This page presents Rwanda's climate context for the current climatology, 1991-2020, derived from observed, historical data. Information should be used to build a strong understanding of current climate conditions in order to appreciate future climate scenarios and projected change. You can visualize data for the current climatology through spatial variation, the seasonal cycle, or as a time series. Analysis is available for both annual and seasonal data. Data presentation defaults to national-scale aggregation, however sub-national data aggregations can be accessed by clicking within a country, on a sub-national unit. Other historical climatologies can be selected from the Time Period dropdown list. Data for specific coordinates can be downloaded for in the Data Download page.
Rwanda has a tropical climate characterized by its hilly landscape stretching from east to west. The country has four primary climatic regions: eastern plains, central plateau, highlands, and regions around Lake Kivu. The eastern plains receive an annual rainfall of between 700 mm and 1,100 mm, with mean annual temperature oscillating between 20°C and 22°C. The central plateau region enjoys rainfall of between 1,100 mm and 1,300 mm, with an annual mean temperature of between 18°C and 20°C. The highlands, including the Congo-Nile Ridge and volcanic chains of Birunga, benefit from an annual rainfall of between 1,300 mm and 1,600 mm and experience annual mean temperatures between 10°C and 18°C. Regions around Lake Kivu and Bugarama plains get annual rainfall of between 1,200 mm and 1,500 mm with annual mean temperatures between 18℃ and 22℃. Overall, the country’s four climactic seasons are represented through the long rainy season: March to May, and short rainy season: September to November. These seasons alternate with the long dry season: June to August, and short dry season: December to February. Mean annual temperature for Rwanda is 19.1℃, with average monthly temperatures ranging between 19.5°C (September) and 18.5℃ (July). Annual precipitation is 1,170.2 mm. Rainfall is experienced throughout the year in Rwanda, with most significant rainfall occurring from September to May.