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We at Nziza Hospitality understand the impact Covid-19 has had on the tourism industry and have our esteemed clients in thought; we are all in this together.

UPDATED: Travel Requirements for East Africa during the COVID-19 Pandemic

 The Covid-19 Pandemic is still affecting us around the world. Nziza Hospitality has continued to adapt our trips, protocols and processes in response to the constantly evolving regulations and requirements of our clients. While the regulations can seem a challenge, they are there to keep us all safe and we have had many clients who have continued to travel and have had wonderful trips in the last six months.

We have been fortunate, that unlike many countries around the world, East African destinations have largely, remained open to international travellers and we have weathered the Covid storm. 

Vaccinations continue to roll out around the world and many American and European travellers can now travel once they have been vaccinated, while of course still taking precautions.

Each country has its regulations around vaccinations, PCR testing and quarantine requirements. This update will give you an overview of what is required if you are planning to go on safari in East Africa in the next few months. 

It is actually a great time to enjoy a safari in Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda and go gorilla trekking.

Each of these amazing destinations is offering incredibly discounted rates and last-minute specials. Fewer people are travelling, which means that usually crowded destinations are much more enjoyable. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the trip of a lifetime after a challenging year.

 You will need to check if there are any quarantining requirements that you would need to adhere to when you return to your own country.

Updated Covid 19 Regulations for East Africa

 General Regulations

 Most international commercial airlines require that passengers produce a certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test that has been conducted within 72 hours of departure. Most countries want the SARS-CoV 2 Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) not the rapid Diagnostics tests. Upon arrival, guests face additional health screening including temperature checks. Throughout the trip, there are enhanced health and safety protocols.


 Tanzania was one of the first countries to re-open for tourism. It has some of the most relaxed health regulations for entry into the country. That said, we have had clients travel recently who were extremely impressed with the level of health and safety protocols that they experienced throughout their trip. 

To enter Tanzania, passengers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, performed within the 72 hours prior to boarding their flight. 

Passengers should fill in Health Surveillance Form on the plane, or any other transport means and submit them to Port Health authorities upon arrival. 

The Government of Tanzania is implementing temperature scanning for all international passengers arriving in Tanzania. If you show symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival, you may be required to quarantine at a government-designated facility at your own expense. 

If you are in Tanzania, you should continue to take sensible precautions and preventive steps to reduce the risk of infection including social distancing, hand washing, and wearing of masks in public. Some hotels, bars and restaurants remain closed for the time being. 


Rwanda is open to international visitors with strict regulations and testing in place. However, the land borders with neighbouring countries remain closed, except to returning Rwandan citizens and legal residents.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

Provide a negative COVID-19 test certificate. The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV 2 Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), performed within 120 hours of departure for Rwanda. Other tests such as Rapid Diagnostics Tests (RDT) are not accepted.

Complete the Passenger Locator Form and upload your COVID-19 test certificate via www.rbc.gov.rw/travel before arrival.

If you are visiting any national park in Rwanda, except Akagera, you are required to schedule your visit within 72 hours of receiving a negative PCR test result. Tourists visiting Akagera National Park are required to take a Rapid Antigen Test, available at numerous clinics in Kigali. If your visit/s are more than 72 hours after the initial test on arrival in Rwanda, you will be required to take another COVID-19 test before visiting the parks.

Follow preventive measures while travelling in Rwanda: physical distancing where possible; the wearing of masks is mandatory, and temperature screenings before entering certain buildings are mandatory.

All travellers departing from Rwanda must test negative for COVID-19, with the RT-PCR test performed within 120 hours before departure. The Rwanda Development Board has advised that as long as travellers depart within 120 hours of their RT-PCR test on arrival, they do not require another test.

Mandatory quarantine

All travellers arriving in Rwanda will be screened upon entry and take a second RT-PCR test to confirm the negative results of the test done before arrival. You will be required to wait about 24 hours for these test results in a designated transit hotel. The Government of Rwanda has negotiated special rates at designated transit hotels for the 24-hour waiting period.

There is a curfew between 9 pm – 4 am. All bars remain closed. Restaurants can open with limited capacity.

In public places health measures must be complied with, including social distancing, wearing of face masks and washing/sanitising hands. Penalties will be applied for non-compliance.


Kenya is open to international visitors, but some tourist regions are still restricted. Here are the key points to take note of:

All travellers from any country (except Kenyan citizens) need to have both a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test and a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate to enter. If they do not, they will be subject to 14 days of mandatory quarantine on arrival at a Government of Kenya designated facility at their own cost. Travellers under the age of 18 are required to a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate only.

All negative COVID-19 test results must prove that they have been taken within 96 hours of flying and be verified digitally through the Trusted Travel Initiative.

Travellers from the UK are required to present a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate and a COVID-19 negative PCR test and must self-isolate on arrival for 7 days.

All travellers will be screened on arrival and anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to quarantine in the place they are staying for the first 14 days of their stay and observe Government of Kenya protocols as directed. 

Kenya Health Form

All travellers arriving in Kenya must complete a COVID-19 Travellers Health Surveillance Form before their arrival, even if only transiting. After submitting the form, travellers will receive a QR code which must be presented to port health officials for them to be allowed to proceed to arrival immigration. Arrivals will then be expected to self-monitor and report daily to the same platform for their first 14 days in Kenya.

Curfew and Social Distancing regulations

A curfew is in effect across Kenya from 10 pm to 4 am (local time). During curfew hours, everyone must stay at home or indoors, except for essential service workers. The Government of Kenya has advised that passengers departing the airport during curfew must retain their boarding pass as proof of their arrival time, which will allow for movement to their accommodation. 

You do not need a COVID-19 negative test to board domestic flights within Kenya

The government of Kenya has directed that face masks must be worn in public places, except when dining, or when adhering to social distancing in hotels, gardens or on beaches. Washing your hands and sanitising are recommended as well as maintaining social distancing.

From 2 May all bars across Kenya are under curfew and will close at 7 pm (local).


Uganda has been open to international travellers and has been lauded for how they have handled the pandemic. The country has been recognised internationally as one of the most successful in terms of containing the spread of the coronavirus. 

As of 1 May 2021, all flights and passengers arriving from India (Category 1) will not be allowed entry into Uganda. Flights and passengers arriving from any other country (Category 2 & 3) are allowed entry into Uganda.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

All arriving passengers (Category 2 & 3):

Passengers need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in your country of origin, issued within 120 hours of departure for Uganda.

Undergo temperature checks and health screening on arrival.

Wear masks, maintain a social distance of 1.5 metres (5 feet) where possible, and practice good personal hygiene.

Category 2 passengers: USA, UK, UAE

All travellers arriving from USA, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Tanzania will have to undergo a PCR COVID-19 test at their points of entry, including Entebbe International Airport.

Travellers will be transferred in official vehicles to a testing lab approved by the Ministry of Health, located about 3 to 6 miles (5 to 10 kilometres) from the airport. The PCR test will cost USD 65 per traveller and results should be available within about 4 hours. Travellers can wait for results in comfortable waiting areas, or book into a government-approved hotel.

Travellers who have completed a full COVID-19 vaccination course are exempt from additional PCR testing on arrival.

Category 3 passengers: 

All arriving passengers from countries not in Category 1 and 2 are exempt from the additional COVID-19 protocols listed above.

All departing passengers: 

Arrive at the airport at least four hours before their scheduled flights.

Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, issued within 120 hours of departing from Uganda, even if the destination country does not require it. If the destination country requires a negative test result in less than 120 hours, the destination country’s time frame takes priority.

Undergo temperature checks and health screening.

Mandatory quarantine

Not required. Passengers who exhibit signs and symptoms of infectious disease will be transported to an isolation centre for a COVID-19 test. Results will be available within 24 to 48 hours. If foreign nationals test positive for COVID-19 and wish to be repatriated to another facility outside Uganda, they can do so at their own cost and according to COVID-19 medical evacuation protocols.

Your health and safety are our priority. We follow the World Health Organization new operational guidelines for Tourism operators. These include: 

 Our team wears masks and carries out social distancing both on client’s trip and in the office

  • Our Naturalist driver-guides sanitize the car before and after each safari as part of our enhanced health and safety rules. Each vehicle is equipped with a new set of personal protective equipment
  • We are in touch with our suppliers to ensure that they follow the guidelines put in place by the government and World Health Organisation to ensure your health safety while staying at the respective properties
  • We offer you 24 hours medical evacuation by AMREF Flying Doctors should you require emergency medical attention arising from COVID-19

 Are you planning to go on safari in the near future?.…Take advantage of the early bird rates being offered by most of our Partner properties for 2021-2023 and enjoy huge discounts on any safari of your choice. We will also ensure our wealth is distributed in a way that’s beneficial to our staff, host communities, suppliers and key stakeholders while achieving responsible and sustainable growth of Nziza Hospitality and its affiliates.  



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