Work and Travel in Uganda
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN UGANDA FOR TRAVELLERS
Bordering the incredibly popular African destination of Kenya, Uganda is the lesser-known and more affordable East African alternative for an aspiring working traveller.
There’s plenty of opportunities here to open your eyes to new experiences, make a profound difference for local people, and enjoy yourself at the same time.
If you have some skills to share, read below for our complete guide to working and travelling Uganda.
1. Work with children
There are endless possibilities to gain experience with children, especially children orphaned by AIDS or disadvantaged youth, in Uganda. There are programmes where you can teach the kids how to play music, teach in kindergartens, or help out in youth medical clinics. Nearly any skill you possess can be put to use while working with youth in Uganda.
2. Help build an eco-friendly backpackers lodge
Some enterprising locals are attempting to promote eco-tourism in their small villages by building out cottages and camping spaces. If you have building, animal care, or gardening skills you can join in and help create a more balanced tourism structure in Uganda - and stay in breathtakingly beautiful places.
3. Help write grants and proposals for NGOs
Use your professional skills to give back by crafting funding proposals for sustainable projects that target helping women and children. Working travellers can find these NGOs either in the cities or in the country, depending on their location preference.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR UGANDA
Most passport holders visiting Uganda require visas, including citizens of the USA, Canada, EU, Australia and New Zealand. The process for obtaining visas was moved almost entirely online in July 2016. It's important to note that visas on arrival are no longer available without online approval first, and this can take up to five days. See HERE for more details.
To apply for your visa, go to the Ugandan Immigration Website, and follow the instructions.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN UGANDA
March to May is wet and warm in Uganda. This would probably be the worst time to work and travel in Uganda, as tropical rains make many roads impassable. Stick to the cities like the capital, Kampala, where you can engage in social projects such as counselling women and youth.
This is a great time of year to backpack Uganda, as conditions are dry and ideal for trekking trips to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. Working travellers should look into conservation projects or tour groups that will equip you with survivalist skills that you can bring home or to your next work and travel opportunity.
Another wet season, this isn’t a great time for trekking or safaris. See the section on spring on our recommendations for work and travel this time of year.
Another dry season, winter is another idea tourism season in Uganda. One idea for working travellers who want to obtain a more long-term working opportunity is looking into working for an overland tour company. Overland tours usually employ overland trucks to take groups of people around the whole of Africa, camping at night.
Securing work with an overland tour company will bring you into countries like Uganda at the best time of years for wildlife touring, like winter.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN UGANDA
Ugandans are proud of their culture and happy to accept foreigners backpacking through their towns and villages. Simply use common sense at all times, take care of your belongings and be aware of your surroundings and one should be totally fine travelling in Uganda.
No country is perfect including Uganda, but its imperfections will make your trip something to remember. Now that Uganda tourism is growing rapidly and the country investing in infrastructure, a work and travel experience here needn’t be too difficult, if you do your research beforehand.
- Edited on Jun 16 2021 by Lily