What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear Advice

Posted by on September 7, 2020

What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Advice

Keep it simple – Practical and Protective for your comfort while on Safari in Uganda


What to wear on SafariBeing Practical- Dress Safari Smart:  What to wear on Safari in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. What you are going to wear determines what you are going pack for your safari in Uganda. You are going on an adventure in the Wild of Africa, so you dress and pack for the occasion, just like you would for a trip to New York, London, Berlin, or Paris.

Packing the right Safari Gear is determined by the Activities that are part of your Safari. You will be in Tropical, Equatorial Africa, Uganda, and the right-wear and gear for the occasion is what is needed.

In Kampala, Entebbe, and even Jinja, it is about dressing smart, on Safari, it is about packing and dressing wisely and intelligent. The intelligent here is about your protection against insects, thorns, nettles, pesky branches, soldier ants.  Yes, you are in equatorial Africa, yes it is warm and sunny. However, dressing for your safari is about your comfort and wellbeing, and we know what kind of clothing works best for you, protects you, keeps you safe, and well while comfortable.


What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear AdviceDress right for your Safari

What to wear on Safari in Uganda. When it comes to the right Safari Wear, Uganda is different from Kenya, Tanzania, and other African Safari Destination. Uganda- though located on the equator. Uganda is higher in elevation than countries such as Kenya and Tanzania.  The altitude, Lake Victoria, the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon, the Volcanoes make safaris pleasant in Uganda due to its temperate Climate.

Those Coming on a Safari to the Pearl of Africa often make a mistake in that they bring a lot of clothing that is not meant for a Safari but Caribbean Beach Holiday.

If you want to know how to dress for a Safari in Uganda, doing the various kinds of activities, one needs to look at what those in the know are wearing in Uganda’s National Parks, the    Uganda Wildlife Rangers. You do not see them doing nature walks, hikes, treks in shorts, and Tank Tops. They dress for protection from insects, thorny bushes, nettles, and whatever else one might encounter in the wilderness.

The right Safari Wear depends on the activities you will be doing.  On a game drive, there is less need for protective clothing than what you would need Chimpanzee or Gorilla Trekking. Take the time to find out what is best for your safari in Uganda.

Dress right for the Occasion, for the Activity such as a hike, gorilla or chimpanzee Trek, Volcano Climb.  Know before you and like the Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers – Dress Smart.


What to wear on Safari in Uganda and Rwanda – Clothing – Shoes – hat and what to leave Home


What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear AdviceCOVID-19 Pandemic Safari Wear Additions:

Entebbe International Airport is reopening October 1, 2020.  Tourists will start arriving for a Safari in the Pearl of Africa. The Ugandan government has put out directives which tourists must comply with. We have created a page that covers the topic in detail for you.

For one thing, you will always need a sanitizer on you. Lodges and parks will have washing stations. It is however best that you have your own supply.  Facial Masks will be required everywhere on Safari. N-95, Surgical Masks, or two-layer masks are suggested for tourists.

Masks are required for all activities.  Two Masks are necessary for all Primate Treks.

All this is for your wellbeing and protection. Uganda has seen a small number of cases compared to Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia.  With the general population in Uganda, there is a COVID-19 Burnout in larger towns. On safari, there is no such thing. Guidelines and Measures are enforced by all including tour operators such as ourselves.


 What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear AdviceWide-Brimmed Safari Hat

A wide-brimmed Safari Hat comes in handy for blocking out the Tropical Sun, especially if you are going on Walking Safari or Horseback Riding Safari.

You will always find it useful on a gorilla, chimpanzee treks, forest walks, boating on Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, Lake Bunyonyi, or Lake Mutanda.

A wide-brimmed safari hat will also be most useful while on a fishing Safari in Uganda in Murchison Falls along the Nile.

Hats can be bought in your home country, and you can wear it on the trip here, or you can buy one in Uganda or Rwanda for your safari and take it home. Many hats here are made from local materials and have that African Adventure touch to them.

Safari Hats are for your comfort and wellbeing. They protect you from the equatorial sun. A wide-brimmed hat gives you the best protection.


 What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear AdviceLeave the Camouflage, Colonial Era and Brightly Colored Clothing at Home:

Bring your civilian clothes and leave your camouflage clothing at home. Wearing any semblance of military dress in most of Africa, including Uganda and Rwanda, is a bad idea.  In Uganda, it is no longer allowed for Ugandans. Tourists will get a break.

Colonial Era Clothing is not in the best of taste. Again, a Tourist can do so if they wish, but it is somewhat culturally insensitive.

Leave your brightly colored Hawaiian Shirts, bright blues, black, vibrant colored clothes at home.  This is Africa where colors abound and are seen in flowers and birds of every hue – no help needed and wildlife do not take kindly to such clothing.

Dress for a time in the African Bush. Wear comfortable clothing that will protect you 


What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear AdviceMake sure that your clothing is comfortable and not too tight:

The keyword to your safari clothing is comfort, and one could add protection.  Though you will be in a tropical climate  – the right clothing will protect you.

Loose and comfortable clothing on a safari, on a gorilla trek or hike, is essential.

Long-sleeved shirts and long trousers such as jeans are best for you to protect against scratches, insect bites, and even nettles.

See what the rangers wear – long trousers, long-sleeved shirts-no shorts. The only ones you will see wearing shorts are school-boys shorts are celebrated around the lodge in the day-time, but on a nature walk or hike – loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long trousers are best for you, and that includes dinner at night, especially if you are eating outside.


What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear Advice Neutral Colors for your Safari clothing:

Neutral colors are the best while on safari in Uganda or Rwanda.  The color blue when it comes to shirts and tops should not be worn while in a Savannah Park.

Blue attracts the pesky Tsetse flies.  There have not been cases of sleeping sickness in recent times in  Uganda – however, Tsetse flies can be annoying – stick to neutral-colored clothing.

Wear no white while on a nature walk or hike – it will be red-brown with dust.

Neutral colors may not be the most fashionable, but they provide the best protection.

Blue Jeans are excellent and the right choice since they are sturdy and do not show dirt as Khaki trousers do.

Stick with Neutral Colors


 Sturdy Shoes – Boots for your Safari:What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear Advice

Forget sneakers – unless you wear them around the lodge – flip-flops are not worn in Rwanda as a measure to protect people against Jiggers except inside of the hotel going to Pool.

If you are going on a gorilla trek or chimpanzee spotting adventure – you will need a good pair of hiking boots for your protection, for traction, and more.

Sturdy footwear is most recommended for your safari, and waterproof hiking boots are the best protection for your ankles for you while hiking, trekking or climbing.

Please note – Rangers wear most Wellies – Rubber Boots – easy to clean, protection including against the sporadic snake bite.  (no client has ever been bitten by one, few have seen one, except a python on the road.

For Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Trekking, Volcano, Rwenzori Mountain Hikes – a good pair of boots is the right footwear.


 What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear AdviceSafari Rain Jacket or Poncho:

A rain jacket will come in most handy on Gorilla or chimpanzee Treks in Rwanda or Uganda.  You will have the tropical sun, but you are also venturing into the rainforests. It can rain at any time in a Rainforest, and you have to be prepared. A light rain jacket comes in handy and protects you against the rain.

You can also use a poncho which will protect you equally well against the rain – in the mornings in Gorilla Trekking, Volcano Hiking, and the Rwenzori Mountain Foothills you have that morning mist, which can be accompanied by a drizzle.

You may come here during our dry season, but it still rains in the rain forests, it is a rainforest, and even during the dry season, you might have some early morning or night rain.

Be ready to enter our rainforests.


What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear Advice Sweater for cold Mornings and Nights in the Highlands:

Yes, a sweater in the heart of Africa. It will come in handy during the chilly evenings and nights in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga National Park, the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, and Mount Elgon National Park.

In  Rwanda, you will need one around Volcanoes National Park. A sweater takes the chill off of a cold evening or morning.

Most do not pack a sweater or sweatshirt for their safari, only to regret it once that they feel cold here in Uganda or Rwanda.

Some even wear it at the beginning of their hike and put it into their daypack once the sun’s rays have heated things a bit.

You will need a Sweater or Sweatshirt for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla Park, Mount Elgon Park, and the Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon.

Dinner and Breakfast times can be quite cool, and a sweater is just right during such times.


What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear AdviceWear effective Insect Repellent – that works:

RID Insect repellent in various forms, the good news is that it works against mosquitoes and tsetse flies.

The bad news is that you cannot buy in North America.  It is an Australian product that has been used since 1956.  It has won many tests against other insect repellents.

Clients of ours have brought it to Uganda and Rwanda for years, and once again – it works.

Read more about insect repellents by clicking on the above link.  RID insect repellent receives high praise in being effective against both Mosquitoes and Tsetse Flies.

There are no Zika carrying mosquitoes in Uganda. However, the Zika Virus was discovered many years ago in the Zika Forest in Uganda near Entebbe airport – the strain found in the US and South America is different from the one seen here.


 What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear AdviceSafari Daypack:

Bring a daypack for your nature walks – gorilla treks – chimpanzee treks.  You can fit all the things you will need for the hike or the day.

You can also pack your rain jacket or poncho in it, drinking water for the occasion, your packed lunch, and more.

A waterproof daypack would be best if you are packing some photography gear.

Use the daypack even on game drives and put the essential items you will need.  A Daypack is one of the best things to have with you on Safari.

Put your valuables in it. Have it with you at all times. Never let it out of your sight.

It is excellent for your medications, first-aid kit. Put everything you need into Ziploc bags. This will protect your items in case something spills.

Many use the daypack as a carry-on while on the plane coming to Uganda.


What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear AdviceSunglasses:

Most will benefit from a good pair of sunglasses being in the tropics, especially out in the savanna on a game drive.

Personal note:  Never wore sunglasses in Africa since 1992. I felt that they interfered with what was before me.

Others will find them soothing, take them off in the presence of gorillas, chimpanzees, birding, water safari and nature walks when you encounter wildlife.

For most, sunglasses are a must on a Safari in Equatorial Africa.  We do get a lot of sunshine, especially in Uganda, though temperatures are quite tolerable.

Many Tour-Guides highly recommend sunglasses to our clients, and they put on theirs to find soothing relief from the active Equatorial African Sun.

Sunglasses are a must on your Safari. Uganda has a temperate climate but is under the equatorial sun.


What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear AdviceWhat to wear and Bring Gorilla – Chimpanzee Trekking – Volcano Climbing – Hiking. 

The Clothing, boots, hat are the same as for Gorilla Trekking. However, there are a few more to things to add-on to make Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Trekking, Golden Monkey Trekking, Hikes, Climbs more comfortable that you do not need for a safari without Primate Trekking.

Protection is critical on Treks, Hikes, Climbs.  When you are Gorilla Trekking, you are literally off of the beaten path. Often there is no path except what rangers hack out the morning of the Trek.  There are thorns, nettles, brush that can tear your skin, ants, flies, and other critters that can make you miserable unless you wear the right stuff. – be sure to check out the page.

What to wear Gorilla Trekking

What to wear Chimpanzee Trekking

What to wear while Hiking and Climbing such as in the Rwenzori Foothills and Volcano Climbing

What children should wear on a Safari

What to wear in towns such as Kampala – Entebbe, and Kigali


What to wear on Safari in Uganda-Best Safari Wear Advice Luggage – Plan-B for your Safari:

It does happen; most of the time. If your baggage is delayed or lost,  here is a simple way to prepare for plan B. What do you wear for a gorilla trek while your luggage is lost or missing, how do you make for such an occasion.

Here are some proven suggestions that work and have worked in the past. The safari went on as scheduled despite lost, missing, or delayed luggage.

In all cases, it arrived within 24 to 48 hours. And we reunited our clients with their belongings for the duration of the safari.

It takes some flexibility, some preparedness on your part. Plan-B has not yet failed.

In Case of Lost Luggage – Be Prepared.- we have a Plan B, and no one has missed out on Gorilla Trekking or any other Safari activity.


What to wear on Safari in Uganda. It does not matter whether you have the latest Brand Names, just functional and comfortable clothing that will keep you healthy on Safari. Remember to pack it light, and most of the above clothing is easy to wash and quickly dried. Enjoy your African Safari in Uganda and Rwanda you have questions as to What to wear on Safari in Uganda and Rwanda for your safari with us – please contact us.

Jon Blanc