Things you should know traveling for safari or holiday post-COVID-19 in Uganda

Like every other country, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every industry in Uganda and altered countless aspects of our daily lives. To date, thousands of confirmed cases have been reported, claiming hundreds of lives in Uganda. To date, Uganda is struggling with the second wave of the Coronavirus with a second countrywide lockdown banning public gatherings, transportation, and a nightly curfew leaving empty streets by sundown.

Stay home is the megaphone message vibrating countrywide as the nation struggles to flatten the curve for the second time around. Uganda had very impressively managed the first wave, earning praises from the international community and opening up borders in October last year. But just like a child praised too much lays back and enjoys the stars, the population had slackened and needed another wake-up call.

Surprisingly, the second lockdown has left the tourism industry open in Uganda. With attractions beginning to see people back on vacations in Uganda, people are looking for accurate answers to plan their safari holiday in Uganda. But with so many tourism-related questions swirling around our heads right now, we decided to put together frequently asked questions and answers about traveling in Uganda in the wake of Coronavirus.

Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling in Uganda in The Wake of COVID-19

Is Uganda open for tourism & international travel?

Yes, Uganda is still open to international travel and tourism with strict operating procedures at all entry points. At Entebbe International Airport, inbound and outbound traffic from all over the world is operational, except for category-1 countries (i.e. India). All travellers are required to carry a VALID NEGATIVE PCR COVID-19 Test certificate issued not more than 120 days 72 hours before your arrival or departure.

What are the most important safety tips I should keep in mind when traveling to Uganda amidst COVID-19?

Get yourself fully vaccinated before you book your flight to Uganda, make sure you test negative for COVID-19 within 120 hours 72 hours of your arrival, and carry your COVID-19 PCR Test certificate with you. Otherwise, stay home and let the travel fever pass. Wearing a facemask in public places is mandatory in Uganda, carry a number of spare masks, a portable bottle of hand sanitizer, and try to stay away from public places. Your temperature will be regularly checked at all access points, so allow the patrons when you’re asked to present your hand or cheek. Use e-payments or touchless methods to make payment and please don’t unnecessarily touch your face.

Travelers are encouraged to seek out the operating procedures for Airports, entry points, places, or hotels they’ll be staying at, and the activities they’ll be engaging in like safari. UWA published their operating procedure for Uganda safari travelers; please take some time and read and understand how they’ll affect their travel to Uganda.

Don’t expect to be catered to just because you’re on vacation. You’re also responsible for maintaining the safety of the location you’re visiting. We’re advising guests against spending time in densely populated metropolises and limiting time there—and to be fair, this is already high on your list for planning travel in Uganda.

Social distancing is in our vernacular now and will come into play as travelers will avoid closed environments, opting for private villas, exclusive-use accommodations, boat charters, and unfettered experiences void of crowds and density.

What are Uganda’s Covid travel entry and exit requirements?

Apart from the general immigration requirements for entry into Uganda, travel restrictions apply to all travelers inbound and outbound.

In addition to security requirements, all persons entering the airport shall wear Ministry of Health (MOH) approved Face Masks, go through Thermal Screening, handwashing, and/or sanitize(hand/body).

All travelers are categorized into 1,2,3 countries. Travelers from Category-1 (India) will not be allowed into the country except for returning Ugandans with a Negative PCR COCID-19 certificate. Travelers from Category-2 countries (USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Tanzania.) after presenting a negative PCR Certificate will be subjected to a second COVID-19 test (at their own cost of $65) with results within 4 hours. After being found negative, they will be allowed into the country. Otherwise, they’ll be guaranteed in a designated hotel at their own cost.

All travelers who present a Valid Fully Vaccination Certificate will be allowed entry after presenting a Valid COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued not more than 120 hours 72 hours before arrival, including travelers from Category-2 countries.

Only vehicles licensed by UTB are allowed to take travelers across the country on safari. Your driver guide should have tested negative for Coronavirus 42 hours before they pick you up. They should also be able to present your itinerary when prompted by security operatives. Your safari vehicle should carry at half capacity with no one riding shotgun, and it should be disinfected regularly when on the road.

Curfew time across the country is 06:00 to 05:00. No one is allowed on the road and in public places except for licensed safaris on the road and security operatives. If caught, you may face arrest or hefty fines.

For more information, visit the official CAA Uganda SOP Guidelines page.

Are all visitors to Uganda required to have a Covid-19 test?

Yes, all travelers shall present an authentic and valid COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test certificate issued within 120 hours 72 hours of entry or exit. Even travelers fully vaccinated are required to present a NEGATIVE COVID-19 (PCR) test certificate.

If I have a Covid free certificate, will I need to be tested again when I arrive in Uganda?

No, you’ll not be subjected to a mandatory PCR test if you present a VALID Negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate unless you show symptoms of an infection. Temperature checks and other checks for early signs of the virus are carried out at all entry points. So be polite and let the attendants check your temperature.

Travelers who show signs and symptoms of a communicable disease, including COVID-19, shall be isolated and taken for further checks and treatment at their own costs.

Which type of Covid-19 test is required for entry into Uganda?

The COVID-19 test required for entry into Uganda is known as the Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 test. Travelers shall present a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 Test Certificate upon arrival and before departure.

Will the airport transportation be accessible at Entebbe Airport?

Yes! After processing with immigration and Covid procedures, travelers will proceed to the designated area to transfers and taxis on arrival at Entebbe Airport. Your Uganda safari trip operator will transport you straight to your hotel, or your hotel concierge picks you up.

Are National Parks in Uganda open for tourism?

Yes, national parks in Uganda are open for tourism since September 2020. Under the management of UWA, national parks allow residents and foreign non-residents to enter and see the animals with strict operating procedures. Some of the most important procedures include mandatory wearing of facemasks, regular hand sanitization, keeping ten meters away from the animals, not feeding the animals, no sedans, and overcrowded vehicles in the park, among other SOPs

Are visitors allowed to trek mountain gorillas and chimpanzees?

Yes, it is safe to see the primates in Uganda. Gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking permits are issued by UWA, allowing anyone to be escorted into the gorilla jungles by rangers and trackers. Mountain gorillas and chimpanzees are a jewel of Uganda and guarded jealously by the conservation office, which has strict guidelines for seeing them. You must have your facemask on, keep a reasonable distance of 10 meters from the primates and observe other regular operating procedures to protect you and the animals.

Uganda Safaris During Covid-19

Take a look at these example Uganda safaris that other travels have customized and taken during covid. You too can customize or repurpose yours with the help of an expert. Send us an email at when ready.



5 Days | Physically Demanding Entebbe, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

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Gorillas in The Wild Adventure Safari

Gorillas in The Wild Adventure Safari

7 Days | Walking, Hiking, Culture & Gorillas FROM 3,417 pp, sharing

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8 Days | Southwestern Circuit Entebbe, Kibale, Queen, Bwindi

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Best of Uganda Safari Holiday

Rwenzori Mountains Summit Climbing

9 Days | Margherita Peak (5109m) Entebbe, Rwenzori National Park

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Best of Uganda Safari Holiday

Best of Uganda Safari & Gorilla Trekking

14 Days | Top Uganda Attractions Entebbe, Mburo, Bwindi, QENP, Kibale, Murchison & Kidepo

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