As you’re planning for your African safari adventure that is quickly approaching, you might feel at a loss when it comes to a packing list. Should you purchase a safari outfit that is comprised entirely of khaki colors? What about a full-rimmed hat to protect you from the sweltering African sun? Will it be possible to purchase a strong insect repellent in Uganda, or is bringing it from home a safer alternative?
Feeling dazed and confused about what to bring and what to leave behind is common for trips to the African continent. Well, you can stop feeling confused about it since you can find some helpful packing tips and a comprehensive list of things to bring along with you for your safari in Uganda.
Packing for Uganda is Different than Other Parts of Africa
Packing for a safari in Uganda is different than packing for a safari in any other part of Africa. In Uganda, the main focus for the safari is to see primates, specifically gorillas and chimpanzees. During your “safari”, a good portion of it will be completed on foot. Many of the national parks in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo offer mountain and volcano hikes that you won’t want to miss out on.
A safari in the eastern African country of Tanzania is nothing like the ones you’ll find in Uganda. Most of the safari time will be spent roaming around in a jeep and there aren’t nearly as many hiking opportunities. Before you pack, you need to consider the exact activities you plan on doing, like whether or not you plan on climbing the volcanoes of the area.
Uganda Climate and Weather
Just as you would when packing for any other trip, you need to consider the weather of Uganda. Luckily, there are plenty of handy dandy tools and resources to help you figure out the weather trends and typical temperatures of Uganda during the time of year you plan on visiting. Just hop on an app or do a quick Google search to see what the weather is doing in your planned travel destination.
Generally, there are 2 wet seasons in Uganda over the year. The timing of these rainy spells depends on the part of Uganda you will be traveling to. Typically, the first wet period happens between March and May and the second happens from October to November. This is a general guideline though, so look up the forecast before you depart.
In terms of temperature, you can expect Uganda to be hot, but not too hot. When people imagine Africa, the first thing that comes to mind is sweltering heat.
They don’t realize that Africa is a HUGE continent and there are only a few destinations that experience sweltering heat regularly.
Luckily, Uganda is not one of these places. Temperatures here are quite comfortable, rarely rising about 29 degrees Celsius (or the mid 80’s for Fahrenheit). The average temperature is 26 degrees Celsius (or upper 70’s Fahrenheit) which is extremely pleasant.
Don’t let this fool you though; just because it isn’t overly hot doesn’t mean the sun is not strong. Apply sunscreen every chance you get during your safari – or better yet wear clothes that are lightweight while covering your skin.
Few Helpful Packing Tips
We’ve already covered a few helpful tips for packing your bags before heading to Uganda. Here are a few more to help out with the dreaded packing process.
- Pack according to your planned activities
- Pack lightweight clothes that offer full coverage
- Avoid suitcases with wheels; instead, use a backpack or duffel
- Bring a small daypack for day outings
- Pack a dry bag (especially during the rainy season)
- Wear money and passport belt in crowded cities and airport.
- Neutral colors are best for gorilla trekking in Africa
- Bring comfy boots (and don’t expect them to stay clean)
If these tips still aren’t getting you very far, you can use this comprehensive packing checklist. The number of each item you bring depends on the duration of your trip, but try not to overdo it.
- Long lightweight trousers
- Long-sleeved tops
- Appropriate-length shorts
- Full-brimmed hat
- Bathing suit
- Rain jack
These are just the clothing items you’ll need.
In terms of other items, it is a good idea to bring a decent camera (and don’t forget the charger or battery).
Packing Tricks to Maximize Space
Nobody likes checking a bag at the airport since there is no way to be sure that it will end up with you at your final destination. If you want to avoid checking a bag and take only a carry-on piece of luggage, this is entirely possible. Especially when you follow these helpful tricks for maximizing luggage space.
- Bring a travel-size shampoo and conditioner (or leave it behind if your hotel provides this)
- Purchase things like bug spray and sunscreen while in-country – you’ll be able to find it somewhere
- Roll your clothing items instead of folding them
- If it isn’t a necessity, leave it behind
Hope this post has answered your questions and concerns on what to pack for a safari in Uganda. Do share your tips if you have visited before. We would love to hear your thoughts.