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What is the best time of the year to Trek Mountain Gorillas in Africa?

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Dec 18th, 2013, 10:08 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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What is the best time of the year to Trek Mountain Gorillas in Africa?

I understand that Gorillas can be trekked whole year round. And I understand that this place gets two rainy seasons, but what I do not understand is what is the experience in the rainy and sunny climate. I have a friend who asked me this and he wanted to do Gorilla tracking. He says that before planning his safaris he wanted to know the best time of the year to trek Gorillas
JohnBob is offline  
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Dec 19th, 2013, 04:32 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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hello Bob!
Anytime of the year is good. There is no need to avoid rainy season as the amount of rain is not much different than other months of the year. You are traveling into a rain forest. It rains some of the time.
The only things you have to realy factor in is your dressing during the trek and your health.All these are adviced adequately once you confirm your safari with your tour agent.
What kind of weather can I expect while gorilla trekking?

Days are warm and sunny and there is often a rainshower in the late afternoon, even when it is not rainy season. It is very humid, and can get quite cold at night.

What type of clothing do I need to bring?
Whether gorilla viewing in Bwindi or Parc' Nationales one should hike into the forest in long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
It is best to keep your skin covered. Rain jackets are necessary for any afternoon showers.
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Dec 19th, 2013, 07:14 PM
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July-Sept has the least rain. But right after it rains, the families come out into the open to get away from the dripping leaves, which makes for very good visibility. Pro photographers have told me that they prefer later into Oct with more cloud cover and less sunshine because bright light on jet black fur is does not produce ideal photos. The gorillas are often in the shade, out of the bright light.

I've always chosen times of least rain, which coincides with good wildlife viewing in addition to the gorillas.

As mentioned, since it is a rain forest, you can get a shower anytime.

Check out these weather charts.
Rwanda
http://www.africaguide.com/country/rwanda/info.htm
Uganda
http://www.africaguide.com/country/uganda/info.htm
atravelynn is offline  
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Dec 22nd, 2013, 02:44 AM
  #4
 
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I went to Rwanda in August to coincide with the "dry" season (also went to Kenya and hit the peak of wildie migration) - that said on one of the two gorilla treks it rained for about 2 hrs. While everyone in our group had a rain jacket, most were unprepared (sneakers which got soaked, pants got soaked). I had brought a gigantic rain poncho of heavy plastic which fell well below my knees and I wore hiking boots I'd sprayed with Scotchguard before leaving home. I was the driest and happiest in the group, although I would have been happier without the rain altogether. Best to come prepared no matter what time of year.

If I went again I'd bring a very lightweight pair of rain pants to pull on - not just for the rain but for the stinging nettles. The day of our rainy trek we were deep into the nettles much of the way and they pierce through your pant legs no matter what type of cloth you are wearing. While it's not super painful, it is annoying and itchy especially when it happens over and over and over again
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Dec 23rd, 2013, 06:32 AM
  #5
 
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A porter can carry that extra rain gear so you are not burdened with weight on the hikes. I threw in foot care products for potential blisters and such. So you can err on the side of extra rain gear and gloves for nettles, first aid etc. because it's the porter who carries it. More porters = more local employment. Win win.
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