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What to Wear in Uganda

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Got a trip planned to Uganda? Uganda can be fun to visit any time of year, but you'll want to make sure you're dressed right. The weather is warm and very humid year-round, with temperatures averaging around 80°F (that's 27°C). So what should you wear so you can stay comfy and fit in with the local vibe?

To make the most of your trip to Uganda, a good rule of thumb is to pack comfortable clothing that you can layer. Loose-fitting clothing in breathable fabrics will keep you cool in warmer weather, while a light jacket or cardigan will come in handy for cooler days or evenings. And if you plan on doing any sightseeing, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Nothing like a nasty blister to ruin a good vacation, right?

In just a second, I'll share my specific recommendations for exactly what to wear in Uganda—whether you're trekking to see gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, white water rafting on the Nile River, or exploring Lake Mburo National Park.

Editor's note: Uganda is in the tropics, which means seasons like summer, winter, spring, and fall don't apply. Most tropical destinations do have a wet and a dry season, but temperatures are typically warm year round.

What to wear for a trip to Uganda

What should women wear in Uganda?

Uganda is generally warm, and there are a few key items you'll want to pack. Here's what I definitely wouldn't go without: sandals, jeans, tank tops, pashmina, and stylish hat. With these essentials, you’ll be all set to experience everything Uganda has to offer.

Sandals

While many people think of sandals as nothing more than summertime shoes, they can actually be a versatile and practical option for year-round travel to warmer destinations. For one thing, they're comfortable and easy to wear, which is ideal for exploring Uganda. They also offer good ventilation, which is important in hot weather. Just bear in mind that sandals should provide good support for your feet and ankles, which you need to help to prevent injuries.

Here are some of my favorites:

Jeans

You just cannot go wrong with a good pair of jeans. They're comfortable, versatile, and easy to care for—not to mention they always look great. Whatever you're doing in Uganda, jeans will always come in handy. Of course, not all jeans are created equal. Be sure to choose a pair that's comfortable and flattering. If you'll be doing a lot of walking, look for a light-weight denim that won't weigh you down. And if you're hoping to dress up for a nice dinner out, a dark wash denim will always do the trick.

Here are a few of my top picks:

Tank tops

Tank tops are just such a versatile item of clothing. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion, and they're perfect for hot weather. When packing tank tops for a trip to Uganda, it's important to choose ones that are comfortable and breathable. You'll also want to make sure they're easy to care for, so you can wash them easily while on the road. Plus it's a good idea to pack a few different colors and styles, so you have options to suit any occasion. With a few key tank tops in your suitcase, you'll be prepared for anything on your Uganda adventure.

Any of these should work:

Pashmina

A pashmina is a must-have accessory for a trip to Uganda. They can be used as a scarf, sarong, blanket, or even a headscarf. They are light and easy to pack, yet they provide warmth and color to any outfit. Pashminas come in a variety of colors and patterns, so it's easy to find one that compliments your personal style. When choosing a pashmina, look for one that is made from natural fibers such as wool or cashmere. These fibers are not only more durable, but they will also breathe better and keep you covered without making you sweat.

Why not grab yourself something new before you go:

Stylish hat

A good hat can be the difference between a great Uganda trip and a terrible one. Not only do hats help you look your best in photos, but they also make you feel more confident and put-together as you explore, adding a touch of style to any outfit. To choose the right hat, consider both function and fashion. A wide-brimmed straw hat is perfect for protecting your face from the sun (this is a good idea in all weather!) while a trilby is ideal for nights out on the town. No matter what your plans are in Uganda, just know there's a hat for the occasion.

This is the kind of thing I mean:

What should men wear in Uganda?

For guys, here's the list of essentials I recommend you start with: linen trousers, linen shirts, stylish hat, loafers or dress shoes, and shorts. With these in your suitcase, I guarantee you will enjoy your trip to Uganda in comfort and style.

Linen trousers

Linen trousers might just be the perfect staple for a warm-weather vacation. You already know they are made from a light, breathable fabric. Plus, they can be paired with a variety of tops to create both casual and dressy looks. When choosing linen trousers, it's important to look for a pair that fits well and complements your overall look. This will help you feel your best when exploring Uganda (and taking all those vacation photos).

These options are both stylish and comfy:

Linen shirts

Packing for Uganda can be a daunting task, but there are a few items that are essential for any trip. One of those items is a linen shirt. Linen is a light and airy fabric that is perfect for a variety of weather conditions. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing linen shirts for travel. First, consider the color. Linen tends to absorb sweat and can become stained quickly. Light colors will help to keep you cool, while dark colors mask any stains better. Also, choose a shirt with a loose fit. Linen shirts are not meant to be skin tight!

Any of these should work:

Stylish hat

A good hat can be the difference between a great Uganda trip and a terrible one. Not only do hats help you look your best in photos, but they also make you feel more confident and put-together as you explore, adding a touch of style to any outfit. To choose the right hat, consider both function and fashion. A wide-brimmed straw hat is perfect for protecting your face from the sun (this is a good idea in all weather!) while a trilby is ideal for nights out on the town. No matter what your plans are in Uganda, just know there's a hat for the occasion.

Any of these should work:

Loafers or dress shoes

While most people focus on packing their casual clothes and shoes for travel, it's important to remember to pack a pair or two of dressier shoes as well. Loafers and dress shoes can come in handy for a number of different occasions, from wedding receptions to nights out on the town. And while you might not want to spend a lot of money on shoes that you'll only be wearing occasionally, it's still worth investing in a good quality pair that will be comfortable and last for years to come.

Here are a few of my top picks:

Shorts

Shorts are one of the most versatile and essential items in any travel wardrobe. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion, and they're perfect for dealing with hot weather. Plus, they're easy to pack and don't take up much space in your suitcase. Just make sure to pack a few different colors and styles so you'll have something to wear for different occasions.

Need some inspiration? Start here:

FAQs

When is the best time to go to Uganda?

The best time to go to Uganda is during the country's dry season, which runs from roughly October to March. During this period, the weather is generally dry and sunny, making it ideal for exploring everything Uganda has to offer. That said, you can often avoid the crowds and find a great bargain on hotels and airfares outside of the peak season—the only real downside is getting caught in the occasional monsoon downpour.

How do people typically dress in Uganda?

The way people dress in Uganda varies widely depending on the region and the cultural influences present. In some areas, traditional dress is still widely worn, while in others, more modern styles have become popular. However, there are some commonalities when it comes to fashion in Uganda. Bright colors are often abundant, as are patterns and prints. Fabrics such as cotton and linen are very common, as they are both comfortable and practical in the hot climate.

What should you NOT wear in Uganda?

There are no specific restrictions on what you should wear in Uganda. It's fine to dress casually when out and about, although it's still important to be respectful of cultural norms—especially when visiting sites of historical or religious significance. Some places may have their own dress code, so be sure to follow any local guidelines.

I hope these recommendations for what to wear in Uganda will help make your visit unforgettable. Now that you have a better idea of what clothing to take, it's time to pack your suitcase—and then go ahead and enjoy everything Uganda has to offer!