The climatic conditions in Rwanda are mostly temperate tropical highland with the lower temperatures quite like the equatorial countries, owing to its high elevation level. Kigali, the central region of the country has a normal daily temperature ranging between 12°C to 27°C, with slight variations throughout the year. The temperature variations occur throughout Rwanda, with the mountainous areas of the north and west being cooler than the lower lying areas of the east. Rwanda gets two rainy seasons per year, with the first one running from February till June, and the second one from September to December. Both are separated by couple of dry seasons, the prominent one of them being from December till the month of February.
Rainfall in Rwanda varies geographically. The north-west and western regions of the country receive more precipitation each year, compared to the south-eastern and eastern regions. Global warming is to be blamed for major changes in the pattern of rainy seasons in Rwanda. As per a report submitted by Strategic Foresight Group, the change in Rwanda’s climatic conditions has resulted in less number of rainy days each year and a major spike in the frequency of torrential rains. Both these have resulted in all sorts of problems for the farmers, reducing their productivity considerably. The group also highlighted Rwanda as being one of the fastest warming countries of the world, with its average temperature having increased between 0.7°C to 0.9°C, over the period of 50 years.
If you go back to the prehistoric times, the montane forest used to occupy almost one third of the present-day Rwanda. The naturally occurring vegetation has gotten restricted only to the three main national parks of Rwanda, with the majority of country indulging in terraced agriculture. The largest remaining forest tract – Nyungwe, comprises of 200 different species of trees and various begonias and orchids. Moorland and bamboo are the two main plant species that grow in the Volcanoes National Park, which comprises of some forest area too. On the other hand, Akagera features a savanna ecosystem comprising of acacia as the dominating flora. There are all sorts of endangered plant species one can find in Akagera, including the likes of Eulophia Guineensis and Markhamia Iutea. A good variety of mammals can be seen in the three different national parks of the country, which are designated as conservation areas.