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, and the whole country is currently dealing the second wave. All transportation between districts is under lockdown, public gatherings postponed, and stringent operating procedures imposed. However, tourism is still open!
Terms like “social distancing” and “self-isolation” seemingly entered the collective lexicon overnight. In an effort to flatten the curve, schools and universities shuttered, resulting in millions of students pivoting to homeschooling and virtual learning. Unemployment rates have skyrocketed. And, of course, the tourism industry has also been hit particularly hard as it tries to navigate uncharted territory and answer the questions we’ve never before had to ask regarding travel in the age of COVID-19.
With attractions beginning to see people back on vacations in Uganda, people look 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. Let’s take a look.
Yes, Uganda is open to international travel and tourism. Except for the Uganda-Rwanda border, all international borders and Entebbe International Airport (the only one in the country) are open for inbound/outbound traffic, with restrictions. Although the whole country is currently in a second lockdown, Immigration security, traffic police, security operatives, and tourism authorities maintain stringent standard operating procedures to control the spread of Covid-19.
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 Uganda safari. UWA published their operating procedure for a safari in Uganda. Please take some time and read and understand how they’ll affect your travel to Uganda.
We encourage visitors to note major guidelines like getting your COVID-19 vaccination jab, staying away from public places, facemask-wearing, physical distancing, hand sanitizing, carry a recent negative COVID-19 test result certificate, e-payment, and the requirement to use only authorized transportation from the airport.
Don’t expect to be catered to just because you’re on vacation. You’re also responsible for maintaining the safety of the people and animals in the destination 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.
Apart from the general immigration requirements for entry into Uganda, the following will be required to use Uganda’s Covid entry/exit requirements:
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 arriving passengers from category 2 countries will be subjected to a PCR COVID-19 test (at the traveler’s expense of about USD 65) at all entry points, including Entebbe International Airport. Category 1—includes India, is currently banned from entry into the country. Category 2—consists of the USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Tanzania. These travelers will have to wait for their results before proceeding to their final destination in Uganda. (Results can take 4-6 hours).
Travelers of countries in category 3—includes all not in categories 1 & 2— will not be subject to PCR tests but shall present an authentic and valid PCR COVID-19 diagnostic test certificate issued
120 72 hours before arriving in Uganda.
Individuals from category 2 countries who have received complete COVID-19 vaccinations and have no signs of any infection will be exempted from mandatory PCR tests at entry points. However, they must carry a negative PCR COVID test certificate issued not more than
120 72 hours before travel.
All arriving passengers shall be subjected to invasive COVID-19 testing where necessary (samples taking or rapid test), temperature checks, amongst others.
All Passengers who show signs and symptoms of a communicable disease, including COVID-19, shall be isolated and taken for further checks and treatment. Those who test negative for all the tests and have a normal temperature will be let through.
All Covid-19 positive testing passengers/ crews shall be isolated and taken to designated treatment centers. Established contact persons to the positive passengers shall go for 14 days’ quarantine.
Passengers shall proceed to immigration with a valid passport to process the visa. Present valid travel documents to be allowed through curfew roadblocks if you arrive beyond 9:00 pm and before the 6:00 am curfew period.
For more information, visit the official CAA Uganda SOP Guidelines page
Yes, all travelers shall present an authentic and valid COVID-19 diagnostic test certificate issued within
120 72 hours before entry or exit.
Yes, if you’re from category-2 countries (USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Tanzania). And No, if you have been fully vaccinated and show no symptoms of infection. Additionally, all arriving travelers will be subjected to simple COVID-19 testing like temperature checks and others considering the check-in agent’s recommendation. Where necessary, samples are taken for rapid tests.
Travelers who show signs and symptoms of a communicable disease, including COVID-19, shall be isolated and taken for further checks and treatment. Those who test negative for all the tests and have a normal temperature will be let through.
Individuals, from Category 1&2, who have received full COVID-19 vaccinations and have no signs of any infection will be exempted from PCR tests at all entry points and allowed into Uganda. Such travelers will need to show valid evidence to that effect.
Yes, you’ll still need a Negative PCR Test Certificate to be allowed entry into Uganda. This is because WHO maintains that there’s no evidence that any of the current Covid-19 vaccines can completely stop people from being infected (which luckily has implications for our prospects of achieving herd immunity).
So until WHO okay’s the COVID-19 vaccine to be foolproof for infections, you’ll still need a negative test taken.
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.
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.
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
Yes, it is safe to see the primates in Uganda. Gorilla trekking permits 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.
Booking a Uganda safari with Nkuringo Safaris is as simple and exciting as buying a plane ticket to visit your frat friends. Nkuringo Safaris owns and operated award-winning safari lodges in Uganda, safari vehicles, and a specialized team of local consultants at your service. Our vehicles have been licensed to travel during the lockdown and all our partner properties, lodges, and camps vetted for COVID-1p operating standards to assure you of your protection.
As soon as we receive your email, we get excited to help you put together a dream holiday vacation in the primate capital with the best local advice we have collected since 2007. Throughout the planning process, our goal is to make it as exciting as the journey itself.
Our trips are mostly tailored to your preferences, style, and budget because we believe there’s no one-size-fits-all in leisure travel. You’ll have all our resources at your disposal.
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