Visitors arriving into Uganda will need to have an understanding of the country’s main airport, airlines and land borders providing visitors access to this east African gem and how to plan for the latest travel requirements.
Table of Contents
How to travel to Uganda: Options available
The main entry point for flights into Uganda is Entebbe International Airport (EBB), located near the town of Entebbe, about 46km/29mi from the capital, Kampala, particularly popular between December and February for those wondering about the best time to visit Uganda.
Uganda is a relatively compact country and further transportation within the country is usually done by vehicle, though more upmarket safaris increasingly tend to include one or more flights.
In most cases, your local tour operator will collect you from the airport or hotel and further transportation will be part of and costed into your safari package.
Most visitors access Uganda by plane for a safari at Bwindi Impenetrable NP and other Uganda wildlife reserves including Kibale National Park.
Uganda has a number of international flights, popular with visitors from the United States and United Kingdom including direct flights to:
- United Arab Emirates
The country also has direct flight links from Kenya, Egypt, Burundi, Rwanda and the Central African Republic.
Aerolink operates domestic flights within the country, typically from Entebbe International Airport (EBB) to:
- Kasese (KSE)
- Jinja (JIN)
- Kihihi (KHX)
- Mbarara (MBQ)
- Pakuba (PAF)
The choice of airport for arrival and departure should be selected according to the particular safari destination and route which visitors will embark on, to avoid excessively long transfers.
Entry requirements and travel restrictions can change, so please contact your local Uganda embassy information page to verify the information below is current before entering Uganda.
- Passport: Required for all visitors and has to be valid for at least six months.
- Application Form: Completed forms for Uganda tourists visas
- Health Document: Negative COVID-19 PCR test result.
- Uganda Vaccinations: COVID-19 vaccination proof for travellers coming to Uganda.
- Accommodation Bookings: Hotel reservation(s) in Uganda for the duration of your visit.
- Travel Bookings: A round-trip flight reservation(s) for Uganda.
- Travel itinerary: A travel reservation to and from your country in your name, not a ticket
- Yellow Fever Certificate: Required if travelling from a yellow fever risk country
Uganda drives on the left hand side of the road and main roads in and around cities are usually in good condition but can be congested. Kampala in particular is a traffic hotspot with gridlock for much of the day.
Minor and rural roads will generally be in a worse condition but are usually passable without a 4WD in good weather.
For visitors going gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park, the roads are in generally good condition but after rain, expect flooding and landslides. Roads through Queen Elizabeth NP are all paved and generally Okay except for a few pot holes.
Gas stations including Total and Shell can be found all over Uganda. It is advised to top up your gas station whenever you see one, even if your tank is still half full especially when going to more rural places in case of emergencies.
Driving standards in Uganda can be mixed and road users should be aware of buses, boda bodas (motorcycles taxis) and livestock, drive with caution at all times and avoid driving at night.
Uganda vehicle border entry requirements
Most rental companies in Uganda have rules about crossing borders with your rental car, so
make sure you check with the company before you decide to cross any border.
Usually, you are not allowed to cross to South Sudan or the Democratic Republic of Congo. If you want to cross to Kenya, Tanzania or Rwanda, you need to tell them in advance and probably pay an extra fee.
In case you are considering going to Malawi, Zambia or Zimbabwe, that is also possible, but be aware that we cannot provide roadside assistance.
They will issue a COMESA card, an extension of the car insurance which costs about USD $80 and is valid for three weeks. Having a small amount of Ugandan currency, the shilling (UGX) to-hand as well as an international credit card are useful when paying for smaller ticket items.
Uganda driving tips
Top tips for driving in Uganda to ensure a smooth vacation experience include:
- Side of the road: You’re required by law to drive on the left hand of the road.
- Potholes: Most of the roads in the major cities are smooth but in case you encounter a rough road then you have to be cautious while driving. Necessities like learning how to replace car tires are also recommended.
- Keep your Phone Away: You are not permitted to talk or text on the phone while driving on Uganda roads.
- Seatbelts: Always make sure you have your seatbelt on. The traffic officers are very strict on this and might get you charged.
- Drunk Driving: This is strongly prohibited in Uganda. Once caught, you can risk getting your vehicle impounded and getting in the coolers for sometime until you completely sober up.
- Driving Permits: Just like other countries, you are required by law to own a permit. If you are a foreigner then you have to seek for a temporary permit or document that will allow you to drive on the roads.
Full car insurance coverage is highly recommended when renting a car in Uganda due to the uncertainty of the gravel roads meaning the risk of getting a cracked windscreen from stones on the road is higher as well as wildlife crossing the roads.
With full car insurance, visitors won’t have to deal with any of the formalities with the car hire firm who can take care of all repairs and costs.
Travel insurance (in case you need to be repatriated by plane) is also recommended and will give visitors peace of mind. In Uganda, you will often be at least half a day’s driving distance from the nearest doctor or pharmacy, so travel well prepared.
For comprehensive travel insurance, you should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities in Uganda you wish to partake in. You should be aware that many adventure sports operators in Uganda are unregulated, so only choose reputable tour companies.
Most lodges are foreseen to provide first aid if needed, but it’s wise to carry any medication you think you might need with you. Also, make sure to take a basic first aid kit with you.
When and where to book a flight to Uganda
Scheduled flights to Uganda can be booked:
- Online, either directly on an airline website or via a price comparison site
- Travel agency booking
For Uganda safaris and adventure holidays, visitors can travel to the country by flying into Entebbe International Airport (EBB), located near the town of Entebbe, about 46km/29mi from the capital, Kampala.
Cost of getting to Uganda?
Costs vary depending on origin, time of year, connections required, distance travelled and country of origin. Visitors can expect flight prices from £750/$990 for a return flight from Amsterdam. Prices can vary from season to season.
How to get to Uganda?
Entebbe airport, also known as Entebbe International Airport (EBB) airport is the primary arrival point for visitors flying into Uganda.
How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Visitors can fly to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via Entebbe International Airport (EBB), which is roughly 29 miles from the capital city of Kampala.