Packing for your Volunteer Work Trip to Uganda-Africa
The basic things to always pack when going on a volunteer work-trip in Uganda
The airline permits you to carry only 2 suitcases. In case you are traveling from Europe then you can carry less weight as compared to traveling from North-America where you’re restricted to 2 suitcases each with utmost 50 pounds. Always pack smartly; this is very vital. One suitcase should contain clothes plus personal things that you may desire to bring along, while the second suitcase should contain the items you will use to implement your project. In some instances, the airlines will permit you to carry extra items for humanitarian help, however this necessitates that you apply in advance. None the less the most important thing is that you do your packing main wisely. Below I have highlighted some of the most essential items to bring with you when traveling to Uganda for a volunteer work-trip.
In case you are experiencing winter in North America / Europe, bring with you a light jacket, as a bulky jacket / coat will not be needed.
Suitcases: only 2 are allowed, however some advice is that pack all medicines, electronic gadgets, battery chargers and camera equipment together in one of the suitcase. To it add a set of clothes just in case anything out of the usual occurs; say some of your luggage is temporarily lost. However, the good news here is that you can at any time opt to purchase some affordable clothing in ‘Owino’ one of the biggest second hand cloth markets in the whole of Africa located downtown of Kampala. The other suitcase should contain your clothes plus any other extra personal items. In case you’re working with young children it is proper that you carry some little gifts for them. In case it is a medical mission, carry medicine plus any other equipment you will need. Remember to inquire with your airline if they can allow you to have extra luggage for humanitarian aid.
Suitcase Tags / Stickers: ensure that all your team members use a related luggage tag or a similar sticker on all their suitcase plus any additional boxes and bags. This will make it simpler to locate your luggage on arrival at airport in Uganda.
Money Belt: this will enable you to carry your money plus passport and fortunately you can always wear it beneath your shirt.
Jeans plus Trousers: in case you’re on a building project, then jeans plus khakis are the best choice, particularly for a casual look. Even if several travel guides advice against jeans, I personally find them a great choice and most of all they are very durable
Shorts: even if time and again you will see people wearing mini-skirts in one place and another, normally matched with leggings for humility please leave them back home. However, although Uganda is traditional, baggy Shorts are well acceptable. There are approximately 6 million Catholics, 11 million Pentecostal (Born Again), approximately about 7 million Christian that belong to the angelical Church of Uganda and only3.5 million Muslims. Excessively short clothing would right away raise a cultural obstruct and that would otherwise be the contrary of your aim for this trip.
Light Shirts plus Blouses: T-Shirts and Polo Shirts plus any other clothing that does not need so much ironing are a good selection. Some of the detergents in Uganda are somewhat harsh since they have phosphates and actually bleach some colors. You should also know that clothes are dried by hunging them in the equatorial sun which also bleaches colors.
Sweaters plus Jackets: these are actually not necessary here for majority of the volunteer projects since Uganda experiences a generally warm climate. So only carry with you a light jacket.
Skirts: preferably carry those made most of cotton, as the synthetic material will cause you to sweat a lot.
Socks plus underwear: Again I insist that it is preferably if they are made of natural fabric since the country is mostly warm. This will protect you from excessive sweating and any dangers of heat rash.
Shoes: good quality leather shoes, a pair of sandals, plus lightweight Hiking boots in case you are traveling in the rainy season. Our staff at the guest-house will properly clean and take care of them.
A Set of dressy clothes: in case you plan to attend church then you need wear something dressy and at the same time decent, as well as have another set for the farewell dinner you will attend
In case you are to attend official meeting, it will be proper that you carry something suitable for that occasion. Ugandan people love being smart and certainly this is something you will actually discover. For formal occasions, the standard dress code is a neat suit matched with a tie and for ladies a formal dress would be very proper.
Photographic Equipment: in case you are going to record a film your project, don’t forget to carry along your equipment. Purchasing equipment here is more costly. Don’t forget Batteries preferably the rechargeable ones. Fortunately majority of the chargers can withstand the local voltage particularly if your plug-ins are of UK make. The guest house has some computers with internet access from which you can upload some of your photos although the internet speed is not very fast.
The local Voltage is 240 volts: normally Laptops face no problem especially if you have a compatible plug-in. You will need a spike protector as the electricity power fluctuates now and again here. In USA you can acquire them at one of the radio-shacks. For the case of Hair dryers, preferably it’s better if you don’t bring them along. The warmth of this country will certainly dry your hair in a few minutes
Toilet Bag: carry Anti-bacterial soap which you can also purchase here locally as there are quite a variety of them, shavers, toothbrush plus shampoo. However majority of the toiletries can be purchase here and the products here are hygienic and genuine.
First Aid Kit: this should include bandages, antiseptics, Imodium, aspirins plus any others that you may consider vital.
A Small Flashlight: this is an important item to have wit you since electricity cuts are often and there will be some minutes lag before the generator is turned on.
Binoculars: in case you plan to go for the safari, please don’t forget it.
Small gifts like t-Shirts: these are a great souvenir you will leave for your Ugandan friends you will make here. Some candy for the children is also very good, and these you can carry in your second suitcase.
Leave all the luxury gadgets as you will not actually need them at all but instead they will take up a lot of luggage space. Carry less books too as this will help you to pack less weight luggage which will actually cost you less. In case you are bring some extra luggage, please don’t forget the documentations that allow you to do so.