Visiting Uganda After Covid-19. How Everyone Will Travel Safely

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has changed the world more than anyone would have anticipated and created some new changes in the way we live our lives. We have all been affected directly or indirectly in many different ways but we know the human spirit can rise from anything, and things are starting to look up.

Without getting sombre, we have to mention how grateful we are for the frontline workers for going above and beyond the call of duty. And for those who lost loved ones, we wish for you strength and fond memories.

To move forward, let us look at some of the changes that are happening to travel in Uganda due to Covid-19.

As of writing this, Uganda is still closed to International Visitors but much of the lockdown restrictions have already been eased and domestic tourism resumed in the savannah parks. Local tourism is happening under strictly observed Standard Operating Procedures (S.O.Ps) from the Ministry of Health and Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Please Note: Uganda is still closed for International Visitors and the Standard Operating procedures from the governement could change at any time. We’ll try to update this article with any changes. You can always send us an email with any questions or concerns.


Here are all the guidelines being followed to travel in this new post-pandemic era. These are strictly observed rules that will apply when international travel resumes. Domestic tourism also follows the same guidelines.

1. Tested Guides

Driver guides must be tested negative for coronavirus before they are allowed to take guests on a trip. Here are all the guidelines for the drivers.

  • Drivers must have a COVID-19-FREE Certificate that must be renewed every 14 days as necessary after coming into contact with guests.
  • Driver must have at least basic prior training on the standard practices in prevention of the spread of COVID-19 (Standard Prevention Procedure)
  • The driver must THOROUGHLY clean and sanitize his safari vehicle at the close of the day or as deemed necessary, especially before switching guests/trips.
  • Drivers must minimize stopovers, especially at Curio Shops and Eateries to minimize the spread/contamination of the virus.
  • Drivers must refrain from shaking hands, hugging, pecking, or kissing guests at all times for obvious reasons.

2. Sanitizing

To ensure the good sanitation of everyone on the safari, Sanitization has to be done more often by both the guests and the drivers. The car will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized by the driver (above) and the guest will have enough sanitizer on board to ensure they can sanitise as often as possible.

It is advisable to sanitize before and after handling some things that are handled by other people. It is very important to sanitize before leaving the car and as you come back – before making any contact with many surfaces.

We provide the sanitizer so you don’t need to carry a large personal bottle.

3. Masks

Masks are to be worn in settings that involve other people. This is most of the places where you interact with other people outside of your group. Inside your safari car, masks might be removed but the social distance remains.

4. Social Distancing

Social distancing is a big mystery to solve as far as travel is concerned. Here is how it is going to be observed on your visit to Uganda.

In the Car

Middle seats in the safari cars shall not be used and will act as the buffer space. Most cars that are custom-built for safari tours are already oriented this way and have no middle seats. The use of private cars is affected by this as the car ends up carrying fewer people than it usually would.

  • All vehicles must be equipped with a contactless thermometer (thermal gun) and drivers must have training on how to take guest temperatures, read and interpret results
  • All hired vehicles must be equipped with PPE basics such as sanitisers, extra face masks, hand gloves, and so on…
  • Vehicles must be installed with air-conditioners with particulate filters and purifiers and all windows should be capable of opening when required to allow air circulation.
  • If possible, vehicles must have automatic doors to be operated by one person (driver) and disinfected/sanitized after every use.
  • All vehicles must be equipped with removable and washable (or even disposable) headrest covers to be cleaned/changed DAILY after every trip or service.
  • Drivers to stick guest documents such as itineraries on the car seats or on the body of the vehicle to avoid contact with guests

Game park

In the game park, different groups of tourists will stick together and refrain from very close mixing and interaction. The park staff will also keep their distance from the groups of visitors to minimize contact.


In the event that your trip includes a launch cruise for example on the kazinga channel, the guests shall be socially distant and the number of people allowed will be much less. Hand sanitizing will be available before boarding and after.


Lodges were inspected and given strict guidelines by the Uganda Tourism Board. These guidelines are to ensure extreme cleanliness, social distancing, and reduced contact of guests and staff.

5. Emergencies

As a guest, your first line of any emergency is always your driver/guide. In the case of coronavirus, the driver has basic training on how to avoid the spread. Any coronavirus emergencies have to be reported to the Ministry of Health. Your guide will do this for you and the necessary procedures will be put in place to make sure that you get medical attention.

In addition to the Ministry of Health free helpline, drivers must have alternative emergency helplines to report any suspicious symptoms that may be shown by any guest while away on safari. This secondary helpline is our office staff who will join the guide in making sure that the issue is handled in the best possible way.

6. Affected Activities

While domestic tourism is currently open, some activities that enhance a guest’s experience of Uganda are still heavily affected and might not be possible.


This includes all primate tracking safaris for seeing gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys and other monkeys. This is because we (as humans) are closely related to these wild primates and can transmit diseases to them.

Update: Primate tourism has been opened up again and the some people have already visited the gorillas and everything seems okay so far.

Community visits.

Community visits are also affected because of social distancing requirements. Things like learning how to make the famous Luwombo or milk the long-horned Ankole cattle cannot be done in a socially distant manner.

Street food.

To make sure that any spread is prevented, drivers have to make as few stops as possible. This means that stopping for street food is a bad idea since it could easily spread the virus.


Ugandans love partying and the activity is one way of making great friends. Unfortunately, no one is partying now and it is a bummer for everyone. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before you can enjoy this side of Uganda.

Sporting events.

Like parties, sports aren’t yet open. This means that you miss out on seeing Ugandans support The Cranes or even the international leagues on TV.


Those guidelines are in place to ensure Uganda stay safe for visitors from all over the world. These guidelines are subject to change as the authorities see fit, depending on the ongoing situation. The biggest hope we have is that this whole pandemic will end soon and we can enjoy travelling and meeting new people the old way.

Is Entebbe International Airport open for visitors from other places? No. Entebbe is still closed for any visitors and we hope it opens soon enough. Hopefully, it will open without the 14-day quarantine requirement. This means we all have to wait and follow the government’s official guidelines.

We hope that learning about all these various measures for your (and everyone’s) safety gives you hope that we shall ACTUALLY get to travel again soon. In the meantime, you can start thinking about your next journey to Uganda.

Even without knowing the dates when everything will be opened up, we can still help you to plan your trip. Simply get in touch with our team and slowly work out your post-COVID holiday in Uganda.

Thank you for taking the time. We hope to receive an email from you soon.

Wishing you good health and optimism for the days to come.

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Exclusive African Safaris Ltd is a Uganda-based company with 15+ years of experience creating great holidays in Uganda and Rwanda.We know what it takes to meet and exceed your expectations.

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