What Should You Pack For A Safari In Uganda?

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Uganda safari packing list

You have waited months for your Uganda safari vacation to see the mountain gorillas, chimps, and other unique Uganda wildlife to finally come around.

And now you’re wondering what you should pack for your safari in Uganda.

You are perhaps hoping to keep the luggage to a minimum by including only the necessities – which of course vary from season to season.

We break it down for you in this Uganda safari packing list.

What are the Different Seasons in Uganda?

Uganda is divided by the equator line and enjoys a mostly tropical climate.

There are two rainy seasons and two dry seasons in Uganda, all with their own charm and of course, unique conditions.

Depending on when you choose to travel to Uganda, what you decide to wear on Uganda safari tour can make all the difference between a pleasurable experience and a rather uncomfortable one.

However, regardless of which time of the year you embark on your safari in Uganda, you are guaranteed to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Uganda Equator line

Dry Seasons

Uganda safaris are often more popular during the dry months (June to September and January to February), where rainfall is less frequent, and animals in the Savannah parks congregate near water sources – making them more visible.

These times are also the best time to trek and see the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and chimpanzees in Kibale Forest.

Rainy Seasons

The rainy months in Uganda are split into the ‘long rains’ (March to May) which take place from about March to May (with the wettest month usually being April), and the ‘short rains’ taking place from October to November.

A rainy season visit is well worth considering to avoid the peak-season crowds and to take advantage of cheaper, off-season rates on accommodation and tours.

Packing List for a Uganda Safari

1. Clothing

Of course you are not going to forget clothes! But as you are planning for your safari to Uganda, ensure you are taking the right clothes.

The early mornings and late evenings in Uganda are almost always chilly, with temperatures rising during the late morning and midday, so you will need to pack both warm and cool clothes.

Ensure that the clothes you are packing are neutral and earthy colours, allowing you to blend in the environment as much as possible during wildlife viewing – think khaki, green, beige and brown.

Avoid camouflage clothing, as Uganda reserves that for the military.

Do not overdo it, but ensure you are including the following:

  • Light, long-sleeved shirts – linen and cotton
  • Warm, windproof jackets
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Comfortable closed shoes and sandals
  • Adequate socks and underwear
  • Raincoats
  • Sweaters and beanies
  • Jeans and warm pants
  • Dresses or shorts
  • Broad-brimmed hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimming costume
  • Warm and cool pajamas
  • Sarong or kikoi
  • Backpack or fanny pack

2. Tech & Gear

Your packing list for the Uganda safari tour goes far beyond clothes, as chances are you are going to want to capture the memories made whether you are a tech guru or not!

In fact, some travellers choose Uganda as a sole destination for a photographic safari, given its incredible topography and wildlife sightings like gorillas, chimpanzees, hippos, crocodiles, rhinos and tree-climbing lions.

But, if you are interested in ensuring you have all the tech and gear you need while far away from home, then this checklist will do the trick:

  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Cellphone
  • Memory cards
  • Chargers for all electronic
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Country-specific adaptor plug

3. Toiletries

While some camps and lodges in Uganda offer shops selling essential items, it’s always best to pack your own toiletries to ensure you have what you need at all times.

Given that you’ll be spending your time between the comfort of your lodgings and the great outdoors, you should pack an assortment of items suited to each instance.

No one wants to break the magnificent safari spell by having to venture into the big towns and cities to stock up on items not readily available within private reserves, so rather stick to the below list to ensure you have everything you need:

  • Insect repellent
  • Bug bite remedies
  • Sunscreen
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Moisturiser
  • Aftersun lotion
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Deodorant
  • Lip balm
  • Applicable medication
  • Rehydration & electrolyte sachets

4. Travel Documents

Without the right travel documents, you could find yourself in a bit of a bind before embarking on your Uganda safari.

Holidays are all about immersing yourself in the magic of a new destination.

And no one wants to deal with the stress of managing admin while on what should be a relaxing vacation.Therefore, it’s vital to ensure you’re equipped with the right documents prior to your adventure.

From health certificates and useful guides, to Uganda-specific forms and important travel papers. Here are all the important documents you need before embarking on your Uganda safari tour:

  • Visa
  • Passport
  • Identity document
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • Lodge contact numbers
  • Medical certificates
  • Maps and guide books
  • COVID-19 PCR test certificate (fully vaccinated travellers are exempt from PCR testing)
  • Travel insurance papers
  • Traveler Health Surveillance form

What Should You Not Bring to Uganda?

When packing for your Uganda safari, you’ll want to ensure that your luggage is free of any potentially polluting products.

Here are some of the items you may not bring in Uganda:

  • Zip-lock bags
  • Grocery bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Duty free-bags
  • Plastic water bottles
  • Plastic bread bag tags
  • Styrofoam takeaway containers
  • Straws
  • Plastic packaging materials
  • Plastic cutlery

Conclusion

Packing the correct clothing, tech and gear, toiletries and travel documents are all essential for a fuss-free safari, but you also don’t want to be carrying around a monster suitcase all holiday long!

Pack smart, and remember that less is more – especially when traveling via an airline with weight restriction limits, or embarking on a lengthy walking safari between lodges and camps.

What’s more, most lodges and camps provide a same-day laundry service for added convenience, so you can rewear the same items multiple times.

Just one more reason you shouldn’t feel the need to pack a ton! After all, you’re going on a once-in-a lifetime trip where comfort and joy should take pride of place, without having to carry extra weight.

If you’re interested in a Uganda safari, have a look at our Uganda Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors, or get in touch with one of our Uganda Safari Experts to help tailor-make an itinerary that’s right for you:

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