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 travelers, irrespective of vaccination or country of origin, will be required to present a negative covid-19 test certificate on arrival, taken not more than 72 hours. In addition, they’ll be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 screening on arrival irrespective of age. (Results given within 1.5 hours).
If any traveler tests positive, the MoH will evacuate them to a designated COVID-19 isolation facility. Children under 18 who test positive for COVID-19 will be allowed to undergo home quarantine with their parent or guardian.
All travelers should process their visas online at visas.immigration.go.ug. There will be no visas at entry points. 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 (irrespective of age, country of origin, or vaccinations status) shall present an authentic and valid COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued within
120 72 hours before entry or exit.
Yes, you may have to take another COVID-19 PCR test on arrival at entry points in Uganda. In retrospect, all travelers, irrespective of vaccination or country of origin, will be required to present a negative covid-19 test certificate on arrival, taken not more than 72 hours. In addition, they’ll be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 screening on arrival irrespective of age. (Results given within 1.5 hours). If any traveler tests positive, the MoH will evacuate them to a designated COVID-19 isolation facility. Children under 18 who test positive for COVID-19 will be allowed to undergo home quarantine with their parent or guardian.
Yes, all travelers, even those with full vaccination, will have to take a test not more than 72 hours before they arrive in Uganda.
This is because MoH maintains that there’s no evidence that many forge test certificates 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 for 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.
No, you can not get a Uganda entry visa on arrival anymore since June 2021. Uganda entry visas are now processed online at visas.immigration.go.ug. You’ll be required to have a 6-months valid passport and a fee of $50. If you’re traveling with a local operator, make sure to include their contact numbers and address for faster processing.
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.