Safari Essentials

Your Nature-loving spirit

For all nature lovers, there is nothing that beats going on safari in Africa – it is the real deal. Wherever you may choose to travel to, remember you are in the animals’ territory and you do not have control. You are in the animals’ territory, where they are living their lives in the wild, and you are trying to find them. That means everyone will have a slightly different adventure. You may not see any animals for a while, but then again, you may see a lot of them in a short span of time. It just depends where the animals are at a particular time of day or season. That’s the beauty of being on a safari – you never know what you’ll see.
The pace of the animals is in harmony with nature. This is a good thing, in that if you get a little impatient when you don’t spot wildlife every five minutes, take a deep breath, look around you, you’re in Africa, looking for wild animals. What can be better than that? Enjoy the beauty of the National Park that you are in. Picture this; you could be stuck in a traffic jam in your city!

Appropriate Clothing

It is a good idea to find out what the weather is like when you are traveling to Uganda or Rwanda before embarking on your trip. However, Uganda is blessed with the best weather all-year round so you do not need to worry that much with the exception of the heavy rainy months.
As a general rule though, take some kind of a sweatshirt or jacket with you. If you’re visiting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the evenings do get really cold and a sweatshirt will come in very handy.
Carry travel pants that zip off at the knee, so that with a quick unzip on each leg, your pants become shorts. Make sure they have a double zip, or double Velcro pockets. This will keep things like Passports, money from falling out of your pocket.

Your Medications – anti-Malaria + other personal medicines.

Visit your local traveler clinic for your malaria pills, yellow fever shots or whatever you may need for the country you are travelling to.
In terms of other personal medications, those should be the first to go into your carry-on luggage so they are near you at all times. You can’t count on being able to refill any medication while on your trip.

A Good Camera

Invest in a good digital camera or video camera as you don’t want to miss any part of your adventure. You might also want to bring at least two 8G or 16G memory cards, because when you are out on safari you won’t be able to buy another one. Always have a backup. Always have a backup which enables you to click hundreds, if not thousands, of high quality shots without having to worry about disc space. You can always go through and delete the extras, but you certainly don’t want to miss any action.
Don’t get too caught up in taking photos because you also want to experience the natural beauty of both the animals and the parks.

Binoculars

Not all of your animal encounters will be up close and personal – so the need for binoculars to view those animals that are far from the game park’s car tracks. When traveling to Uganda, the need for a pair of binoculars is re-enforced by the fact it is the best birding destinations on the continent. All of the parks you will visit have large species of birds and the best accessory to view the abundant bird life is with a binoculars. Also, binoculars come in handy especially when you are on walking safari; the binoculars give you a chance to see things you couldn’t with your naked eye.

A journal

As humans, we do tend to forget our experiences after a few years. May be not forget, but definitely harder to recollect. A lot of folks will carry with them a journal to write down the day’s activities. Many years down the road, your journal will allow you to recollect quickly what you saw and did and you will be glad you took one along for the ride.

Tilley Hat

This item is a must as your baseball cap doesn’t really keep the sun off your face. It floats, you can crush it in your luggage and it comes back to form almost instantly and it stands up to the most unbelievable torrential rain.

Snacks

Even with all inclusive luxury safari lodges, it never hurts to be prepared. Some doughnuts, a chapatti or rolex [a popular Ugandan snack], an energy bar or something similar is easy to carry and lasts you for a long time.

Someone to Share the Experience With

Your time on safari will be a life-changing experience. There is just something so amazing about being out among the animals and the nature and having someone special to share it with will make it even more special.

Knick Knacks

Also important are comfortable shoes (hiking boots if you’re doing a mountain hike, walking safari), sunscreen, insect repellant, a book about the country you are visiting, in case you decide to experience the culture, the people, the beaches and much more.