Your packing list for Africa / Uganda safari /trekking trip
Peoples travel habits vary allot. Because of this, Packing lists can range from simple to very complex. Your packing list will also depend on the purpose and duration of travel. Basing on these and many other factors, the packing list could be long or short, giving you varied amounts of weight and luggage. Depending on the experience or purpose of your travel, what I call unnecessary on the list could be your most important item.
I will put it clear at the beginning that; my packing list should work as an indication of what you can consider packing for your trip to Uganda. If you’re putting together a packing list for your friend or client, I encourage you to cut and paste the whole list and advise them to take out what they need and leave out what they don’t want basing on the goals of their trip. Beside my trust in the usefulness of the content I am sure they will use some items within the list but may leave aout some.
I have talked to a dozen people who have been trekking in Uganda, trying to find out what they found most useful or what would have made their trip better during their trek in the different parts and parks of the country. With their contribution, I have put together this packing list. The finding is quite interesting. Some very small tools/items that they found so useful, yet people rarely consider putting them on their packing list for a trip. Another interesting point I noted is to keep all important items like medicines and money in three different pack or areas or your luggage. something very small but can have a good impact on the success of your trip.
Please read the packing list below. Most commonly, you may have seen the following on the packing list advice that has been shared from other people before. I will start with the most obvious items and end with the most important items.
A- Obvious supplies that may be of choice
- Prescription glasses (and a spare pair)
- Flashlight and battery powered reading light with spare batteries.
- Ear plugs (just in case of noisy environment)
- Alarm clock
- Money pouch
- Pocket Knife (a Swiss army knife or something of the kind can cover for many needs – keep it out of hand luggage)
- A camera
- Trekking items of personal preference
- Day pack (small bag for your daily/ timely needs)
- Water bottle ( a camelback is handy for longer treks)
- Special/ favorite snacks
- Books / Magazines / Journal
- Small Sewing Kit (some components like scissors not in hand luggage)
- Stationary (Pen and paper)
- Tube of Travel Wash
- A power bank compatible to your gadgets ( should be refilled every time you have chance)
B- Toiletries of choice
- Shampoo / Conditioner
- Lip Balm
- Toothpaste / Toothbrush
- Hair Brush / Comb
- Electric / Hand Razor
- Emery Boards / Tweezers
- Hand Lotion
- Fem. Hygiene Supplies
C- Medicines of choice (with guidance from your certified doctor)
- Malaria prophylaxis
- Prescription drugs
- Insect repellant
- Sun Screen
D- Clothing of choice
- Walking shoes
- Changing shoes or Flip flops
- Sun hat
- Jacket / Windbreaker
- Sweater / Sweatshirt / Fleece jacket
- Safari trousers (2 pairs)
- Safari shorts (2 pairs)
- Sport socks (4 pair)
- 3 short sleeve shirts (3)
- Long sleeve shirts (2)
- T-shirts (2)
- 1 pair casual trousers (men) evening outfit (women) – for evening
- A complete set of rain gear
- Trekking/ walking boots
- Sleep ware (night dressing/ sleeping bag/pajamas/ sleeping mat etc.)
- Special clothing specific for the trip or trekking (contact your hotel or tour agent)
E- Documents (required)
- Health and vaccination documents
- Credit Cards (VISA, MasterCard and / or American Express)
- Tickets (Any entry tickets, gorilla tickets, air tickets etc.)
- Cash & Travellers’ Cheques (please have a separate record of TC numbers)
- Photo-copy of passport / visas / insurance papers and other important documents or tickets)
- Identification information (Passports, visa or any other for your special purposes)
These are the four items that most people tent to leave out of their packing lists. In most cases, people learn of them from a bad experience. These last four are based on different experiences from different people at different times. Please read on;
- Contact list in hard copy: Avoid keeping your important information such as contacts hat you will need for the trip, on mobile gadgets or online. These may be stolen, you may not find network connection or the gadget may run out of battery or fail to start for some reason when you need them. Take the important contacts in hard copy.
- Updated map (s) of Uganda: Don’t trust maps downloaded from internet as they may be outdated or may be having old names of features and places that even the local people dont understand. Some areas or roads in Uganda have not been updated on Google for many years. You can buy a local map on arrival. Uganda is a very first developing country that changes every time. Within a very short time, landmarks will have been removed and different ones put up in towns, and on the roads.
- Multiple money bags/ wallets/ pouch: Though we don’t encourage you to move with allot of cash, sometimes it becomes hard to completely avoid moving with cash. Especially in the rural areas where you don’t expect to find banks or ATM machines. One could be for change and will keep small amounts needed on timely basis the the other for lareg amounts and the other one for hard currency. These will also help you to separate currencies.
- Match box/ lighter: Fire is both good and bad for the environment, but we can’t rule out that we need it in our life as the key natural form of energy. Fire can be started naturally using two sticks by the bushmen or indigenous people but this can be done only if you didn’t move with any and it takes time or skill. List the number of times you may need fire while on the trek. On the list you have done, add on the following; – disinfecting any tools, setting a fire to provide heat/ energy on the trail if necessary, etc. This is why you should have a lighter in your day pack
Other important things to note about travelling to Uganda;
Currency and payments: The local currency is Uganda shillings (UGx) Hard currency- US Dollars. These two are the commonly accepted. Other currencies will rarely be accepted and only with the big firms or online payments. You will be surprised to know that even large farms will not accept credit cards. So there is high demand of cash. Old dollar currency notes older than 2003 of print will be changed at a smaller rate, smaller notes alike (20$ and bellow)
Banks: Most banks have ATM outlets but very few ATMs will accept international ATM cards. From experience, most people successfully use either Stanbic bank or Barclays bank.
Electricity: the electricity is 240 Volt, 50 Hz). A UK plug is used here and sockets are usually 3 pin and are of the square variety
Note: This information will help you to put together a perfect packing list. While you prepare your packing list, ensure that you ask your tour agent or hotel to advise you on what to pack in case something is specifically required or anything i may have left out.