|Arriving at Entebbe International Airport|
If you arrive in Uganda by air, you will be arriving at Entebbe International Airport (airport code: EBB).
Entebbe is a medium sized town about 40 km south of Kampala on Lake Victoria. The airport is on a peninsula in Lake Victoria and is relatively modern (by African standards).
As you depart from your plane, you will either walk to the main terminal (generally) or be taken there by shuttle bus.
Once you enter the terminal building, the first matter of business is to "clear immigration" in the "arrivals hall."
You first of all fill out an "arrivals card." You may be given a blank card on the plane as you are approaching Uganda, or you will find them at several stand-up desks as soon as you enter the arrivals hall.Once you have filled out the car, you will then go to one of the immigration booths. You will need to go to the booths on the extreme left of the hall in order to obtain a VISA.
Getting a VISA
You will be asking for a "Tourist Visa" on arrival. The cost if US $ 50, and it will be good for three months. You will present to the immigration officer your passport, your arrivals card, and your $ 50.
Note: You must present a bill with a date of 2004 or later. Older bills, or badly worn bills will not be accepted.
Your visa is a "sticker" that takes up an entire page in your passport. You will not receive a receipt, as the visa sticker is the receipt. They may take your picture as well with a camera there at the visa counter.
Claiming Your Luggage
One you have your visa, you will move past the immigration booths and go to the right. That will take you in the luggage claim area. There are luggage "trollys" available for your use (no charge).
If for some reason all of your bags do not arrive, there is a "lost luggage" claim area to the left of the luggage hall and airline staff will try to assist you.
Once you have all of your bags, you will move towards the "customs" area.
There are two main areas in customs: there is the "red" route for those who have something to claim that may be "dutiable." And there is the "green" route, for those with nothing to claim.
As a general rule, arriving missionary staff and work teams do not have anything to declare, so you can proceed following the "green" signs. A customs official may stop you and ask you some questions.
Primarily they may ask, "Do you have anything to declare?" And, generally, your answer will be, "No, I have nothing to declare."
As a rule, the only items you will need to declare would be things that you have brought into the country to sell. Since that rarely applies to mission groups, you generally do not have anything to declare.
They may ask additional questions about what is in your suitcases, footlockers, boxes, as well. Answer their questions truthfully, but generally your answers will be "these are our clothes, books, and personal effects" (etc.).
They may ask you to open a bag or two, or they may x-ray them.
Uganda Customs officials are generally very courteous and they appreciate the same response from you.
After Clearing Customs
After you have cleared the customs area, you will exit to the right and will enter the public area of the terminal. You will be met there by one of the missionary staff or one of our drivers.
If for some reason, you are not met as you are expected, just wait patiently and someone will arrive. There are many taxi drivers who will offer to assist you with a ride into town, but be assured someone will be coming. At times traffic delays to occur. You will be given a local phone number to call in order to check if your transport does not come after a reasonable wait.
You can change money at the airport if you wish. There are several "Forex" bureaus there who will change your money into local currency. However, you will probably not need to do this as the mission will give you a more favorable exchange rate once you get into town.
Likewise there are ATMs immediately to the right after you exit the customs area where you can use a VISA or MasterCard. ATMs generally give a reasonable exchange rate.