Held in Uganda’s vibrant town of Jinja, offering festival-goers an unforgettable experience, set against the backdrop of the world’s one of the longest rivers, the Nile, the annual celebration that is the Nyege Nyege Festival extravaganza returns for its 8th edition from Thursday, Nov 9th to Sunday, Nov 12th, across seven stages.

This year’s will take place on three conjoined sites along the Nile River: The Jinja Golf Course, Source of the Nile, and the Jinja Showground.

This festival, with its 500 internationally acclaimed shows, has been at the forefront of emerging sounds from the Continent. It is widely regarded as the ultimate showcase of both traditional and contemporary African music, attracting not only music fans but also industry movers and shakers eager to discover new music genres, breakthrough artists, and blossoming talents at every edition.

Whether you’re a seasoned attendee or a first-time visitor, as this essential music and arts draws closer, this writer has compiled a list of essentials to prepare you for the festivities as the exciting event that starts in a day from now:

  1. Phone or Camera – Capture the Memories:

Preserve the unforgettable moments of Nyege Nyege by bringing a camera or simply using your smartphone. These memories will be cherished for years to come. Just remember to keep your device secure at all times, as festival environments can sometimes lead to lost or misplaced items.

    2. Power Bank – Stay Charged:

    You won’t want to miss capturing the electrifying moments of Nyege Nyege, but sometimes your devices can run out of juice. To avoid the hassle of searching for charging centers at the festival, be sure to pack a reliable power bank. This small yet mighty accessory will keep your phone and camera charged, allowing you to document the festivities without interruption.

    3. Portable Phone Charger: A portable charger can be a lifesaver for keeping your phone powered up throughout the festival.

    4. Camping Gear: If you plan to camp at the festival, bring a good-quality tent, sleeping bag, and camping equipment. Make sure your tent is easy to set up and waterproof. Additionally, there are accommodation vendors, so you could consider renting an actual house for the few days the event is on.

    5. Clothing. Rain Gear – Be Prepared:

    Jinja/Uganda’s weather can be unpredictable, and it’s not uncommon for rain showers to grace the festival. Don’t let unexpected rainfall dampen your spirits. Pack an extra jacket or a raincoat to stay dry and comfortable when the heavens open up. Consider bringing lightweight and breathable clothes for the day and warm layers for the cool evenings. Being prepared for all weather conditions will ensure you’re ready to dance and celebrate, rain or shine.

    6. Stylish Shades – For Sun Protection.

    Nyege Nyege is more than just a music festival; it’s a fusion of global fashion. Make a statement by bringing your favorite shades to complement your festival attire. This is your chance to express your unique style and stand out from the crowd. So, don’t forget to pack those trendy shades to complete your look. These can additionally serve the purpose of protecting your eyes from the sun. Pair these up with a wide-brimmed hat to match the styling and vibe of the event.

    7. First Aid Kit – Stay Responsible:

    Partying responsibly is essential for a memorable Nyege Nyege experience. Pack a small first aid kit with essentials like pain relievers to help with potential headaches, as a basic first aid kit can come in handy for minor injuries and ailments. However, the best approach is to enjoy the festival in moderation and avoid the pitfalls of overindulgence. Your well-being is a priority, so party safely and responsibly.

      8. Comfortable Shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes, preferably closed-toe, are essential. You might also consider flip-flops or sandals for the campsite.

      9. Cash and Card: While some vendors may accept cards, it’s a good idea to have some cash on hand for food, drinks, and other purchases.

      10. Snacks: While there will be food vendors at the festival, having some of your favorite snacks can be a good idea for between meals. Crisps, Pringles should just do your stomach fine.

      11. Fanny Pack or Secure Pockets – Convenience Matters:

      To enjoy the festival without worrying about the safety of your belongings, consider carrying a fanny pack or utilizing secure pockets in your festival attire. This will keep your valuables, such as hotel room keys, phone, and wallet, within easy reach and safe from potential mishaps. In my case, I usually recommend having a chest bag.

        12. Swimwear: There’s a good chance you’ll want to take a dip in the river or a pool, so bring swimwear.

        13. Personal Toiletries: Don’t forget essentials like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes. Campsite toilets might not have all the amenities you’re used to.

        14. Ticket and Identification: Make sure you have your festival ticket or wristband and a valid form of identification. You may need these for entry and to prove your age. I do recommend you scan a copy of your identification documents or cards or the easier approach, take pictures of them with your phone.  

        15. Hydration: Stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you. Dehydration can be a concern, especially in hot weather, and staying hydrated is key given the nonstop groove that happens on site.

        16. Insect Repellent: “Prevention is better than cure.” Being that the Nyege Nyege venue is near a busy water area, mosquitoes could be your next-door expected visitors, so carry an insect repellent. Could be Vaseline or lotion to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

        17. Souvenir – Represent Your Roots:

        While Nyege Nyege attracts international attendees, it’s also an opportunity to showcase your cultural identity. Consider bringing a souvenir that represents your origins, whether it’s a wristband, a flag, or a traditional blanket. This is a fantastic way to connect with fellow festivalgoers and celebrate diversity.

          18. Good Vibes and Open Mind: Lastly, come with a positive and open attitude. Nyege Nyege is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, so be prepared to make new friends and have a great time.

          In a nutshell; With this comprehensive packing list, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your Nyege Nyege Festival experience. Enjoy the music, the culture, and the unique atmosphere in Jinja while staying comfortable and stylish. Make your visit to Nyege Nyege an unforgettable adventure by coming prepared for anything that comes your way.

          Do anticipate performances from A Pass, Sho Madjozi, Janzi Band, Eddy Kenzo, Karole Kasita, DJ Mika Oki, DJ Vanss, DJ Bugy, Etania, DJ Travella, MC Aunty Rayzor, Yuri, among others at the forthcoming edition. The Event is organized in partnership with Talent Africa. Tickets can be bought using MTN Mobile Money (by dialing *165*98#) and on the Nyege Nyege website.

          Written with context from Life and Travel.