The Ultimate Uganda Packing List
There are plenty of reasons why you might be unsure what to include on a Uganda packing list. Firstly, there’s a climate which is starkly different at different times of year and in varied parts of the country. Then there’s the worry of what to wear so you remain comfortable whilst on safari or gorilla trekking.
In these instances, a few helpful hints from those in the know are more than useful. After all, you don’t want to carry about bits of kit you’re never going to use, yet be desperate for an object stuck in a cupboard at home.
Here we guide you through exactly what you’ll need for to create an ultimate Uganda packing list – and detail why too!
How the Weather Will Affect Your Uganda Packing List
Forget any thought you might have had about four changing seasons. Because of Uganda’s location straddling the equator, it is a country which experiences just two, wet and dry seasons. That said, in the southern two-thirds of the country these seasons are divided into two portions.
Visit Uganda during the main travel periods of April through to September and January through to March and you’ll enjoy largely dry weather, since these months correspond with the country’s dry seasons. Traveling from March to May or September to December is still very possible, but sunny skies are interrupted by heavy downpours of rain. If you plan to head to Kidepo National Park, you’ll need to be aware that the northern third of the country is different again. It experiences just one wet season, from March to September.
Temperatures, however, remain relatively constant throughout the year, wherever you are in the country. They average a pleasant 26°C (79°F) and rarely rise above 30°C (86°F).
What does this mean for your Uganda packing list? First and foremost, it means you’ll want to pack light summer clothing – avoid bringing heavier items such as denims. Stick as much as possible to natural materials like cotton which are much fresher on the skin in the heat.
Should you be contemplating tours in Uganda during any of the wet months, you’ll see humidity levels of around 70%. Breathable clothes are therefore an excellent wardrobe choice. Umbrellas are much preferable over raincoats because of the stuffiness of the latter. However, if you’re also going on a gorilla trek, waterproofs are going to be a must at almost any time of year, as we’ll see next.
What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking
Rainforests, where Uganda’s gorillas predominately live, are notoriously wet, which is why we gave them the name we did. It shouldn’t therefore be a surprise that showers can occur at any time of year, or that even during Uganda’s dry seasons the forest floor can remain slippery and wet.
To go gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, your Uganda packing list will need to include a pair of waterproof hiking boots with good grip, as well as long pants and long-sleeved tops to prevent scratches and abrasions along the forest paths you’ll be following.
To stay dry, add a light waterproof jacket to this list. Many people also like to bring a thick pair of gloves, such as for gardening, to prevent thorns piercing the skin when you steady yourself on a prickly branch.
Guidelines For the Only Safari Packing List You’ll Ever Need
A Uganda packing list for a traditional savannah safari is slightly different in its requirements. Here, the primary aim is to stay as cool as possible whilst not scaring away the elephant, lion, leopard and other animals you’ve come to see.
To remain cool, it’s best to wear baggy clothing rather than tightly fitting garments, as loose-fitting items allow cooling air around your skin. A sunhat with a broad shade is another must have item, alongside sunglasses. Without them the glare of the sun can become overbearing very quickly.
To blend in as much as possible with the natural environment, whether you’re on a game drive, boat, or walking safari, you’ll want to wear natural tones such as beige, khaki, light browns and greens. Pure whites show the dirt very quickly and bright colors such as reds alert the animals of the plains to the presence of something unusual, keeping them at a distance.
Additional Items for Your Uganda Packing List
It probably goes without saying that you’re going to want a camera and plenty of empty memory cards whatever your plans are for your trip to Uganda. Other camera equipment such as tripods can be tempting, but with the movement of safari vehicles and the rough terrain a small beanbag to rest your camera on is often a better bet.
Given the heat, wherever possible footwear should also be light. An old pair of sneakers makes for a great addition to hiking boots. Sandals and flip flops are not only useful for the beach, but also times when you’re relaxing in your room.
Finally, it’s vitally important to have a good medical kit. For any trip to Uganda, we advise talking with your home medical practitioner as soon as possible. They will guide you through what you are required to take, and will more than likely suggest a course of anti-malarial tablets as a preventative treatment against this potentially fatal disease. Transmitted by mosquitoes, a net to sleep under and tropical-strength repellants are further items to add to your Uganda packing list.
Your No-Stress Guide to Packing for Uganda
Coming up with a Uganda packing list doesn’t have to be a troublesome moment of pre-trip planning. In this short guide you’ve got everything you need to pack successfully for your travels to this wonderful country, taking account of the climate and main reasons most visit Uganda.
Packing the right gear will make your time in Uganda all the easier and more comfortable. It also means you’ll be packing light – which is vital if taking a domestic flight by light aircraft where baggage weight is restricted. Don’t forget to keep this in mind when packing too!