Uganda is a land locked country located in East Africa covering an area of 241,037sq.km with a population of 42.86 million people. It neighbors countries such as Kenya in the east, South Sudan in the north, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the west, Rwanda in South west and Tanzania in the south.
Uganda is known for its name ‘the pearl of Africa’ which was given to it by Winston Churchill in 1908 due to its beautiful tourist attractions. Among others are rare birds, primates including chimpanzees and endangered mountain gorillas, other features such as mountains like Rwenzori (tallest fault mountain in East Africa), water bodies like Lake Victoria – the largest fresh water lake in Africa and the proud source of legendary river Nile in Jinja, reptiles such as crocodiles, hippos, etc.
Uganda is as well gifted with 12 wildlife reserves and up to 10 national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife zoos, forest reserves, wetlands, and so many protected areas. It is also known for its culture, known to be more than 50 different cultures such as the Basoga, Batooro, Baganda, Bakonzo, Banyankole, Karamajong, Luo, etc. all presenting unmatched experiences. They offer traditional and cultural activities ranging from their cuisine to dances, art work and drama.
On the other hand, Rwanda is also a land locked country located in the east central Africa with an area of 26,338 sq.km and a population of 12.21 million people. Rwanda is well known for its mountain gorillas which are found only in volcanoes national park. Other attractions in Rwanda include chimpanzees in Nyungwe forest national park, rare birds, mesmerizing Kinyarwanda culture, different mammal species, physical features such as mountains, lakes, waterfalls and sprawling conical hills which the country is well known for, among others.
While planning your maiden safari to Africa, it is important that you understand perfect seasons to travel. Different seasons, influenced by climatic patterns hugely influence the way people travel. The best time to visit these countries is in the month of January, February, June, July, August, September and December. During the above mentioned months, these countries experience the dry season and therefore, animals are easily viewed.
In these months there is less rainfall and sometimes no rain at all. Most tourists choose to travel during this season because of the dry weather and it’s because of this there is high demand for chimpanzee and gorilla permits. During the dry season, the wildness is easily accessed because the vegetation is short such as Savannah; even the roads are dry like in Queen Elizabeth national park. The animals also reduce movements and this gives you a quick access to spot them while they are under the tree shades, hiding from scorching sun.
Uganda being crossed by the equator has a modified equatorial climate with two rain seasons and because of this tourists tend to associate with the best time to spot the wilderness. This is true because when it’s raining it becomes hard to do safaris on the national parks because of the heavy rains that make trails too slippery, and jungles less accessible. If you don’t have a four wheel drive vehicle, you might not make it to the gorilla destinations of Uganda.
Even though Uganda’s climate is comfortable and friendly all year through, dry season is highly preferred over wet season, to enable you have endless chances of wildlife viewing, primate trekking, bird watching, hiking, nature walks, etc.
However, due to climatic changes and global warming, seasons in Uganda and Rwanda are becoming more volatile and less predictable. Therefore expect rainfall any time of the year, and always be prepared with rain jackets, strong boots, warm clothes, etc during your safari to Uganda and Rwanda.