What to wear on Safari

What to wear on Safari

Here we explain What to wear on Uganda safari and what NOT to wear

The type of safari clothing you decide to pack for your Uganda safari will depend on a number of things, including the destinations in Uganda, time of year and what type of safari you’re going on. However, there are a number of universal principles when it comes to deciding what to wear on a Uganda safari.

What’s the best colour to wear on a Uganda safari?

The basic rule of suitable colours for safari clothes is to go neutral. When trying to spot wildlife it’s important that you blend in as much as possible with your surroundings, and bright colours will make you conspicuous to animals.

Ideal colours for Uganda safari wear are natural, such as:

  • Greens
  • Light Browns
  • Olives
  • Tan
  • Khakis

Whilst any other neutral colours are fine too, there are a number of colours you should definitely make sure you don’t wear on safari wear:

Camouflage clothing is a big no-no, in Uganda, so leave the camouflage safari clothing at home!

White and very pale coloured clothes show up the Ugandan dust, so are best kept for evening wear.

Dark blue and black colours attract Ugandan insects and mosquitos, which can carry malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever – some of the most serious health risks you might encounter on safari.

Ideal safari clothing material

The ideal material for safari clothing is something that’s lightweight & breathable and makes minimal noise whilst you’re moving. Simple cotton works best for safari shirts and trousers.

Wear layers on Safar

Packing lightweight safari wear to Uganda has the benefit of enabling you to layer up or down according to need. Uganda is a country of contrasts – it can be extremely cold through the night into the early morning and swelteringly hot by the middle of the day.

As such it’s a good idea to take multiple layers of safari clothing so you can add and remove layers as required – including at least one warm layer like a sweatshirt, fleece, or safari jacket. This is particularly important for Msafiri tours early morning game drives in an open-roof vehicle.

What to wear on a Uganda safari – the essentials

When it comes to Uganda safari clothing less is more, some of the lodges we use have same-day laundry services, so bear this in mind before packing a huge suitcase full of safari clothes! At a minimum you may need:

Safari shirts

A few comfortable long-sleeved shirts and long-sleeved t-shirts. Long-sleeved safari shirts have the advantage of offering protection from the Ugandan sun and insects, but also being able to roll the sleeves up if it gets too hot.

Shirts with a collar to protect the neck from the harsh sun are advisable, as are shirts with pockets to store your bits and pieces.

Trousers & shorts

A pair of comfortable long trousers or two, and a pair of shorts. Combat style trousers and shorts are ideal Uganda safari gear as they have several pockets, great for storing compact binoculars, sun cream, camera etc.

Long trousers have the benefit of keeping you warm and protecting you from the sun in the day and mosquito bites on evening and night game drives.

Footwear

The type of footwear required to wear on safari really depends on what type of safari you’re planning with us. For our standard game drives special safari footwear isn’t necessary. You’ll be climbing in and out of safari vans and maybe a little walking around the bush, so comfortable trainers will work fine.

For more specialist safaris such as Uganda mountain gorilla trekking you’ll be trudging through thick, uneven Bwindi rainforest, so rugged Gortex boots are ideal. For any kind of walking safari, it’s advisable to have some sort of hiking boots that cover your ankles – for protection from both bush and snakes. It’s also worth considering a small investment in some hiking specialist insoles to provide extra comfort.

Hat

Whilst not essential safari wear, any hat or cap is better than none at all. It will give you protection from the Uganda sun, and also shield your eyes from the glare – meaning potentially better wildlife spotting opportunities. The ideal hat is a wide-brimmed safari hat to offer maximum protection.

Sunglasses

The Uganda sun can offer a surprising amount of harsh glare, so you won’t want to forget sunglasses as part of your safari attire. A pair of polarized wrap-around sunglasses will give you protection from both the glare and the dust that’s a feature of many game drives, meaning more chance of spotting that hiding Lion!

Evening wear

When considering evening safari wear, bear in mind that the days of jackets and ties at the dinner table are long gone. Most safari lodges in Uganda have relaxed dress codes for dinner so there’s no need to take any formal safari clothes with you.

Swimwear

Don’t forget to pack some safari-swimwear. A dip between game drives during the middle of the day is a great way to contemplate your wildlife viewings (past and future!) whilst working the tan. This depends on which lodge we use.

What not to wear on Uganda safari

The above information should give you a good overview of what safari clothes to take with you, but just in case you’re still in any doubt, here’s a list of the clothes you should absolutely not take with you on a Uganda safari:

A camouflage safari outfit.  In Uganda, you can actually be arrested for wearing army-style camouflage clothes that could be confused with military wear. Best to avoid at all costs.

Overly thick fleeces and jackets. Temperatures on safari change depending on the time of day, where you are, and what altitude you’re at… so layered clothing is ideal to add or remove as the temperature requires.

Heavy walking boots. Unless you’re planning to do mountain a gorilla trekking safari, a pair of trainers will do for walking around and hopping in and out of your tour van.

Black and blue clothing. Uganda is home to the tsetse fly which is attracted to dark colours and packs a nasty bite – best avoided by wearing lighter colours.

Bright clothing. Don’t draw attention to yourself if you want the best chance of spotting wildlife.

Packing Lightly. Limit the risk of all of your luggage going missing or being stolen on the flight by packing some essentials – and one safari outfit – in your hand luggage.