Uganda travel advice

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Risk level

Uganda - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Uganda due to the threat of terrorism and a high crime rate.

Border with South Sudan - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to areas within 50 km of the border with South Sudan due to banditry and cross-border attacks by rebel groups. This advisory excludes visits to national parks when accompanied by a reputable guide and using well-travelled roads.

 

Border with the Democratic Republic of Congo - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to areas within 50 km of the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo due to joint military operations. This advisory excludes visits to national parks when accompanied by a reputable guide and using well-travelled roads.

 

Karamoja Province - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to Karamoja Province due to inter-communal violence and banditry. This advisory excludes visits to national parks when accompanied by a reputable guide and using well-travelled roads.

 

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Safety and security

Border with the Democratic Republic of Congo

The volatile security situation in the eastern part of neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could lead to possible incursions into western Uganda by armed rebel groups from the DRC.

At the end of November 2021, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo started a joint military operation against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the DRC, near Virunga National Park.

Ugandan military troops are present on both sides of the border. There is also a risk of banditry in this area.

Border with South Sudan

The border with South Sudan is porous and banditry and criminality are a concern. Inter-communal tensions and clashes are common in this area. Given the security situation in South Sudan, we recommend that you avoid travelling to areas within 50 km from the border.

Karamoja Province

Clashes between tribal groups occur, especially in districts north of Kate Kyoga. There is also a risk of banditry.

Western Uganda

Western Uganda has a history of inter-ethnic violence.

Due to political tensions between Uganda and Rwanda, the land border may be closed without notice. Be sure to check that it’s open before trying to cross.

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism in Uganda. On October 17, 2023, an attack occurred near the Queen Elizabeth National Park in south-west Uganda and resulted in three casualties. On October 15, 2023, the Ugandan police foiled a bomb attack on churches in the central Butambala district, west of Kampala. The Ugandan police also located and disabled improvised explosive devices (IED) in three locations in Kampala and on its outskirts in September 2023.

Terrorists have previously carried out attacks, including in June 2023 on a school in Mpondwe, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, resulting in several casualties.

Further attacks cannot be ruled out. While the attacks do not appear to have targeted foreigners, exercise increased caution in and around Kampala.

Targets could include:

  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Expect a heightened presence of security forces in Kampala. They may conduct increased security checks in public areas.

National Parks

There are several national parks in Uganda, including near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Local authorities have enhanced security measures in these areas; however, tourists have been involved in security incidents in the past.

If you are visiting a national park:

  • only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators
  • don’t take any tours that will bring you into the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • closely follow park regulations and rangers’ advice
  • stay informed of recent developments in the security situation in the area before travelling as it can change quickly

Uganda’s National Parks and Reserves - Ugandan Wildlife Authority

Crime

Armed banditry, car thefts, muggings and kidnappings occur throughout Uganda and foreigners have been targeted.

Petty crime, including pickpocketing, purse and jewellery snatching and theft from hotel rooms and vehicles, occurs regularly.

If attacked, don’t resist, as offering resistance may result in violence.

  • Maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times and in all places
  • Take appropriate security measures, particularly on roads linking a city centre to residential areas
  • Refrain from travelling at night
  • Never leave your bags unsupervised at a ticket office or a registration desk
  • Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times, and that your credit and debit cards, cash and any other financial resources are not all kept in the same place
  • Don’t show signs of affluence
  • Don’t carry large sums of money
  • Travel in groups if possible

Armed robberies

Armed robberies are perpetrated against pedestrians, even during day time.

Armed robberies also occur along roadways, particularly at night.

Keep your vehicle doors locked at all times, windows closed and personal belongings, including handbags, safely stored.

  • Don’t leave items such as laptops and briefcases in unattended vehicles
  • Don’t display jewellery or electronics when walking
  • Remain vigilant when using public transportation or walking along deserted streets
  • Avoid walking and driving at night

Taxi and matatu (minibus) operators have robbed their passengers and stranded them far from their destination. Avoid taking taxis or matatus that have only one or two passengers, and ensure that your personal belongings are secure at all times when using public transportation.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

2SLGBTQI+ persons have been attacked and harassed based on their identity and sexual orientation. Violent incidents have increased since the Parliament passed an “anti-homosexuality” bill in March 2023.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Uganda.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Advice for women travellers

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Identification

Carry a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and the page containing your visa, and keep the original in a secure place.

Tourist facilities and infrastructure are adequate in Kampala, Jinja and larger national parks, but limited elsewhere in the country.

Wildlife viewing

Wildlife viewing poses risks, particularly on foot or at close range.

  • Only visit game parks and reserves with a reputable tour company
  • Always maintain a safe distance when observing wildlife
  • Only exit a vehicle when a professional guide or warden says it’s safe to do so
  • Only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators
  • Closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice

Park information - Uganda Wildlife Authority

Road safety

A lack of traffic signs, reckless driving habits, wandering animals, pedestrians and poor road conditions pose risks. Pedestrians should exercise caution when crossing roads. There are many fatal road accidents in Uganda. The Jinja–Kampala and Maska–Kampala roads are of particular concern. Alcohol is often a contributing factor to accidents, particularly at night. Highway travel is dangerous, especially after dark, because of banditry and poor visibility. Avoid driving outside major cities after dark.

If travelling to Uganda by road, you should get information from the appropriate border police station regarding the security situation at your next destination.

Public transportation

Buses

Avoid intercity buses (especially overnight long-distance buses) and vans. Fatal accidents caused by reckless driving, excessive speed and poor vehicle maintenance have occurred in the past.

Taxis

Exercise caution when using other forms of public transportation, such as matatus and boda-bodas (moped taxis), and ensure that the vehicle is in good condition before departure. If you opt to travel by boda-boda, wear a helmet at all times.

Ferries

Ferry accidents are not uncommon, due to overloading and poor maintenance of some vessels. Do not board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Ugandan authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Uganda.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: required
Business visa: required
Work permit: required
Transit visa: required

While you can obtain a visa on arrival, you should first attempt to get a visa online. Apply as far in advance of your trip as possible, as delays could occur. You may need proof that you first attempted to apply online, before being granted a visa on arrival.

Some travellers without an e-visa have been refused entry, even though they technically qualified for visa on arrival.

Canadians intending to work in Uganda should insist that the employer ascertain what type of permit will be required from Uganda’s Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control.

Apply for an electronic visa - Uganda’s e-immigration system

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.

Recommendation

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Malaria

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.

Malaria is a risk to travellers to this destination.
 
Antimalarial medication is recommended for most travellers to this destination and should be taken as recommended. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. 
 
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 

  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 

 If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

Rabies

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Polio

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified this country as no longer poliovirus-infected but at high risk of an outbreak. Polio can be prevented by vaccination.

Recommendations:

  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Meningococcal disease

This destination is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area which has the highest rates of meningococcal disease in the world. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. 

Travellers who are at higher risk should discuss vaccination with a health care provider. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers) or those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Cholera

Risk

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Schistosomiasis

There is a risk of schistosomiasis in this destination. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by tiny worms (blood flukes) which can be found in freshwater (lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands). The worms can break the skin, and their eggs can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, or urinary problems. Schistosomiasis mostly affects underdeveloped and rural communities, particularly agricultural and fishing communities.

Most travellers are at low risk. Travellers should avoid contact with untreated freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and ponds (e.g., swimming, bathing, wading, ingesting). There is no vaccine or medication available to prevent infection.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Chikungunya

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that can cause fever, pain and bleeding under the skin.  In some cases, it can be fatal.  It spreads to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, or from the bite of an infected tick.  Risk is generally low for most travellers.  Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock.  There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

Dengue
  • In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
African trypanosomiasis

African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a tsetse fly. Tsetse flies usually bite during the day and the bites are usually painful. If untreated, the disease is eventually fatal. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites especially in game parks and rural areas. Avoid wearing bright or dark-coloured clothing as these colours attract tsetse flies. There is no vaccine available for this disease.

Rift Valley fever

Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can be fatal. It is spread to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, from the bite of an infected mosquito, or eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from insect bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock, and unpasteurized dairy. There is no vaccine available for Rift Valley fever.

Onchoceriasis

Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly.  Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.

Zika virus

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Cutaneous anthrax

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by bacteria. People can get sick with anthrax if they come into contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. Anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals.
Travellers to areas where anthrax is common or where an outbreak is occurring in animals can get sick with anthrax if:

  • they have contact with infected animal carcasses or eat meat from animals that were sick when slaughtered
  • they handle animal parts, such as hides, wool or hair, or products made from those animal parts, such as animal hide drums.

If you are visiting these areas, do not eat raw or undercooked meat and avoid contact with livestock, wildlife, animal products, and animal carcasses.

Plague

There is a risk of plague in this country. Plague is a bacterial disease that can cause serious illness, and if left untreated, death.

The occurrence of cases in areas where the plague bacteria are known to circulate can be influenced by weather and environmental conditions. In some countries, this results in seasonal outbreaks.
Travellers to areas where plague routinely occurs may be at risk if they are camping, hunting, or in contact with rodents.

Plague is spread by:

  • bites from fleas infected with the plague
  • direct contact with body fluids or tissues from an animal or person who is sick with or has died from plague

Overall risk to travellers is low. Protect yourself by reducing contact with fleas and potentially infected rodents and other wildlife.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

Ebola disease

Sporadic outbreaks of Ebola disease occur in this country.

Ebola disease can be caused by 6 different viruses, including Sudan virus and Ebola virus, which spread through contact with infected bodily fluids (from people or animals). It is very serious and often fatal.

Practise good hygiene (frequent and proper hand washing) and avoid contact with the body fluids of people with Ebola disease or unknown illnesses. Avoid contact with wild animals.

Of the different viruses that cause Ebola disease, there is only a vaccine to prevent disease caused by Ebola virus. It is available under certain circumstances; however, it is not authorized for sale in Canada. There are currently no approved vaccines or effective treatments for Ebola disease caused by the other viruses, including Sudan virus.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are extremely limited outside Kampala. Serious illness or emergencies may require evacuation by air ambulance at the patient’s expense. 

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medications

Ensure you have sufficient prescription medicine and medical supplies for the duration of your trip.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Photography

Photography of security forces, diplomatic sites, government installations, airports and the Owen Falls Dam (at the source of the Nile River, near Jinja) is prohibited. Always ask for permission before photographing individuals.

Camouflage clothing

Wearing military-style or camouflage clothing is prohibited and may result in a jail sentence.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

The laws of Uganda prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. In May 2023, the President of Uganda approved the 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Bill. If enforced, it would increase penalties for convicted offenders up to the death penalty for certain cases. It would also impose:

  • up to 20 years’ imprisonment for recruitment, promotion and funding of same-sex activities
  • 14 years’ imprisonment for those convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality”

Societal discrimination based on identity and sexual orientation is widespread. 2SLGBTQI+ persons are routinely harassed by the police. Incidences of blackmail and extortion directed against 2SLGBTQI+ persons and their families are common.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Uganda.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Uganda.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Uganda, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Uganda.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Uganda by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Uganda to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

Useful links

Driving

Traffic drives on the left.

An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Drivers must always carry:

  • a valid driver’s license in English or with a certified translation
  • vehicle registration documents
  • proof of valid insurance
  • a valid vehicle inspection certificate

These documents must be produced on demand by a police officer.

You must be at least 18 years old to drive a private motor vehicle in Uganda.

If you are over 18, you may drive using a Canadian driver’s licence for up to 90 days from the date of entry into Uganda.

In the event of an accident, Ugandan law requires drivers to stop and exchange information and assistance. There is a possibility of mob anger if the accident has caused serious injury. In such cases, remain in your vehicle and drive to the nearest police station to report the accident.

Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol include immediate imprisonment.

International Driving Permit

Traffic violations

If you are stopped for a traffic violation, the police officer may ask you to pay an on-the spot fine. Police, however, are not permitted to accept cash on the spot without issuing an official receipt. If you disagree with the traffic ticket, you have the right to ask for due process. The officer should provide you with information on when and where you can go to be properly charged, and then you may pursue that process.

Money

The currency is the Uganda shilling (UGX).

Credit cards are accepted only by major hotels, airlines and some car rental agencies. You will find a foreign exchange (forex) bureau at most border posts and in all major cities. Most shops, banks and forex bureaus do not accept or exchange U.S. dollars printed before 2007.

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Natural disasters and climate

Seismic activity

Uganda is located in a seismic zone.

Monsoon seasons

The rainy (or monsoon) seasons extend from March to May and from October to November. Weather-related events such as floods and landslides occur throughout the country during these months. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts and pay careful attention to all warnings issued.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 999 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Kampala - Honorary consul of Canada
Street AddressLimuru Road, Gigiri, Nairobi, KenyaTelephone+254 (20) 366-3000Emailnrobi-consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-UgandaTwitter@CanHCKenya
Nairobi - High Commission of Canada
Street AddressLimuru Road, Gigiri, Nairobi, KenyaPostal AddressP.O. Box 1013, Nairobi, 00621, KenyaTelephone+254 (20) 366-3000Fax+254 (20) 366-3900Emailnrobi.consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-KenyaTwitter@CanHCKenyaConsular district

Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda

Appointment Book your appointment online

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Kenya, in Nairobi, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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