Uganda Safari Packing List

August 29, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

Uganda is a landlocked country found in between Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, it one of the smallest countries on the African continent and due to its various beautiful attractions, it was named the “Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill. Uganda is a bird’s paradise with more than 1000 species of birds distributed in the different ecosystems of the country such as forests like Kibale National Park, savannah grasslands in Queen Elizabeth National Park and even in high altitude areas like mountain Rwenzori which also has birds endemic to the region.

Uganda is known for being home to over 600 mountain gorillas, an endangered gorilla species with only about 1060 left in the world. Uganda is among the only three countries where you can trace these gorilla species by trekking through the dark and high forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National park where the species reside peacefully.

This country is also culturally diverse with more than 50 ethnic groups and each speaks a different language. You will come across different tribes when you travel to the West, North, Central and Eastern parts of the country. Find the Karamojong people in the North East, Ankole and Batwa people in the West, Basoga and Bagisu in the East and Baganda in the central region. Some of these cultures have kingdoms and chiefdoms you can explore and learn about their traditions like the Tooro kingdom in Fort portal or the Buganda Kingdom in Kampala district. Each tribe has dances, music, crafts and food to try out and enjoy as you uncover Uganda’s vibrant cultures.

There are lots of activities to engage in such as white water rafting and bungee jumping at the Nile River for the thrill seekers, hiking mountains like snow capped Rwenzori and Elgon that holds the largest caldera in the world, boat cruises can be enjoyed on River Nile, Kazinga channel, Lake Bunyonyi or Lake victoria which are just of the few lakes in the country. Another popular activity is game drives that involve game viewing like seeing the big five safari animals in any of the various safari parks in Uganda. 

With all these activities and attractions that Uganda has to offer, it is without doubt a prime safari destination in Africa.

Some of the famous safari parks in Uganda

Murchison Falls National Park: Uganda’s oldest and largest National park covering 3893 square kilometers, its name was derived from the Murchison falls formed when the River Nile passes through a narrow gorge raised at 43 meters above the sea level causing a thunderous and vigorous splash of water. The park is known for having the big five safari animals which are part of over 70 mammals found to live in the park, the park also has over 450 bird species and visitors to the park do enjoy a variety of activities such as boat cruises on the Nile, hiking to the top of the falls and trekking rhinos in the Ziwa rhino sanctuary which is close to the park.

Kidepo Valley National Park: This park is located in one of the most remote and arid regions of Uganda at the border of South Sudan and Kenya in North Eastern Uganda. The park is 1,442 square kilometers wide and contains the Kidepo and Narus valleys, it has over 75 mammals inclusive of endangered species like bat eared foxes, striped hyenas, caracals and ostriches and over 470 bird species. While in the park you can enjoy game drives and engage with the Karamojong communities that stay close to the park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park: Occupying 1,978 square kilometers of land, it is another large park in the country consisting of various surroundings like forests, savannahs, wetlands and alkaline lakes each with unique vegetation and wildlife. The park has over 90 mammals such as buffaloes, hippos, elephants and 600 bird species. Activities to enjoy here are game drives, boat rides on the Kazinga channel, bird watching expeditions, lion tracking and chimpanzee trekking in Kalinzu forest. 

Different Travel Seasons

Since Uganda experiences only two seasons, the dry and wet season which determine which periods to visit Uganda. 

During the dry season which happens between June to August and December to February, this is the perfect time to travel if interested in activities like hiking and trekking, game drives since you can spot various animals when they converge around water sources. However this is also a peak season and therefore the parks will be crowded. 

The wet season that happens from March to May and August to November has few tourists since most activities are hard to carry out when the roads and trails are muddy and also the animals in the park are scattered because there are various water sources. However it is the best time to enjoy bird watching because a variety of bird species have now migrated to Uganda hence a chance to see different bird species.  

How to pack for the different travel seasons

Pack light and comfortable clothing whose colors are neutral especially if you are to visit parks and gorillas, add sunglasses and hats, sunscreen, comfortable shoes and heavy clothing for the evenings. Don’t forget your swim wear since it’s a perfect time to relax at the beach. 

When traveling in the wet season park heavy and waterproof clothing like raincoats and jackets however also still pack the other items for the dry season because it won’t be raining everyday though the rains are frequent compared to the dry season. 

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