East Africa – Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya & Tanzania boast of Numerous adventure experiences ranging from the most popular wildebeest Migration in Kenya & Tanzania, Gorilla trekking In Uganda & Rwanda, Climbing Tanzania free Standing Kilimanjaro Mountain. Before you travel to any one or all the above-mentioned destinations, you need to to know your – What to wear on Safari in East Africa checklist. All lists provided in this post should be treated as a guide – the meaning list may vary from person to person.
The list of clothing below is for most Wildlife, Primate, and Birding Safaris in East Africa including things not to wear on an East African Safari.
1. Bring a “wide brimmed Aussie 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 – Lake Mburo. You will always find it useful on gorilla, chimpanzee treks, forest walks, boating on Lake Kivu, Lake Victoria, 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. Wide Brimmed 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 made here are from local materials and have that African Adventure touch to them.
2. Leave the Brightly Colored Clothing at Home
You are going on an African Adventure Safari and not on a cruise in the Caribbean or for a time in Hawaii.
This is Africa where colours abound and are seen in flowers and birds of every hue – no help needed and wildlife do not take kindly to very colourfull clothing.
Brightly coloured clothing on the savannah attracts tsetse flies and they are a pesky bunch – especially if the colour blue is worn. There have been no cases of sleeping sickness reported in recent years, however, the bite of a Tsetse fly is painful as they suck the blood out of you.
Same with bright colours at night when mosquitoes are on the prowl…stick Tans, Browns, Greens – in Africa while on a safari stick to neutral colours – you will attract less pestering insects.
3. Neutral Colors for your Safari clothing:
Neutral colours are the best while on safari in Uganda or Rwanda. The colour blue in regards 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 Rwanda or Uganda – however, Tsetse flies can be annoying – stick to
Neutral colours may not be the most fashionable but they provide the best protection. Blue Jeans are fine and actually a good choice since they are sturdy and do not show dirt as much.
4. Shoes – Boots for your Safari
Forget sneakers – unless you wear them around the lodge – flip-flops are not worn in Rwanda as a measure to protect people against Jiggers. 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 you while hiking, trekking or climbing. For Gorilla Trekking, Chimpanzee Trekking, Volcano, Rwenzori Mountain Hikes – a good pair of boots is the right footwear
5. Cotton Underwear
Pack cotton underwear which is most comfortable, along with cotton sock. Laundry Service is available at most lodges – however, it is recommended that you wash your own underwear since there is a cultural taboo about washing someone else underwear.
You can purchase a small packet of detergent like Omo and normally the things dry overnight in your room, Cotton underwear is also the most comfortable for safari wear.
Bring a daypack for your nature walks – gorilla treks – chimpanzee treks. You can fit all the things you will need for the hike or for 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. Many use the daypack as a carry-on while on the plane coming to Uganda or Rwanda.
7. No Camouflage clothing for an African Safari:
Bring your civilian clothes and leave your camouflage clothing at home. Wearing any semblance of military clothing in most part of Africa including Uganda and Rwanda is a bad idea.
Recently a Ugandan newspaper printed an edict from the Government regarding unauthorized wear of military clothing and that included entertainers wearing such clothing unless authorized by the government.
You will see enough uniforms in both countries – police, military, even wildlife rangers – leave your camouflage clothing at home. If you are on a family safari with young children, they will be tolerated, but for their protection put neutral colour clothing on the children.
8. Make 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 in both Uganda and Rwanda – the right clothing will protect you.
Loose and comfortable clothing on a safari, on a gorilla trek or hike is important.
Long-sleeved shirts and long trousers such as jeans are best for you to protect against
scratches, insects bites and even nettles.
Shorts are great 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.
9. Safari Raincoat
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 rain forests and a light rain jacket can come in most handy to protect you from the rain.
You can also use a poncho which will protect you equally well against the rain. 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