Vaccines for Uganda | Recommendations & FAQs

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An important step in the preparation for a trip to Uganda for an African safari is to be aware of travel health guidelines, regulations on vaccinations and what precautions should be taken in a visitor’s travel plans.

Any compulsory vaccines in Uganda?

There are both routine vaccinations for entry and strongly recommended vaccination requirements for visitors to Uganda. A yellow fever vaccine is required for arriving travelers from all countries if the traveler is over the age of 12 months old.

The best time to visit Uganda is during its two dry seasons: between December and February, and between June and August and for most short-term travellers, many other vaccinations for Uganda are recommended.

Recommended vaccines for Uganda

Some vaccines are recommended for Uganda.

The CDC recommends the following vaccines for Uganda:

VaccineRecommendation
CovidRecommended for everyone 5 years of age and older to get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travel.
MalariaTravelers going to certain areas of Uganda should take prescription medicine to prevent malaria many days before their trip, as well as during and after their trip.
Chickenpox (Varicella)2 doses of chickenpox vaccine for children, adolescents, and adults who have never had chickenpox and were never vaccinated.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-PertussisCDC recommends diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) vaccinations for everyone.
FluCDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine as an option for vaccination.
MMRTwo doses of MMR vaccine to prevent measles and protect against Rubella MMR and Mumps.
PolioCDC recommends that children get 4 doses of polio vaccine. Most adults do not need polio vaccine if already vaccinated as children.
ShinglesAdults 50 years and old should get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine), separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles
RabiesRabid dogs are commonly found in Uganda. Visitors should consider a rabies vaccination before their trip.
TyphoidRecommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.
Yellow FeverRequired if traveling from a country with risk of YF virus transmission and ≥1 year of age, including transit >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YF virus transmission.
Hepatitis ARecommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Uganda.
Hepatitis BRecommended for unvaccinated travelers of all ages to Uganda.
Meningococcal meningitisVisitors should consult with their local doctor on meningitis requirements and vaccines prior to their trip.

It is also recommended to ensure visitors are vaccinated against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and meningococcal meningitis.

Malaria risk

Malaria is a risk for visitors going on a Uganda safari. The CDC recommends that travelers going to Uganda take prescription medicine to prevent malaria.

Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication you should take.

Malaria is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito and so the first line of defence is to protect yourself against mosquito bites. Malaria Prophylaxis may be prescribed to you during your consultation depending on your itinerary.

If travelling to a remote area on a Ugandan adventure activity, away from medical facilities, it is recommended to carry standby emergency treatment and a small amount of Ugandan currency to pay for smaller ticket items.

Uganda health recommendations

Recommended visitor precautions

To help protect against mosquitoes, visitors should ensure to:

  • Apply mosquito repellents on clothes to avoid mosquito bites
  • Wear covered light clothing
  • Use mosquito nets on the windows of your accommodation and in vehicles, use the air conditioning

Depending on the areas visited, preventive antimalarial treatment should be considered.

Food and water precautions that should be observed:

  • Eat cooked food
  • Wash and peel fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid fresh fruit juices, ice creams, ice cubes, raw vegetables, reheated dishes
  • Consume pasteurized or boiled milk
  • Drink bottled or boiled water

Hygiene rules that should be followed:

  • Wash hands regularly, before and after each meal and after using the toilet
  • Don’t touch wild and stray animals to avoid animal bites and infection
  • Don’t swim in lakes and non-running water
  • Avoid any potentially contaminated food and water

Visitors with medical conditions should make tour guides and food catering aware of this in advance of travelling, including to the major parks like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Kibale NP.

Useful vaccination information links

Uganda Covid 19 information

The Government of Uganda requires all in-bound and out-bound travelers to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccinations, except for travelers aged 5 years and below.  Boosters are not considered a requirement in Uganda.

Travelers with partial or no vaccination will be required to present a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of travel. Travelers below 5 years are not required to present a negative PCR test upon arrival or departure.

Passengers are strongly recommended to have a paper copy of their vaccinations or test results for both entering and exiting Uganda. The Ugandan Ministry of Health may conduct random COVID testing for inbound travelers.

Although the curfew has been lifted, COVID restrictions relating to the operation of businesses, schools, and places of worship may change with little notice.  Consult official Ugandan government sources for the most up-to-date information.

Although the curfew has been lifted, COVID restrictions relating to the operation of businesses, schools, and places of worship may change with little notice.

Arriving passengers will be subject to temperature checks and will be screened for infectious diseases by the Port Health authorities. If your temperature is above normal or you display COVID-19 symptoms you may be required to take a COVID-19 test.

If a foreign national tests positive for COVID-19 and wishes to be repatriated for treatment outside of Uganda, they will be expected to cover the costs themselves.

Per the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, only travelers with approved Uganda visas, having applied online, will be granted entry. Applications can be made here.

Covid 19 testing in Uganda

A number of health facilities in Kampala offer COVID-19 testing. For a full list of accredited laboratories and approved sample collection points, please visit the Ministry of Health’s website.

Travelers are expected to cover all costs associated with their COVID-19 test.  Average cost for testing is UGX 180,000 – 240,000 (USD $48 – $64).

Proof of vaccination status

All visitors are required to show your COVID-19 vaccination status on arrival at Entebbe International airport and land border points in Uganda.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

If you are not fully vaccinated you will need to show a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate issued no more than 72 hours before departure on arrival by land or air.

If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past year

There are no special arrangements in place for travellers who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past year.

Children and young people

Children under the age of 6 are exempted from providing a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate whether vaccinated or not.

Useful Covid information links

FAQs

Are vaccines compulsory in Uganda?

There are both routine and strongly recommended vaccinations for Uganda.  A yellow fever vaccine is required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission in order to gain entry to Uganda and other fully vaccinated jabs including Covid may be required.

What health precautions should I take to travel to Uganda?

To help protect against mosquitoes, visitors should apply insect repellents on clothing, wear covered light clothing and use mosquito nets on the windows of your accommodation.