Alfy K Nsamba
How to include COVID - 19 testing whilst on safari in Uganda
Updated: Mar 26, 2021
Safaris in Uganda have been operating since the international boarder were opened in October 2020. The Ministry of Health in Uganda set out guidelines regarding what COVID - 19 testing is required for arriving and departing passengers which were amended in November and December 2020. The latest guidelines are summarised below. COVID -19 negative certificates will be checked before being allowed to enter of leave Uganda and should be accompanied by a receipt from the test center/laboratory where the test was carried out
All passengers arriving into Uganda must show a valid negative COVID -19 PCR certificate that is not more that 120 hours from the time of sample collection to the time of boarding the aircraft leaving the country of origin.
All passengers departing Uganda must also show a valid negative COVID -19 PCR certificate on that is not more that 120 hours from the time of sample collection to the time of boarding the aircraft in Uganda. ( please also see KLM flight below )
When and where can you get tested whilst in Uganda to enable you to enjoy your safari in the knowledge that you will be able to return home safely
All PCR COVID - 19 tests are processed at the Uganda Virus Research Institute ( UVRI ) in Entebbe regardless of where the test centre is located and sample collected. All the tests have to make their way to Entebbe for processing before a result is released. Based on this there are three options available to people who want to get tested whilst on safari.
Option 1 - 24hrs to get results
This is the safest and most secure way of taking a COVID -19 test and obtaining your results with enough time to be able to catch your flight back home. It involves adding 1 extra night onto your existing safari. This will enable you to have a test in Entebbe on the day you arrive back from you safari, spend the extra night in Entebbe, pick up your test the following day and then fly home.
The cost of this option is $185 which includes:
- 1 night on a B&B basis and Airport Guest House
- 1 COVID -19 test at Lancet Laboratory in Entebbe
- Airport Transfer
Option 2 - 12hrs / 6 hrs to get results
There are a vast number of testing centres that have sprung up in Kampala and Entebbe, each with a different price and different test result waiting times. In theory one of the test centres could be used for a COVID-19 test on the day you return from your safari, however in our experience so far there has been unreliability in obtaining the results from the test centres once the test has been taken and this has resulted in clients missing their flights back home. The approximate costs for the PCR tests are listed below:
- 12hours. Approx $125
- 6hours. Approx $140
Option 3 - Up country testing whilst on safari
There are testing centres up country in Mbarara and Fort Portal, which have the capacity to perform a COVID -19 test. However these tests have to be sent to UVRI in Entebbe to be processed and for a result to be established. In our experience so far we have found that clients who have been tested up country have still had to wait in Entebbe for their results and in some instances have missed their flights back home
Based on the above it is our recommendation that clients spend one extra night in Entebbe ofter the safari to ensure that they can take the COVID - 19 test and have enough time to collect their result and fly home.
KLM Requirements for Departing Passengers
As of 23rd January 2021KLM introduced the requirement for all passengers to have the following negative COVID 19 tests
- A negative Rapid Antigen COVID 19 test taken within 4 hours of the flight departure.
- A negative PCR or LAMP test which is not older than 72 hours
These requirements are necessary for passengers whose journeys end in The Netherlands as well as those who are transiting. These requirements are necessary for passengers whose journeys end in The Netherlands as well as those who are transiting. Please also ensure that you have also downloaded and filled out the COVID19 Declaration From prior to travel. For more information about travelling to The Netherlands please click HERE