Gorillas can be seen throughout the year in Volcanoes National Park, although trekking conditions are a lot more favourable during the dry season when trails are less slippery. June to August are usually the driest months of the year, closely followed by December to January, so these are the best times to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Do book well in advance to secure your slot as there are a limited number of permits allocated each day.
Trekking can still be enjoyed during the wet seasons as the weather doesn’t affect your chances of seeing the mountain gorillas. Yet do bear in mind the rainforest-clad slopes will be muddy underfoot. This can make the going quite difficult, particularly if you’re having to hike a fair distance uphill to see your gorilla group.
If you’re up for some fun, and don’t mind getting a bit soggy in the pursuit of adventure, then travelling at this time has its advantages. There will be fewer tourists around, and accommodation prices will fall significantly.
Photo credit: Bisate Lodge - Wilderness Safaris
Conversely, the best time to go Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park is actually during the wet season between October and May. The chimps are easier to find when it’s wet because unlike in drier times, they don’t need to venture very far for food. Chimpanzee trekking is far more energetic than the gorilla hikes, because these playful primates move so much faster through the forest. Which is why it’s a good thing if they’re roaming closer to home, making sightings so much easier. Birdlife is flourishing during this period too, although to see other primates it’s better to explore when it isn’t raining quite so much.