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Republic of Uganda
Reconsider travel to Uganda due to crime, terrorism, and anti-LGBTQI+ legislation. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Uganda Level 3 – Reconsider Travel C T O

Reissued with updates to terrorism information.

Reconsider travel to Uganda due to crime, terrorism, and anti-LGBTQI+ legislation. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Country summary: There remains a threat of terrorist attacks in Uganda and throughout the region. Numerous terrorist attacks have occurred in Uganda, to include religious venues, schools, and areas frequented by tourists, resulting in the deaths of Ugandans as well as foreign visitors.  U.S. citizens should remain alert and avoid large public gatherings. In October 2023, ISIS-Central Africa claimed responsibility for killing two international tourists and a Ugandan driver within Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Violent crime, such as armed robbery, home invasion, and sexual assault, presents a serious threat to those visiting and residing in Uganda and can occur at any time, especially in larger cities, including Kampala, Jinja and Entebbe, in the Karamoja region, and along Uganda’s western and northern borders. Local police may lack appropriate resources to respond effectively to serious crime in most areas.

The May 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Act raises the risk that LGBTQI+ persons, and those perceived to be LGBTQI+, could be prosecuted and subjected to life imprisonment or death based on provisions in the law, and may be subject to mandatory reporting to the police if they are suspected of committing or intending to commit acts in violation of the law, and could face harassment or attacks by vigilantes. Those perceived to support the dignity and human rights of LGBTQI+ persons (including those of youth under the age of 18) could be prosecuted and imprisoned for multi-year sentences.   Even an unsubstantiated accusation of supporting the LGBTQI+ community can create risks from police and vigilantes.  Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Uganda.

If you decide to travel to Uganda:

  • Remain alert and avoid large public gatherings.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Remain with a group of friends in public.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Do not open your door for people at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
  • Do not leave food and drinks unattended in public, especially in local clubs.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by foreign tourists.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa (if applicable) and secure originals in your hotel safe.
  • Provide your itinerary to a family member or friend.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Be mindful that any public identification with the LGBTQI+ community, as either a member or supporter, could be grounds for prosecution, and that even private consensual same-sex relations are illegal.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Uganda.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Embassy Messages


Quick Facts


6 months


1 page for entry stamp




Yellow Fever; Polio (for children under 5)





Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Kampala

Plot 1577 Ggaba Road
Kampala, Uganda

Telephone: +(256)(0) 414-306-001 and +(256)(0)312-306-001
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(256)(0) 414-306-001 and +(256)(0)312-306-001
Fax: +(256)(0) 414-259-794 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

U.S. citizens intending to travel to Uganda for holiday, tourism, business, study, visit, and/or medical treatment are required to apply and obtain a visa online in advance of travel on the Government of Uganda’s Electronic Visa/Permit Application System website. U.S. citizens who have recently attempted entry without completing the electronic visa process in advance of their travel have been refused boarding by the airlines and/or entry into Uganda. The U.S. Embassy is not able to assist U.S. citizens in gaining entry to Uganda.

All travelers to Uganda must have a valid yellow fever immunization card.

For the most up-to-date visa information, including fees, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda at 5911 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011; telephone (202) 726-7100 or visit their website. Travelers may also contact the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Uganda to the United Nations in New York. Overseas, inquiries can be made at the nearest Ugandan embassy or consulate.

Ugandan immigration imposes a fine of approximately $30 per day for visa overstays and may detain individuals who overstay their visas until the fine is paid. Employment permits are required. Working without a valid permit in Uganda may result in fines and/or detention. Be aware that the Ugandan immigration officer at the port of entry determines the length of authorized stay, which is generally from two weeks to three months for tourists. Immigration policies are not always consistently applied and may change without notice. Extensions of duration of stay may be requested at Ugandan immigration headquarters, Jinja Road, in Kampala. For more information on immigration issues, please see the Directorate of Citizen and Immigration Control website or call + 256 414 595 945. Avoid any offers by private individuals claiming that they can assist with visa issues.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to Uganda or foreign residents living in Uganda.

Some airlines require travelers to Uganda to present the physical credit card used to purchase the plane tickets upon checking in at the airport before they can receive a boarding pass. Check with your airline for more information.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

In April 2019, a U.S. citizen was kidnapped in Queen Elizabeth National Park, in the southwest region of Uganda, near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The U.S. citizen was later released unharmed. 

There is increased terrorist activity within the region. Recent events include the Ugandan Police Force reportedly foiling a planned bomb attack on churches by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Kampala; reported foiled plots of church attacks and subsequent explosive devices found in Kampala, and a fatal terror attack by ISIS-CA killing two international tourists and Ugandan driver within Queen Elizabeth National Park. Anyone can be a victim at any time; U.S. citizens should remain alert and avoid large public gatherings. Communications plans are basic ways for people to ensure they can be reached while on travel or anywhere really. This includes having different types of communications (email, phone, satellite phone), letting people know when one will be in an area of cell coverage to receive messages, and providing phone numbers of the locations one will be staying etc. The State Department discusses this in the link here:

Northern and Eastern Uganda: The South Sudan-Uganda border is porous, and there are frequent reports of criminal trade and movement of people across the border. Due to the influx of refugees from South Sudan into Uganda, there is a strain on the region’s health, education, and security resources. Sporadic clashes may occur along the shared border, which may be poorly demarcated; a section is under dispute in the Moyo area of northwestern Uganda, abutting the Kajo Keji area of South Sudan.

Crime and conflict threat in the Karamoja region in northeastern Uganda remain volatile. The Uganda People’s Defense Force actively engages criminals in the Karamoja Region, and armed confrontation between police and criminal elements can occur. Emergency medical care and auto repair services are lacking in remote areas of the Karamoja Region. The U.S. Embassy requires its employees to follow enhanced protocols when traversing the Karamoja region.

Southwestern Uganda/Western Uganda: U.S. citizens traveling in southwestern Uganda along Uganda’s western border with the DRC should be aware that armed groups, including those aligned with terrorist organizations such as ISIS-CA, are active in eastern DRC, along with ongoing military operations to counter the threat in the region. Travelers should review the country information page and Travel Advisory for the DRC. Refugee flows across the border can number in the thousands, and there is a risk of incursions by armed combatants and criminals.

There is a potential for violence related to ethnic and tribal tensions in the western districts of Bundibuguyo, Ntoroko, and Kasese, near the border with the DRC. U.S. citizens should be vigilant and monitor local media for the latest news.

There is an uptick in terrorist activity in this specific region. Attacks in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kasese,and Mpondwe-Lhubiriha have resulted in deaths of Ugandan as well as foreign nationals.

The Governments of Rwanda and Uganda closed the Rwanda-Uganda border for extended periods of time in the last year. Some shutdowns are 24-hour closures and others are only overnight closures. Travelers should ensure the border is open when attempting to travel between Rwanda and Uganda.

The U.S. Embassy requires its employees to follow enhanced protocols when traversing the region from Lake Albert down to the Rwandan border.

The U.S. State Department encourages overseas travelers to develop communication plans to ensure they can be reached while traveling. This includes having different types of communications (email, phone, satellite phone), letting people know when one will be in an area of cell coverage to receive messages, and providing phone numbers of the locations one will be staying etc.

Demonstrations: Demonstrations in Kampala and other cities periodically occur in response to local political developments Police routinely use tear gas – and sometimes live ammunition resulting in deaths – to disperse protests in urban areas. U.S. citizens are urged to monitor media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Avoid demonstrations, as even peaceful gatherings can turn violent without notice.

Involvement in Local Social Issues: All U.S. citizen travelers to Uganda should ensure that they have the correct visa for their visit to Uganda. Missionary and NGO work frequently require a work visa. Travelers who plan to engage in religious or civil society activities should obtain the appropriate visa from the Embassy of Uganda before departing the United States. The Government of Uganda has shown an increased interest in the activities of foreigners working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Local authorities have been known to detain, question, and arrest foreigners in Uganda, and some visitors have been ordered removed from the country.

Crime: Pick pocketing, purse snatching, and thefts from hotel rooms, parked vehicles, and vehicles stalled in traffic jams are common. Armed robberies of pedestrians and car jackings also occur, sometimes during daylight hours and in public places. Victims usually remain unharmed if they do not resist. Assaults and property snatching by boda boda (motorcycle operators and passengers) are routinely reported.

Food and drinks should never be left unattended in public. Women have reported being drugged and taken to another location and sexually assaulted. Similar tactics are used to rob individuals on public transportation. Remain with a group of friends in public, as single individuals are more likely to be targeted.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Uganda. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams include:

  • Romance/Online dating
  • Money transfers
  • Lucrative sales
  • Gold purchase

Victims of Crime: Victims of sexual assault should seek medical assistance and counseling immediately regarding prophylactic treatment to help prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. A list of local medical providers can be found on the U.S. Embassy website.

Report crimes to the local police at 999 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (256) (0) 414-306-001.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.

Report crimes to the local police at 999 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +(256)(0) 414-306-001. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. citizens victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Currency: U.S. currency notes in denominations less than $100 may be exchanged at a less favorable exchange rate. Travelers cannot exchange or use U.S. currency printed earlier than 2006. Western Union, MoneyGram, and other types of money transfer facilities are available in Kampala and other cities throughout the country. ATMs are available, but many only function for customers who have an account with a specific Ugandan bank.

Charities/NGOs: U.S. citizens planning to work for or donate money to an NGO should have the charity provide references of past volunteers whom they may contact. U.S. citizens have reported intimidation and harassment by directors of organizations when questioned about the organization's activities or use of donated funds.

Information about registering an NGO can be obtained from the Ugandan NGO Bureau, which has offices within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They can be reached at (256) (0) 414 253 446. If a Certificate of Good Conduct/Criminal Background Check is needed to start or work for an NGO, you can obtain it by contacting your local police or on the FBI website before traveling.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Accessibility to public transportation may be difficult for those with mobility issues. Foot paths and road crossings present barriers. There are no free or reduced taxi fares, or other accommodations in communication, lodging, medical facilities, restaurants, cafes, bars, or other tourist spots for disabled tourists.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

LGBTQI+ Travelers: The May 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) includes penalties up to life imprisonment for consensual same-sex relations and capital punishment for crimes of “aggravated homosexuality” (such as serial offenders). Youth under the age of 18 could be prosecuted and imprisoned for multi-year sentences. LGBTQI+ persons, including youth, may be subject to forced conversion therapy – a dangerous and discredited practice that causes significant harm, including high rates of suicide-related thoughts and behaviors among LGBTQI+ youth. Social acceptance of homosexuality is very low. LGBTQI+ persons, or persons perceived to be LGBTQI+, could face harassment, imprisonment, blackmail, and violence, with heightened risk surrounding the passage of the AHA; The public is required to report to the police a person suspected of committing or intending to commit acts enumerated in the law. Hoteliers are not permitted to knowingly provide rooms to individuals who may commit acts deemed illegal in the AHA. Individuals or organizations viewed as publicly supporting the dignity and human rights of LGBTQI+ persons could be prosecuted and imprisoned for multi-year sentence, including those that attend a same-sex marriage either inside or outside of Uganda’s borders. LGBTQI+ organizations or those that advocate for the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons may be deemed illegal under the law. See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights Report for further details.


Medical facilities in Uganda are limited and only equipped to handle minor medical emergencies. Surgical capabilities are inadequate, and blood supplies may be insufficient. Outside Kampala, hospitals are scarce and offer only basic services. Travelers should carry their own supplies of prescription drugs and preventive medicines. 

A list of medical providers is available at the U.S. Embassy website. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic. 

For emergency services in Uganda, dial 999.

Ambulance services are not widely available and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.

The U.S. Embassy does not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Embassy of Uganda to ensure the medication is legal in Uganda. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

The following diseases are known to occur in Uganda:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

  • Air pollution is a significant problem in several major cities in Uganda. Consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you, and consult your doctor before traveling if necessary. 
  • The air quality varies considerably and fluctuates with the seasons. It is typically at its worst in the dry season (December-February and June-July). People at the greatest risk from particle pollution exposure include:
    • Infants, children, and teens
    • People over 65 years of age
    • People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema;
    • People with heart disease or diabetes
    • People who work or are active outdoors

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Nighttime travel should be avoided whenever possible. Highway travel at night is particularly dangerous, including on the roads between Entebbe Airport and Kampala. The Embassy recommends caution on these roads and use of a reliable taxi service to and from the airport. With the exception of the Kampala-Entebbe airport road, U.S. Embassy employees are prohibited from driving after dark on roads outside the limits of cities and large towns. Alcohol is frequently a contributing factor in road accidents, particularly at night.

Pedestrians often walk in the roads and may not be visible to motorists. Large branches or rocks in the road sometimes indicate an upcoming obstruction or other hazards. Ugandan law requires that the drivers stop and exchange information and assist any person injured in an accident. Mob anger and violence against the driver perceived to be at fault may occur. In these instances, Ugandans often do not get out of their cars, but drive to the nearest police station to report the accident.

Road conditions in the rural areas are poor. The use of four-wheel drive vehicles is encouraged in Uganda, and vehicular accidents occur at a high rate. Masaka Highway has been identified as one of the most dangerous roads in the world.

Public Transportation: Most inter-city transportation in Uganda is by small van or large bus. Many drivers of these vehicles have little training, and some are reckless. Vans and buses are often poorly maintained, travel at high speeds, and are the most common vehicles involved in the many deadly single- and multi-vehicle accidents along Ugandan roads. Accident victims have included U.S. citizens traveling in vans and personal cars, as passengers on motorcycle taxis locally known as "boda bodas," and as pedestrians. U.S. Mission employees and their dependents are prohibited from using boda bodas and matatus (minibus taxis) due to accident and crime risks. Large trucks on the highways are often overloaded with inadequately secured cargo and poor braking systems.

See our Road Safety page for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Uganda, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Uganda. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: January 10, 2024

Embassy Messages

Security Alerts and Warnings

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Kampala
Plot 1577 Ggaba Road
Kampala, Uganda
+(256)(0) 414-306-001
+(256)(0) 414-306-001
+(256)(0) 414-259-794

Uganda Map