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Weather & climate

Rwanda: Weather & climate

The best time to visit Rwanda

We're often asked 'when is the best time to go to Rwanda?', and the answer is usually complex. It will depend on many things including your interests, where you want to visit and why you're travelling. One person's best time is another's worst!

However, often a concern about the weather underlies the question of 'the best time to go'.

So here we've put together a very rough guide to the climate in Rwanda. Remember that this comes from records and our experience, not from a crystal ball, and that Africa's weather patterns are becoming increasingly unpredictable – probably due to global warming.

In the heart of Africa, fractionally south of the equator, Rwanda's relatively high altitude provides it with a remarkably pleasant tropical highland climate, albeit also with plenty of rain. Temperatures vary considerably between locations depending on their altitude, but very little from month to month in the same place. In the capital, Kigali, the average daily temperature is about 21°C.

Rwanda's long rainy season lasts from about March to May, when the rain is heavy and persistent. Then from June to mid-September is the long dry season; this is generally the best time to visit if you have the choice.

October to November is a shorter rainy season and it's followed by a short dry season from December to February.

During both of Rwanda's dry seasons, there is often light cloud cover. This helps to moderate the temperatures, but also occasionally brings light rain showers.

Weather in other African countries

For comparison, see similar climate charts and information for our other African destinations:

Botswana climate – Completely different weather pattern from Rwanda.
Kenya climate – Somewhat similar but cooler and with bigger differences between the monthly rainfalls.
Malawi climate – Completely different weather pattern from Rwanda.
Mozambique climate – Very different weather pattern than Rwanda, with a shorter rainy season.
Namibia climate – Completely different weather pattern from Rwanda.
Seychelles climate –Somewhat similar to Rwanda’s, but with a higher humidity.
Cape of South Africa climate – Completely different weather pattern to Rwanda’s.
Tanzania climate – Different from Rwanda’s climate, with a shorter rainy season.
Zambia climate – Completely different weather pattern from Rwanda, with a much shorter rainy season.
Zanzibar climate – Slightly different weather pattern from Rwanda.
Zimbabwe climate –Complete different weather pattern to Rwanda.
<b>January</b>: the rain subsides gradually.
<b>February</b>: end of the 'short dry season' as the rain increases slowly.
<b>March</b>: start of the 'long rainy season'.
<b>April</b>: the peak of the wet season; it’s the wettest month of the year.
<b>May</b>: heavy and persistent rainfall.
<b>June</b>: the rainfall has mostly stopped, the days are clear and warm.
<b>July</b>: the dry season is now in full swing –Rwanda’s best few months.
<b>August</b>: weather is hot, but  during dry season often light cloud cover.
<b>September</b>: end of the dry season in the middle of the month.
<b>October</b>: a wet, humid month as the 'short rainy season' has started.
<b>November</b>: the rainfall is still high.
<b>December</b>: the rain level drops as the 'short dry season' begins.

January: the rain subsides gradually.

February: end of the 'short dry season' as the rain increases slowly.

March: start of the 'long rainy season'.

April: the peak of the wet season; it’s the wettest month of the year.

May: heavy and persistent rainfall.

June: the rainfall has mostly stopped, the days are clear and warm.

July: the dry season is now in full swing –Rwanda’s best few months.

August: weather is hot, but during dry season often light cloud cover.

September: end of the dry season in the middle of the month.

October: a wet, humid month as the 'short rainy season' has started.

November: the rainfall is still high.

December: the rain level drops as the 'short dry season' begins.

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