Tourists to Uganda have been shocked on arrival at the Entebbe International Airport (EBB) by the doubled fees charged for visas that have been hiked from US$50 to US$100.
Though most Ugandan High Commissions and Embassies are unaware of the changes, many tourists have been shocked on arrival on finding that this beautiful country in Eastern Africa has increased the fees. Up to today many embassy websites and travel guides still show the fee of US$50 per person, yet on arrival the tourists are asked to pay US$100.
Uganda is one of the upcoming destinations on the African continent attracting many adventure seeking tourists interested in taking gorilla safaris and chimpanzee watching. The country is arguably the best place to see primates that include the rare and endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park, chimpanzees that live in Kibale forest and several other tropical rain forests, golden monkeys in Mgahinga and more. The country is also home to the most known Source of the Nile “discovered” by John Speke of the Royal Geographical Society ending the quest by many European Explorers who were traveling to Africa during those days to find the source of the world’s second longest river.
Travelers to Uganda can also take advantage of buying an East African tourist visa that permits them entry to Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. The visa costs US$100 and this visa is available on arrival in any of the three countries.
The increment in visa fees to Uganda has raised mixed reactions with many tour operators in the country calling off the authorities to look into the issue and revise what seems to be very high fees. According to one of the tour operators Uganda is not doing well in tourist arrivals if compared with the last 5 years, partly due to that the country is expensive if compared with other destinations like Rwanda, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa and more.
Therefore an increment in visa fees makes the country more expensive – adding more fees on the 18% VAT that was introduced on hotels and safari lodges, raised gorilla permits fees from USD500 to USD600. Therefore the government needs to come up with better and revised policies that will make the country affordable to all kinds of tourists including budget travellers and backpackers.