Uganda Visa on Arrival

When things go perfectly in travel it can feel oh so good.

Uganda offers visa on arrival to US citizens and other nationalities. The standard visa is US$50.

The US State Department discourages travelers from using visa on arrival and the Ugandan Embassy in Washington does not mention it on its website. Other sites recommend visa on arrival as the easiest option.

Coming off the KLM flight late at night there was no surprise that there was a temperature check and review of a new health form.

After that it is straight to the immigration officer for one-stop service. The most frustrating forms of visa on arrival are where you need to go to multiple booths, fill out multiple forms, need photos, pay somewhere else, and maybe have to pay in local currency.

In Uganda you walk up with your passport and arrival card. The officer says, “Give me $50,” quickly preparing a receipt and stamping your passport, maybe asking a question or two about your trip.

Technically the officer can request return ticket, evidence of sufficient funds, and if arriving from certain countries, certificate of yellow fever vaccination.

My officer simply said, “I wish you the best.”

What a great welcome to Uganda. A walk in the park.

Uganda Jinja Birds

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  • Bill

    That’s great. Except for any gay or lesbian couples traveling, there may be a chance that you’d be refused due to their anti-gay laws. So any gay or lesbian travelers wanting to risk travel to Uganda would be wise to apply in advance and not take the additional risk…and gay blogs have suggested not checking in with the customs officials there together so as to avoid the appearance that they are a couple and therefore potentially be rejected entry into the country. (That is one reason we as a gay couple are going to Rwanda in a few weeks instead of Uganda for gorilla trekking, and why we applied for our visas in advance just to be safe.)

  • Joey

    I had an easy time getting my visa on arrival in Uganda. Have fun!
    @Bill, have a great time! I went gorilla trekking in Rwanda and in the DRC. Rwanda by far is the more organized one but at the same time, I really enjoyed the rustic feel of DRC. It’s rare you find a sign with bullet holes on it to welcome you to its national park. 😉
    I don’t think I’ve read that many blogger reviews on the Serena hotel chain but omg wow — Serena hotels are over the top luxurious in Africa! Wow!

  • DavidAL

    Also keep in mind in needs to be a crisp bill printed after 2006 to make life easier in going through customs.

  • We entered/ exited Uganda overland from Kenya and received our Visa on the spot. I don’t remember what it cost but I don’t believe it was $50 or that we needed a passport photo. A Swiss couple on our trip got their Visas in advance and had a nice page with photo added to their passports. (I was a bit jealous!)

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @DavidAL – great point. I had to visit several banks to get new and newish bills and still some are rejected. And interesting the last gap in rates for smaller denominations, other place I remember that is Myanmar.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Joey – I rode past Serena and Foreign Policy magazine wrote about them a few years ago how they open in the toughest places. If they were in my budget, I would go for them.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Bill – you are right, I should have been more sensitive on this subject. I met two Peace Corps volunteers and they are very discouraged by the turn things have taken. They reckon the population is at 95% support homosexuality being illegal and mob justice is common for that and other perceived and real offenses. They said it is absolutely critical to be cautious, there are code words used amongst the foreign community in conversation. Rwanda seems to better deserve the business.

  • LIH Prem

    no other blogger will be telling us about Uganda VOA I bet. Enjoy the trip Stefan!


  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @LIH Prem – thank you and great to see you at DCA.

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  • Do you know about VOA at land boarders from Kenya? I have an american passport.