Gorilla Trek Safari in Uganda: What to Pack

Gorilla trekking in Uganda was actually more different from our safari in Tanzania than I thought it’d be, in more ways than one. What we needed to wear each day (especially during the treks) was quite different. If you’re going on a trek in Uganda, here are some essentials you should make sure to pack for your trip.

Clothes & Shoes

1 Long-sleeve shirt: I’d suggest a light-weight, button-up shirt.
2 Short-sleeve shirts
1 Pair of pajamas/lounge clothes: I’d suggest shorts and a tank for hot nights.
1 Sweatshirt: It does get cold in some parts of Uganda.

1 Pair gym shorts
2 Pairs of pants (or zip-offs or leggings): While I acknowledge the incredible convenience of zip-offs (a.k.a. convertible pants), I refuse to wear them – just a personal choice. I was just fine in my Marmot pants that can roll-up. Bring at least 1 long pair of pants that can get nice and dirty. I always appreciate my capri leggings.
1 Casual Outfit: Something you want to change into for chilling at the lodge after a long day. My favorite – a lightweight dress.

2-3 Pairs of high socks: To avoid biting ants in your pants (yes, this happens), you’ll want to tuck your pants into your socks.
2-3 Pairs of regular socks
Underwear: If you don’t want to do laundry, bring a pair for every day.
Bras and Sports Bras: A sports bra is pretty essential; I wore one every day. Your ladies will be thanking you on those long, bumpy drives.

Hat: For sun protection (and to look like a boss).
Rain Coat
Bandana/Headband: If you’re like me, you’ll sweat a lot and this will keep it out of your eyes.
Sunglasses
Gloves:
We didn’t end up needing these but they could come in handy to move thorns out of your way when your deep inside the forest.

Hiking boots (preferably waterproof): You will definitely want to wear these for all the treks.
Comfortable walking shoes
Flip flops/sandals: To wear around the lodges/campsites and potentially in the shower (we didn’t realize we’d be using shared showers at one of the lodges and I was grateful to have my sandals).

Electronics/Misc.

GoPro (or something waterproof in case it rains)
Camera: Preferably with a good zoom
Binoculars: Pretty essential!

Water filterer: I wouldn’t suggest drinking the tap water without filtering it. To save the environment from all the plastic bottles, we use this portable water filter. You can also use a steripen, life straw, etc.
Water bottle: We like this one since it can get very small (if you buy the Vapur, make sure you get the larger one!).

Daybag: You’ll want to have a comfortable backpack to take with you on longer treks (for food, water, and any electronics you don’t want to carry the whole time). Unfortunately mine’s no longer for sale, but Pete uses this one.
Cards/portable game: You’ll have lots of downtime during your safari in Uganda (and very limited access to wifi), so if you’re like us and get bored fairly easily, you’ll be thanking me. We played Karma, Love Letter, Monopoly Deal and Quiddler. (Side note: Pete and I have been carrying Love Letter and Monopoly Deal this whole trip. They’re great games for 2 people.)

Cash

Unlike our safari in Tanzania where we only had one main guide, we had many different guides during our week trekking in Uganda. Therefore, you’ll want to bring as many small bills as you can, preferably in their local currency (the Ugandan shilling).

Meds

Bug spray
Malaria pills: Uganda has a high risk of malaria, so make sure to take these as instructed.
Sunscreen
Chap stick: it can get pretty dry there

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Want more Uganda? Check out these posts:

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: What to Expect

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: The Itinerary

Uganda Photo Essay

Abundance in Africa – my mom’s post about her experience

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