Climate and Weather in Uganda

Uganda earned the tag, “Pearl of Africa”, partly because of her amazing climate and weather. The weather in Uganda is warm during day and cool at night, with slight variations across regions and seasons (seasons to be discussed below). Only in Uganda can you comfortably keep shirtless both during day and night!

Temperatures in Uganda

Uganda is located along the Equator, thus receiving direct sunshine. Ordinarily the direct sun should create such hot weather with unbearably high temperatures but it is not the case. The day temperatures in Uganda and especially around the capital Kampala average at around 27oC (81oF). The big water bodies such as Lake Victoria (Africa’s biggest lake), the average altitude of 1100 meters above sea level, mountainous landscapes (altitudes rising up to 2000m asl) of the west and southern region, and the dense vegetation and forest cover that Uganda still possesses help regulate the temperatures.

The drier north and north eastern Uganda experiences slightly higher temperatures that average at around 31oC (88oF). This region is semi-arid, lucking the large lakes, rolling landscapes, and the altitude is relatively lower.

Meanwhile, high altitude mountainous southwestern Uganda experiences lower temperatures averaging 23oC.

Due to the direct sunshine, travelers without melanin are advised to carry sunscreen to prevent sunburn.

Uganda’s weather seasons

Uganda receives two types of weather seasons, the wet and dry season, which are spread across four periods in 12 months as follows:

The high wet/rainy season (March to May)

This wet or rainy season in Uganda is experienced from March to May. During this wet season frequent rains are experienced almost throughout the country.

The frequency and volume of rains varies in different parts of the country. There are more frequent and heavier rains in the southern highlands, and the western region around the Rwenzori Mountains, as compared to other parts of the country.

The month which experiences the most frequent rains is April. The country will experience near daily rains during April.

If you are planning to visit Uganda, this wet season is the least advised to make the trip due to the interruption the rain can cause to your activities. The gorilla trekking or chimpanzee trekking is most difficult during this season because the trails become so muddy and slippery. But then this is also the season that presents the best scenery with lush everywhere. There are also less tourists during the rainy season, so it presents the best time to enjoy the wild with very tourists around. You can easily track a gorilla family just one person or a few instead of the maximum 8.

If you are visiting Uganda during the wet season, a raincoat, warm jacket, good walking or hiking shoes or rubber boots, should not miss in your luggage.

High dry season (June – August)

The high dry season starts from June to August or around mid of September. This season experiences sunshine at full blast! The peak of the dry season is around August when the grass in some areas starts to turn brown.

The beauty with Uganda is that even though it is the dry season with mostly sun, every once in a while, there will be a shower. In fact, it is rare to go more than two weeks without a day of rain. The rains of the dry season are brief lasting a few minutes or a couple of hours.

In the mountains such as the Volcanoes and Rwenzoris or the rainforests such as in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the rains are more common but shorter and less spread out compared to the wet season when entire geographical regions will experience rainfall at the same time.

The dry season is the most advised to make the trip to Uganda for safari because there is little chance of interruption by the rain. And if you plan to do a trek or hike, the trails are neat without mud. But if you will be hiking in the rainforests or mountains, you should not rule out rain and should ready with a rain coat.

Essential items to carry during this dry season include the sunscreen and insect repellent or mosquito repellent because mosquitoes are most rampant during the dry season due to stagnant water breeds mosquitoes (there are less mosquitoes during the wet season because the rains continuously wash away stagnant water and thus interrupting the breeding cycles of the mosquitoes).

Your clothing for this dry season should be mostly light clothing.

Low wet season (September, October, November)

This wet season arrives around mid September until November. This is not as massive as the high wet season. As much as there will be rainy days, there will also be sunny days without rain but more sunshine. This low wet season is therefore not as disruptive as the long wet season.

Low dry season (December, January, February)

This low dry season will start from December to February. Again, this season is also not as massive as the high dry season as there will be rains every after a short dry spell of about 7 – 9 days.

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