Customs Regulations

Uganda allows the importation of 200 cigarettes, 1L of spirits (over 25% volume of alcohol) or 2L of lighter alcoholic beverages (up to 25% volume of alcohol) as well as gifts and other items for personal use. Pornography is prohibited. Cultural artefacts and endangered species or related products are prohibited to export.

Visas

Visas are required for nearly all visitors, with an online process for obtaining them. Visas on arrival are only available with preapproval.

How to Apply

Most passport holders visiting Uganda require visas, including citizens of the USA, Canada, EU, Australia and New Zealand. The process for obtaining visas was moved almost entirely online in July 2016. It's important to note that visas on arrival are no longer available without online approval first, and this can take up to five days.

To apply for your visa, go to the immigration website (www.visas.immigration.go.ug) and follow the instructions. You will have to upload a scan of both your passport photograph page and your yellow-fever certificate, and fill in an application form. Once submitted, you should have your approval notification within three working days. You should print this out and present it at immigration when you arrive in Uganda to get your visa on arrival.

When you get your visa on arrival, you'll need to pay in cash at the immigration desk. Single-entry tourist visas valid for up to 90 days cost US$50; however, do be sure to ask for a 90-day visa, or you'll probably be given 30 or 60 days. Your yellow-fever certificate may be required again, so bring it with you, though you don't need to bring a photo. Multiple-entry visas aren't available on arrival, but it is possible for embassies abroad to issue them (US$100 for six months).

Uganda is one of the countries covered by the East Africa Tourist (EAT) visa, and for those also visiting Kenya and Rwanda on the same trip it is a cheaper alternative. The visa costs US$100, is valid for 90 days and is multiple entry – it is available upon arrival or from embassies abroad. If acquiring the visa before travel, your first port of call must be the country through which you applied for the visa. If Uganda is your first destination, then you have to apply for the EAT visa in a Ugandan embassy abroad – you cannot get it by applying online and then obtaining it on arrival.

Visa Extensions

In Kampala, the Immigration Office is just east of the centre. Regardless of how many days you were given on your original tourist visa, you can apply for a free two-month extension. Submit a letter explaining the reason for your request, stating where you're staying and detailing when and how you'll be leaving the country. Attach a copy of your passport and plane ticket, if you have one. It takes seven days to process, but extensions are much quicker at immigration offices outside the capital, and these exist in most large towns, including Jinja and Fort Portal.