Best time to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo : The Democratic Republic of Congo is the second largest country in Africa and surprisingly the 11th largest in the whole World and before we even delve into the best time to visit it, it would interest you to know that it experiences one of the most frequent thunderstorms in the World. It also straddles the Equator, thus a third of the country is found in the northern hemisphere while the remaining two-third in the southern hemisphere.

5 Days Volcanoes and Virunga gorilla trekking safari tour

With its enormous size of 2,344,858 square kilometres, the Democratic Republic of Congo is about the same size as the whole of Western Europe or about 1.3 times as big as Alaska. Given the immense size of this country, its position, topography and influences of the dense tropical rainforests, it always becomes difficult to forecast weather patterns for this country.

However, the Democratic Republic of Congo has two seasons-the dry season and the wet season. The long dry season is from May through September while the short one is between January and February.

Wet season

The rains in Democratic Republic of Congo begin in March to May as well as October to December. So far, November is the wettest but one thing about these months is when there are heavy rains that make Park roads messy, muddy and slippery in addition to most jungle destinations getting colder. However, Congo safaris are still possible, although travellers are advised to be prepared for the weather. Pak some rain jacket, warm sweater, cotton socks, breathable safari pants and long sleeved shirts among others. This season is possibly not the best time to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo but if you must, expect discounted rates for accommodation facilities and sometimes even gorilla permits. Some places in DRC receive annual rainfall levels of 2000 millimetres, and this is partly responsible for the country’s extensive system of Rivers and multi-coloured landscapes.

Best time to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo
Congo gorilla tours

The Dry season

Lowland Gorilla in Congo – This large country in East-Central Africa usually experiences warm and humid temperatures, owing to the Equatorial position as well as the dense forests. The dry season is from June to September and December to February whereby daytime temperatures reach up to 25˚C

The summits of some places like Mount Nyiragongo and Rwenzori Mountains usually drop below freezing point all year round, thus whether you visit during the dry or wet season, you will still experience extreme temperatures. For this reason, appropriate hiking gear is recommended but some items like sleeping bags can be hired while hiking boots, warm clothing, gardening gloves, cotton socks and rain jacket shouldn’t miss on your packing list. If trekking the mountain and eastern lowland gorillas and climbing the Nyiragongo Volcano are top of your wish list, the best time to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo is most likely the dry season from December to February and June to September when temperatures are slightly cooler as well as rains reduced hence favouring your adventures.

All in all, there is no particular best time to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo because the country can be explored throughout the year. However, if you must choose, we would say the dry season -January, February, June, July, August, September, and December are prefect for achieving maximum safari experiences, especially if you have Virunga National park in your mind. During these months, a slight break in rains is experienced and fewer visitors are travelling into the country, thus expect more private wildlife encounters.

Best time to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo
Mount Nyiragongo

Places to explore in the Democratic Republic of Congo

When it comes to places you can visit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the list is endless but we only offer safaris in the magnificent Virunga National Park (home of the mountain gorillas and Mount Nyiragongo) Kahuzi-Biega National Park (home to the Eastern lowland gorillas) Lake Kivu.

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