Climate and Average Weather in Rwanda
Rwanda is a landlocked country in Southeastern Africa remarkably known for its elevated terrain. The country is home to towering mountains and hills, with most of the country elevated at a minimum of 900 metres (3,000 feet), earning the nickname, "The Land of a Thousand Hills". Rwanda is situated at the heart of Africa's Great Rift Valley, making it home to majestic lakes that are perfect for your next serene getaway.
Rwanda has a highland temperate climate, meaning the country enjoys both tropical and temperate climates as the country is both near the Equator, and terrain is vastly elevated in all of the country. Despite the country's proximity to the Equator, the climate in Rwanda is cooled by its high altitude. It is warm throughout most of the year but it can be cooler in the mountains. Granted that temperatures vary all over the country, it is generally warmer in lower-lying Eastern Rwanda and cooler in the mountainous Northwest.
On average, September is the warmest month of the year in Rwanda with an average maximum daytime temperature of 28°C (83°F) in Kigali, the capital, and an average nighttime temperature of 16°C (61°F) also in Kigali. Meanwhile, February is the coldest month of the year with an average daytime maximum temperature of 26°C (79°F) in Kigali, and average nighttime temperatures ranging around 15°C (59°F).
In terms of precipitation, there are two rainy seasons in Rwanda—from mid-January to April and from mid-October to mid-December. April is the wettest month of the year with an average rainfall level of around 155mm (6.1inch) in Kigali. On the other hand, July is the driest month of the year when average rainfall levels typically range around 12mm (0.5inch) in Kigali.
Does Rwanda experience snow?
There is no recorded history of snowfall in low-lying areas of Rwanda, particularly in Southeast Rwanda. However, snowfall exclusively occurs in Rwanda's highest peaks, the most famous peak being Mount Karisimbi, a dormant stratovolcano. With an elevation of 4,507 metres (14,787 feet), Mount Karisimbi is the highest summit in Rwanda. Mount Karisimbi’s name translates to “white-coated top” in the local language, Kinyarwanda, as its peak can be seen with snow, particularly during the dry months of June, July, and August.
What should I wear in Rwanda's temperate weather?
Your trip to Rwanda would include exploring national parks and forests to get a glimpse of the country's biodiversity. Travellers are encouraged to wear light cotton clothing, ideally with sleeves for tops. Wearing neutral colours such as khaki, muted green, and beige is advised as these colours blend into the environment and also for travellers not catch the unwanted attention of sanctuary animals. In addition, avoid wearing overly dark colours such as black and dark blue as these could possibly attract insects such as tse tse flies.
As Rwanda is an equatorial country, sun protection should be made a priority. Also take a wide-brimmed hat with you in order to protect your face, neck, head, and ears from intense sun exposure.
When is the best time to visit Rwanda?
The best times to visit Rwanda is during its two dry seasons—namely the long dry season from June to early September, and the short dry season with intermittent rainfall from December to early February.
Interested in more detailed Weather and Climate information for Rwanda?
Please select the city below you wish to travel to, or the one closest to your destination. Each selected city will show you the following graphs:
1. Yearly average minimum and maximum temperatures
2. Monthly averages of precipitation throughout the year (rainfall, snow etc)
3. Monthly average hours of sunshine throughout the year
Additionally, some pages provide historical weather data such as humidity, wind speed, and water temperature.