Best Time to Go on a Self-Drive Safari in Uganda

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Uganda is sold as a year-round travel destination, whether on escorted trip or self-drive holiday. Uganda has got various options of safari itineraries you can go with guided service or on self-drive in your private 4×4 rooftop tent car rental. Uganda has two distinct weather patterns. Whatever time of year you travel, vast and diverse Uganda offers something incredible, somewhere. Uganda’s diversity of landscapes, and its vast size means there’s something for everyone, at any time of year.

The Best Time to Travel

The best time to visit Uganda is between June to September 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 rain forest is, by default, very wet, and one can’t avoid rain completely. However, after heavy rain, the skies often open up to bright sunshine.

Dry Seasons

June to September and December to February

  • These dry months are good for trekking to see the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees and when the road conditions are good although rain can be expected any month.
  • Game viewing in National Parks is also good in those months because there is less vegetation to obstruct you as well as February to march when animals are seen at waterholes.
  • When it comes to bird watching, these can be seen all year round but they are best between April and November when the migrant birds can be seen.

Wet Seasons

  • While most tourists come during the two dry months, also increasingly visitors come to visit during the rainy season when there are fewer tourists and when the gorilla permits are readily available to purchase.

When to visit

Equator-straddling Uganda has a warm to hot climate all year through with limited temperature variations but a strongly seasonal rainfall pattern. The wettest months in most parts of the country are April, May, October and November, when camping can be unpleasant and hiking on the Rwenzori is particularly miserable. Abundant rainfall also means that large wildlife tends not to congregate conveniently around water sources in the national parks. On the other hand, landscape photographers will revel in the haze-free skies of the rainy season.

Highlights and itineraries when you visit

The highlight of any visit and focal point of many a visit to Uganda is tracking mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the extreme southwest. Furthermore, most formal itineraries follow an established circuit between Kampala and the southwest, an area blessed with a high density of natural attractions and a good tourist infrastructure.

A typical tour heads west from Kampala or the international airport at nearby Entebbe to the scenic Fort Portal area, where the main attraction is chimpanzee tracking in forested Kibale National Park followed by a two- to three-night visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains. South of Queen Elizabeth National Park is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park now offers no fewer than four separate gorilla tracking locations, Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors, while a night can be spent at Lake Bunyonyi.

It’s a long hour from Bwindi back to Kampala/Entebbe and many tour operators now offer their clients an overnight break at Lake Mburo National Park. It is possible to cover this itinerary in seven to 10days and many people try to do it. However, those with time and flexibility to delay and detour will discover much more. Days can be spent exploring the Fort Portal and Rwenzori area, while Lake Bunyonyi and the Virunga volcanoes are worthwhile diversions near Bwindi.

Visitors who intend on reaching through East African wilderness a rare commodity in the densely populated south of Uganda will want to head north to the Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley national parks. These experiences do, however, incur a cost of increased travel time and expenditure.

Visitors with time for a day trip at the end of their visit invariably head east from Kampala to visit the famed source of the Nile at Jinja. The menu of adventure sports offered along the Nile corridor north of the town. Activities such as white-water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping and quad-biking attract a steady flow of the young and young at heart.

A vacation in Uganda is worthwhile at any time of the year. However, you should consider the rainy and dry season if you like to see the gorillas on a trekking and wild animal on safari. So, it is up to you, the choice is for you to make.

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