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Essential Items to Pack for Your African Safari

Tips and advice on the things you need! Clothes; trousers, shirts, skirts, shoes and so much more!

Courtesy of Lifetime Experience Safaris - Its about You!

Carrying your luggage

Visitors who are unlikely to be carrying their luggage for any significant distance will probably want to pack most of it in a conventional suitcase. Make sure the case is tough and durable, and that it seals well, so that the content will survive bumpy drives to the game reserves. A lock is a good idea, not only for flights, but for when you leave your case in a hotel room. Theft from most hotels and Guest houses in Uganda is un usual, but it can happen anywhere in the world, even a flimsy lock will act as a serious deterrent to casual finger-dipping. A daypack will be useful on safari, and you should be able to pack your luggage in such a manner that any breakable goods can be carried in the body of the vehicle, and on your laps when necessary – anything like mp3 player or camera will suffer heavily from vibrations on rutted roads.

An internal frame backpack is the most practical option for carrying luggage to those likely to use public transport. Ensure your pack is durable, that the seams and zips properly sewn, and it has several pockets. If you intend doing a lot of hiking, you definitely want a backpack designed for this purpose. On the other hand if you are staying in a place where it might be a good idea to shake off the sometime negative image attached to backpackers, then there would be obvious advantage in using suitcase that converts into backpack.

Camping Equipment there is a strong case of carrying a tent to Uganda, particularly if you are on a tight budget. Campsites exist in most Uganda national parks, forest reserves and towns. Travelers who intend doing a fair bit of off-the-beaten-truck hiking will find a tent a useful fallback where no other accommodation exists. If you decide carrying camping equipment, the key is to look for the lightest available gear. It is now possible to buy a lightweight tent weight little more than 2kg, but make sure that the one you buy is reasonably mosquito-proof. Usable sleeping bags weighing even less than 2kg can be bought, but especially as many light sleeping bags are not particularly warm, the better you get a sheet sleeping bag and supplement it by wearing heavy cloths in cold weather. Also essential is a roll-mat, which will serve as both insulation and padding. Uganda, there is no real need to carry a stove, as firewood ia available at most campsites where meals cannot be bought. If you do carry a stove, it’s worth knowing that camping Gas cylinders are not readily available. Try Nakumatt Shopping mall on Yusuf Lule Road of Game store. In Kampala’s Lugogo Mall whish have Uganda’s best selections of outdoor camping equipment. If you are camping in the rain season, bring a box of firelighter blocks: they will get a fire going in the most unpromising conditions. It will also be advisable to carry a pot, plate, cup and cutlery – lightweight cooking utensils are available in most camping shops in western countries.

Clothes to Wear for your Uganda Safari

Assuming that you have the space, you ought to carry at least one change of shirt and underwear for everyday you will spend on safari. Organizing laundry along the way is a pain in the neck, and the dusty conditions will practically enforce a daily change of cloth. It’s a good idea to keep separate one or two shirts for evening use only. If you are travelling with everything on your back, try to keep your clothes to a minimum, bearing in mind that you can easily and cheaply replace worn items in markets. In my personal opinion, the minimum you need is one or possibly two pairs of trousers/pair of pants and / or skirts, one pair of shorts, three shirts or T-shirts, one light sweater, maybe a light waterproof windbreaker during the rainy season, enough socks and underwear to last five to seven days, one solid pair of shoes or boots for walking, and one pair of sandals, thongs or other light shoes.

Trousers; its widely held that jeans are not ideal for African travel, since they are bulky to carry, hot to wear and ages to dry. Jeans have the advantages of durability and comfort, and hiding the dust and dirt that tend to accumulate on public transport. Light cotton trousers would be a good alternative since they dry more quickly and weigh less. Avoid light colours and they may show dirt more easily. If you intend spending a while in the montane regions, you might prefer to carry tracksuit bottoms instead of a second pair of trousers as they may serve as thermal underwear and extra cover in chilly nights and can also be worn over shorts on chilly mornings.

Skirts; like trousers, these are best made of natural fabric such as cotton. For seasons of protocol it’s advisable to wear skirts that go below the knees. Short skirts will cause needless offence to many Ugandans especially Muslims and may also be perceived as provocative in some quarters. There are parts of Africa where it is still considered slightly off for women to wear trousers or jeans rather than a skirt, but this is not a real issue in Uganda.

Shirts T-shirts are arguably better than button up shirts, because they are lighter and less bulky. The top pocket of a shirt particularly with the button up shirts is a good place to carry your spending money in markets and bus stations as it is easier to keep an eye on than trousers.

Sweaters/coats Uganda is generally warm at night, though at higher altitude (for instance in Fort Portal) it can cool down in the evening. For general purpose one warm sweater, fleece, jacket or sweatershirt should be adquet. If you intend to hike on Mount Rwenzori or Elgon, you will probably need very warm clothing. Western Ugand has a wet climate, and showers are normal even in the dry season. A light waterproof jacket is close to essential. The other alternative would be a lightweight umbrella to help against rain and sun. local ones a weak so its better you bring yours with you.

Socks and underwear; these must be made of natural fabric, and bear in mind that re-using them when sweaty will encourage fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, as well ad prickly heat in the groin region. Socks and underparts are light and compact enough for it to be worth bringing a week’s supply.

Shoes; unless you are serious about off-road hiking, bulky hiking shoes boots are probably over the top in Uganda. They are also very heavy, whether they are on your feet or in your pack. A good pair of walking shoes, preferably made of leather and with some ankle support, is a good compromise. Its also useful to carry sandals, thongs or other light shoes.

Other items we suggest you should include Uganda safari pack

    • Sleeping bag a light sleeping bag will be more that adquet in most parts of Uganda.
    • Binoculars if your interested in natural history, its difficult to imagine something that will give such value-for-weight entertainment as a pair of light compact binoculars.
    • Padlock this would be useful if you have a lockable pack and in remote parts of the country it might be necessary for rooms where no lock is provided.
    • Toilet/bathroom bag this should include soap (if possible packed in a soap holder), shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste. A razor for men will be nice, enough tampons and / sanitary pads for women, to see them through at least one heavy period, towel or keep handy a roll of loo paper.
    • Other essential include, a torch/flashlight, a penknife, a compact alarm clock, games (most commonly a pack of cards, medical kit, and contact lenses. Bring all the fluids you need since they are not available in Uganda.

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