best month to Visit Rwanda
Mountain gorillas in their natural habitat in Volcanoes National Park | Photo: Suha Derbent

Visiting Rwanda in December can be very fun and exciting as the short dry season begins. With Christmas in the air, lots of celebrations happen around the country. December is a very popular month for tourism so it is well to book your accommodation in advance if you plan to visit Rwanda during this month. It is also a good time for Gorilla tracking but note that this requires permits so it is advisable to book way in advance. You can also enjoy other fantastic activities in December like visiting lakes, safaris and parks.

Average Temperature: 21°C (69°F)

Explore the 10 Best Places to Travel in Africa Where Weather is Always Warm.

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