So, you’re taking a trip to Uganda … Congratulations! You are about to embark on an exciting lifetime adventure filled with beauty and wonder. Many travelers find some few challenges¬† to travel in Africa, given that it is still exotic and wild. Here are the most essential things that you should not forget to pack for your safari in Africa.

Clothes for Women

  • 4 t-shirts
  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 1 sweatshirt/fleece
  • 1 pair of comfortable shorts
  • 2 pairs of cotton trousers/pants
  • 1 cotton wrap (great to wear during the afternoon siesta, buy locally if you can)
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 4 pairs cotton underwear (you can wash and dry overnight)
  • 3 sports bras (VERY bumpy roads)
  • Very thin waterproof raincoat if traveling during the wet season
  • Sunglasses (for the dust as well as bright sun)
  • Flannel pajama pants for the chilly nights
  • Hat with chin strap (to avoid it blowing off your head and into the bush)
  • Swimsuit
  • Lightweight, durable, waterproof shoes
  • Flip flops or sandals for around camp, (or to wear in the shower)

Clothes for Men

  • 4 t-shirts
  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 1 sweatshirt/fleece
  • 1 pair of comfortable shorts
  • 2 pairs of cotton trousers/pants
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 4 Pairs Underwear (you can wash and dry overnight)
  • Flannel pajama pants for the chilly nights
  • Very thin waterproof raincoat if traveling during the wet season
  • Sunglasses (for the dust as well as bright sun)
  • Hat with chin strap (to avoid it blowing off your head and into the bush)
  • Swimsuit
  • Lightweight, durable, waterproof shoes
  • Flip flops or sandals for around camp, (or to wear in the shower)

Toiletries/First Aid
Every camp or lodge will have a basic first aid kit on hand, and most safari vehicles will too (especially those operated by higher end camps). But it’s handy to bring your own small supply of hand gel, band aids, aspirin etc…

  • Malarial prophylactics
  • Sunscreen (Factor 30 or above)
  • Antihistamine (for bug bites/stings and allergic reactions)
  • Aspirin/Motrin/Tylenol for pain/headaches
  • Mosquito Repellant
  • 3 one gallon ziplock bags (to keep things like your camera dry or free of dust and your dirty clothes separate)
  • Tampons/Pads for women (panty-liners are a must since you’ll be drip drying after peeing in the bush on game drives!)
  • Antiseptic gel (handy for washing your hands when there’s no water around)
  • Anti-diarrheal medication
  • Band aids with antiseptic cream
  • Personal toiletries in small travel size, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant etc
  • Prescription medications
  • Spare glasses if you wear contacts (because it’s often too dusty to wear them comfortably)

Gadgets and Gizmos

  • Converter plug to fit local sockets so you can recharge your phone, camera battery, i-Pad
  • Small Flashlight (when walking to and from your room at night, and to use inside your tent)
  • Camera (with zoom lenses and tripod if you’re serious, but remember the weight restrictions for flights)
  • Extra memory card for your camera (you’ll take more video and photos than you ever thought possible)
  • Binoculars (high end camps should have a spare pair in the safari vehicles for you to use)
  • Spare batteries and/or battery charger (always check to see what the camp has, or safari vehicle)
  • I-Pad or similar device for your books, to store your photos, alarm clock, and sound recording (fun if you have a lot of wildlife around your camp/lodge at night, it gets loud!)
  • Cell phone with local plan (optional, but handy to connect with family/friends back home. Most camps will not have wi-fi, but will have a cell phone connection)

Pack For a Purpose
At Experience Africa, we work with several local non governmental organizations and local community projects. If you have some space in your bag, you can bring any school supplies, medical supplies, clothing or other light objects that can be given to the local community projects.

When planning a camping safari in Uganda, it is important to understand that some basic items help you make it through an ordinary day and others you must use in case of extraordinary circumstances that catch you by surprise. Here are the essential list of things that you need to have a fantastic camping trip in Uganda;

Compass

If you don’t know where you are, you can’t tell where you’re going. A compass is a basic need for every camper, so that means every camper in your group needs his own. A compass in the hand of the group from which you get separated does you, the lost member, absolutely no good.

Map

Many cell phones are equipped with GPS technology, and there are dedicated handheld GPS devices. However, neither of those are any good if the power supply runs out or if the signal fails to reach it for one reason or another. The best advice is to equip yourself with a GPS device and a map, but definitely make sure you take a highly detailed and updated map of the camping area with you. A map with a scale of at least 1:100,000 provides the necessary view of detailed land features that help you determine where you are.

Flashlight

Rains come and campfires go out, and the last thing you want is to be left alone in the dark. Every member of the party should be equipped with a small handheld flashlight, but make sure to bring a couple of larger lanterns that can be used to illuminate larger areas and scare off unwanted nocturnal animals who may come looking to take your food.

Swiss Army Knife

A Swiss army knife is one basic camping need that many people nowadays don’t think about, but it can be a lifesaver. Not only do you get the requisite knife that you need for everything from gutting a fish to tying off your tent, but the knife also may include a fork, spoon, tweezers, scissors and saw.

Food and Drink

If you want hot food, make sure you bring a fire starter or a book of matches. Metal plates are durable and easily cleaned. Plastic cups are lighter than metal cups, but melt if placed too close to the fire. Bring some bottled water, because if you do find a freshwater supply, it may be contaminated with bacteria. Although the romance of drinking from a fresh stream remains intact, the reality is that in most cases bottled water is probably safer to drink.