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Uganda Has Reopened For Tourism – Everything You Need To Know

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On October 1, 2020, Uganda officially reopened both air and land borders and is once again allowing tourism to resume.

After being closed since March 23rd, Entebbe International Airport has now reopened and has started to resume international flights. Uganda’s extremely diverse landscapes, natural wonders, and abundant wildlife have been attracting over 1.5 million tourists per year, so the nation is very keen to finally reopen safely.

male mountain gorilla in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

President Yoweri Museveni held a press conference in late September, stating:

“The international airport and land borders will now be opened for tourists, coming in and going out, provided they tested negative 72 hours before arrival in Uganda,”

However, the reopening of Uganda is not as cut and dry as some other African nations that have also recently opened for tourism. The government of Uganda has some very specific rules, unique to the continent. All passengers, inbound or outbound, should carefully read over the protocols below before travelling.

Countries Allowed to Travel to Uganda

Uganda is not restricting the countries that can enter.

All nations under normal ‘pre-covid’ visa and immigration regulations will be able to enter once again.

uganda resumes tourism oct 1
Beautiful Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda, Africa

PCR Testing

One of the very unique protocols Uganda has implemented for their reopening is having PCR testing requirements for both incoming AND outgoing passengers. Most other nations worldwide do not have this type of requirement.

PCR Testing for Incoming Passengers 

All passengers entering Uganda must have a negative PCR test, performed no longer than 120 hours prior to boarding the aircraft enroute to Uganda.  

The Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda has advised all airlines not to allow the passenger to board if they cannot provide poof of the negative test. If the airline does board a passenger without a test, customs will deny them entry completely and demand the airline return them.

The only exception to this rule is citizens/nationals of Uganda returning home. They are still excepted to provide the negative PCR test results, but if they cannot for some reason, they can pay $65 to have the test done on arrival and quarantine until results are ready. Tourists do not have this option.

Children under 3 are exempt from testing.

lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

PCR Testing for Outbound Passengers

All outbound passengers leaving Uganda are also required to present a negative PCR test, taken no longer than 120 hours prior to departure out of the country.

The exception to this rule is very difficult to fulfill, as it states that the outbound passengers will NOT have to provide the negative PCR test, if the country they are flying to does not require it However, in order to prove that, Ugandan authorities want to see written clearance from the destination country, proving the passenger does not need a test to enter.

Getting that kind of document from already overwhelmed border police and consulates will be near to impossible, so every outbound passenger will likely need to have the 120-hour negative PCR test to leave the country.

The waterfall on the Victoria Nile, Murchison Falls, Uganda
The waterfall on the Victoria Nile, Murchison Falls, Uganda

Quarantine Requirements

Uganda has dropped all quarantine requirements for incoming passengers, as long as they have fulfilled the PCR testing requirements and are not symptomatic.

Other Entry Rules/ Requirements into Uganda

  • Face masks are required on the inbound flight and at all times in the airport terminal
  • Social distancing of 1.5 metres from other passengers is mandatory in the arrival hall and baggage claim
  • All passengers will be screened for high temperatures upon arrival and departure
  • Fingerprints will be taken of all arriving passengers
  • Any symptomatic passenger will be taken to Entebbe Referral Hospital, tested, and quarantined for 24-48 hours pending results.
Kampala downtown, Uganda
Kampala downtown, Uganda

Visa Requirements

All nations that normally require a visa to visit Uganda will still need one. Most countries have an online e-visa program, making the process a little easier.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has an easy e-visa application site for visitors

visa policy uganda

Land Borders

Reports coming out of Uganda have suggested that ALL land borders have also reopened as of October 1, 2020.

Curfew in Place

As of October 1, there is still a nation-wide curfew in place that all visitors should know about. The curfew runs daily from 9:00pm to 6:00am, restricting free movement of all persons during those hours. If a tourist has a flight between curfew hours, they are permitted to travel to/from the airport, but must carry some sort of proof of travel with them.

uganda reopening
Dense jungle border between Uganda and the DR Congo

Flights to Uganda

Flights are just starting to resume with the announcement of Uganda reopening. Here are some direct flights that have already been rescheduled for October

  • Brussels on Brussels Airlines, resuming Oct 6
  • Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, resuming Oct 6
  • Doha on Qatar Airways, resuming Oct 5
  • Qatar on FlyDubai and Emirates, already resumed
  • Bangui on Kenya Airines, resuming Oct 5
  • Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Air, already resumed
  • Nairobi on Kenya Airlines, already resumed

More to come

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories

Originally Published: October 3, 2020


Thursday 8th of April 2021

Does anyone know if the land borders between Tanzania and Uganda are still open? Any links/ articles please feel free to share here! PS.I read the article which may be dated. I'm looking for the latest information Thanks


Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Hi, Thank you as well as the company that provides this info its very useful to know.. I was wondering whether I would have to take the COVID vaccine(as i don't want to) and the Swab test?

Kashlee Kucheran

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Uganda has not made vaccination a requirement for entry, but if you want to visit you will need proof of a negative PCR test, yes.


Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Can I get à Uganda entry visa when I arrive at the airport?


Tuesday 27th of October 2020

I was just informed by my tour company that the land borders were once again closed. Do you have any other information on this?

Kashlee Kucheran

Tuesday 27th of October 2020

No :( I have not heard of this at all. So sad, as they were just reopened!

Joel D. Hall

Wednesday 21st of October 2020

Greetings! Thank you for the very informative article. I noticed that this article didn't include any information regarding the government's prohibition on tourists "mixing" with Ugandans. Are you able to address this? Sincerely, J. Hall

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

No sorry, I don't have any specific information on that