THINGS TO PACK FOR A TRIP | WHAT TO PACK FOR A SAFARI TO UGANDA? UGANDA SAFARI PACKING LIST.
As you plan for things to pack for a trip or your Uganda safari packing list, the words light and right should be considered. What to pack for a safari to Uganda starts with a suitcase or duffel bag. A normal suitcase is ideal for organized tours, or for those who are traveling mostly by air or private transport.
Ideally, buy a suitcase that easily slings across your back, or that rolls, or both. Travelers using public transport should either use a backpack or a suitcase that converts into one.
Make sure your luggage is designed in such a manner that it can easily be padlocked. This won’t prevent a determined thief from slashing it open, but it is a real deterrent to casual theft.
Also, you think about for the things to pack for your safaris in Uganda, you need to think of activities you will do such as; Gorilla trekking in Uganda, Chimpanzee tracking, Hiking and nature walks, Mountain climbing, Bird watching, Cultural tours, and others so that you don’t forget any essential item for a particular activity.
Below is a list of things to pack for a trip to Uganda.
Safari clothes—clothes for your safari in Uganda
Bright colors should be avoided while carrying out Uganda safari activities in the jungle, but these can be used while at the lodge or hotel. It is strongly advised to bring clothes in neutral colors such as green, Khaki, and light brown.
- Face masks: Every individual traveler is advised to carry a mask(s). While in Uganda, you will be required to wear quality N95 masks, surgical masks, or cloth masks with filters as one of Uganda COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs).
- T-shirt, shirt, or blouse: You’re advised to bring long-sleeved shirts to protect you from the sun and insects during hiking and nature walks, gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, and bird-watching hikes. A long-sleeved shirt will also offer you protection against cuts from branches, vines, and stinging nettles. Use wrinkle-free items, especially with shirts.
- Long trousers: Carry light cotton trousers which can dry more quickly and weigh less. You should avoid light colors as they show dirt more easily. Two pairs of trousers can be enough for your tour in Uganda.
- Shorts: These are acceptable especially on men though Ugandans consider them inappropriate on grown men. You should not wear them during Uganda gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking.
- Skirt: Like trousers, skirts should be made of light natural fabric such as cotton. It is advisable to wear skirts that go below the knees. You may need 1 skirt for your safaris in Uganda.
- Sweater/fleece Jacket: Heat and sunshine are Africa’s most renowned attributes yet the chilly mornings and nights may momentarily make you forget how much you sweated at noon.
Temperatures in Uganda cool down at night and in the morning, especially at the highest altitude like in Fort Portal, Bwindi Impenetrable National National Park region, Mgahinga National Park region, the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, and other areas. For general purposes, one warm sweater or fleece Jacket should be adequate.
- A light rain jacket/poncho: This is also very essential for visitors especially those interested in visiting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking, Kibale National Park for chimpanzees trekking, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park for gorilla trekking, and Mountain climbing destinations like Elgon and Rwenzori. This will protect from rain as it can rain any time in these areas.
- Shoes, boots, and sandals: White shoes are not recommended on a Uganda tour as they easily get dirty and it is not easy to clean them. In Kampala or Entebbe, you can put on lightweight shoes and ensure that they shined– once again culturally you get a lot more respect. Sandals will be perfect around the lodge.
- Light-weight waterproof hiking boots or shoes are also very essential if you are interested in gorilla trekking in Uganda, chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, mountain hiking in Uganda, birdwatching in Uganda, hikes, and nature walks. A good pair of hiking shoes, preferably made of leather and with some ankle support, is a good compromise.
- Socks: Cotton or wool socks are good. Bear in mind that re-using them when sweaty will encourage fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. You will need to pack some good hiking socks if you are interested in gorilla trekking and mountain hiking and climbing activities during your Uganda safaris.
- Strong gardening gloves: You are strongly advised to carry sturdy gardening gloves if you are interested in gorilla trekking in Uganda. The gloves will protect you while supporting your selves on tree branches or vines. They give you protection against stinging nettles. When you meet the gorillas, you can put off them to take good photos.
Sun protection gears for your Uganda safari
Uganda is on the Equator. You are advised to carry sun protection gear to protect you from the strong equatorial sun during your safaris and tours in Uganda.
Below are the essential sun protection items to carry for your safari in Uganda;
- Sunscreen/sun blocker cream: This will give protection to your face and eyes from Uganda’s hot Equatorial sun.
- A wide-brimmed safari hat: Carry one with a cord so that it does not get blown off as you ride through the wild. It should be large enough to cover not just your head but your neck too. You can actually buy one in Uganda at curio shops.
- Sunglasses: These will protect you from the direct sunshine, especially on your game drives.
- Umbrella: This can be useful against rain and sunshine.
Travel documents for Uganda
- You must carry a valid negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test certificate issued no more than 72 hours issued not more than 72 hours before the date of arrival.
- A passport: This is needed for all foreign visitors and must be valid for at least six months. It has to be with a clean and full visa page for endorsement.
- Visa: Citizens of most countries must have a visa to travel to Uganda. Visas can be obtained in advance through an official online visa-application portal, but they can also be obtained through your local Uganda embassy or high commission, or on arrival at Entebbe International Airport.
- Uganda tourist visas work for Uganda only but there is also the East African Tourist Visa which covers Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda.
- A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate: This will be required as part of a visa application.
- You will also need to travel with your tickets, travel insurance documents, and safari itinerary.
Note: Always keep copies of travel documents with you while on safari tours in Uganda. You can keep digital copies of your passport pages and other travel documents on your smartphone of tablet. The most important document that you should always be prepared to show to immigration and customs officials is your passport, and your stamped visa if applied prior to arrival.
Basic Medical Kit
Basic first aid kits are available at many Uganda lodges, hotels, and camps, but you should always have one with you should an emergency arise. Below are what can constitute this kit;
- Hand sanitizer. You will need to regularly sanitize during this period of COVID-19.
- Insect repellent
- Anti-malarial tablets
- Pain killers e.g. aspirin or Panadol (prescribed by your physician)
- Bandages and cotton
- Preventive medication for diarrhea, stomach and headaches
- Your prescription medicines and treatment for any chronic illnesses
- Preventative pharmaceuticals
- Cold and allergy medicine
- Stomachache medicines
- Diarrhea and medicine
- Prescription antibiotics effective fight against a range of bacteria
- Prescription Medications
Lodges and hotels in Uganda provide some toiletries but it is ideal that you have your own in case you decide to camp far from the luxury of the safari lodge. These include;
- Wet wipes; to cleanse your face or body of the dust that accumulates from the game drives before you get a full-blown shower.
- Toothpaste and a toothbrush
- Shampoo, conditioner, and soap; lodges and camps supply these but if you prefer your own, feel free to bring it on board in a small size travel bottle.
- Small towel
- Body Lotion
- Comb and small mirror
- Ant – bacteria gel, hand- wipes, and Kleenex
- While on your Uganda safari tours, you will need to capture every magical moment. Uganda is blessed with a variety of wildlife such as chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, a variety of monkeys, lions, elephants, a variety of birds, and many others as well stunning landscapes.
- You will need a good long-range camera that allows you to capture a great level of detail in a photo so that you can easily capture images of wildlife that are a bit far from you during game drives.
- You also need that camera that allows you to shoot in low-light conditions because you will be trekking deep in the forest. Remembers to bring spare memory cards and batteries as you will want to take lots of photos.
- A good pair of binoculars is very essential if you want to get a good look at birds or to watch distant mammals in Uganda National Parks.
- Uganda is a great bird-watching destination with over 1073 species of birds. Get the most expensive you can afford (at least 8x or better still 10x magnification).
7. Electrical Items
- In Uganda, the voltage is 220 to 240. British Plugs are used and most safari lodges and hotels have electrical strips where you can charge your camera but you are better off carrying a convertible adaptor to make your charging easy while at the camp or lodge.
- A good torch (flashlight) is very essential. It can be pitch black in the bush or in your tent in the middle of the night.
- A rechargeable torch is ideal but a small battery-powered torch is sufficient. The new LED miner’s lights that fit on your head (and leave your hands free) are also a good option.
- A smaller (pencil) torch for emergencies or looking at star maps is also worth considering. Most lodges will provide a torch or will walk you back to your lodge as required, but being self-sufficient is always a good idea.
Mobile Phone, iPad, Or Tablet
- Most Uganda safari lodges and hotels have Wi-Fi in the lounge area.
- In case you’re the kind that likes to upload your experiences on social media on the go – then these items will be of great use to you as you look to keep people at home informed on your journeys.
- You can choose to roam or buy a local sim card but this requires that your mobile phone should be unlocked.
- ATM/Credit cards, (let your bank know you’ll be traveling abroad before you leave)
- Bird and animal guidebooks
- Health-insurance card (check to see if your healthcare provider has an overseas partner)
- Healthy snacks (chewy granola bars, dried fruit, mini bagels, nuts, and pretzels)
- Local guidebooks and Maps
- Money belt
A waterproof day pack
A day pack should be one bag that carries a day’s worth of supplies. This may include packed lunch, a rain poncho, a few toiletries like sanitizer, and flashlight