The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Uganda is a developing nation classified as low income. Located in eastern Africa (north of Lake Victoria and west of Kenya), the climate is classified as predominantly humid equatorial (long dry season), with cooler temperatures in some high-altitude areas.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for all travelers aged ≥ 1 year.
- Official Status: listed by WHO as a country where YF transmission risk is present.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against cholera, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2018) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in the entire country.
- Recommended prevention: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: All.
- Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: High.
- Drug resistance4: Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum > 85%, remainder P. malariae, P. ovale, and P. vivax.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.
4 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
African trypanosomiasis, chikungunya, dengue, leishmaniasis, loiasis, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, tick-bite fever, West Nile virus, Zika may pose a risk. Personal protective measures are important.
Other Disease and Health Risks
Additional concerns include air pollution, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease, helminths, Marburg virus disease, plague, schistosomiasis, sexually transmitted infections, snakebites, tuberculosis.
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to ethnic tensions and ongoing security concerns, Australia (DFAT) advises avoiding travel within 50 km (31 mi) of the border with South Sudan and advises reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) within 50 km of the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo and to Karamoja Region. U.S. (DOS), U.K. (FCO), and Canada (GAC) have no current warnings.
Risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
High risk of violent crime (armed robbery, sexual assault, carjacking) and high risk of petty crime exist throughout the country, especially in Kampala and other cities. Theft of valuables from stationary vehicles in traffic is common.
Scams involving a wide range of financial activities have been reported.
Risk exists of robberies and/or assaults occurring after consuming intentionally drugged food or drink; tourists are frequently targeted.
Protests and demonstrations occur throughout the country, especially in Kampala and other major cities, and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities.
Ethnic tensions are present in areas bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Passenger boats may be unsafe, including ferries on Lake Albert and Lake Victoria. Decline water transportation in vessels that appear overloaded or lack personal flotation devices or life jackets.
Other Safety Threats
Risk exists for fatal wildlife attacks on safaris and in game parks and reserves. Travelers should closely follow park regulations, always maintain a safe distance from wildlife, and should not exit vehicles or protected enclosures.
Very high risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is greater than 24 per 100,000 population, the highest risk category. Carefully assess the safety of transportation options before any road travel. Speed laws are poorly enforced. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark. Driving at night is not advised.
Traffic flows on the left-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
Road-traffic collisions can lead to violent confrontations.
Many taxis are unsafe. Use taxis from official ranks or dispatched via smart phone app or radio from a reputable company and ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
The rainy seasons are from March through May and October through November. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Seismic activity occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Uganda
- United States: [+256] 414-259791; ug.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+256] 414-258-141; travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates/uganda
- United Kingdom: [+256] 312-312000; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-high-commission-kampala
- Australia: [+256] 39-3515-865
Uganda's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.ugandaembassy.com
- In Canada: www.ugandahighcommission.com
- In the U.K.: london.mofa.go.ug
- In Australia: www.ugandahighcommission.org
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.