COVID Updates & Uganda Travel Restrictions
The current coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to the travel industry in Uganda and across the world. At Bamboo Ecotours, we are closely monitoring and following the Uganda government’s COVID-19 guidelines.
Uganda has already suspended all incoming and outgoing commercial flights for at least a month effective 22nd March 2020. Access to the country through land borders is also restricted during the same period. We will keep you informed of any significant changes that might affect your trip.
Cancellations & Rescheduling
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is NOT refunding tour operators for the money paid for gorilla and chimpanzee trekking permits. UWA is, however, allowing tour operators to reschedule gorilla permits affected by COVID-19 to any date through March 2022 at no additional cost.
If you need to reschedule your trip to a future date due to the COVID-19 and haven’t contacted us already, please send us an email(opens in a new tab) at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will work with you on the next steps.
UWA has also suspended gorilla tourism through 30th April 2020.
Rwanda and Kenya Set to Reopen International Airports on 1st August 2020
Update on 6th July 2020
Rwanda and Kenya have announced the reopening of international airports on 1st August, 2020. On July 4th, Rwanda announced they would be opening international flights on August 1st. All travelers to Rwanda will be expected to have a negative COVID-19 test certificate obtained within 72 hours. Those remaining in Rwanda will take another test and stay in designated locations until the test results are confirmed. Similarly, Kenya announced the reopening of international airports on August 1st with standard operating procedures in place.
Bamboo Ecotours Donates COVID-19 Additional Relief Items to 40 Batwa Households at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Update on 2nd June 2020
As the leading local tour operator around Bwindi National Park, Bamboo Ecotours continues to provide COVID-19 relief support to ecotourism-dependent communities of Kisoro district in Uganda. We have donated food items to 40 Batwa families in Nyarusiza sub-county, adjacent to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. As former inhabitants of the gorilla parks, the Batwa community are critical stakeholders in mountain gorilla conservation and need support from tour operators during these difficult times.
The COVID-19 support to local communities is in line with the mission of Bamboo Ecotours. We promote tours that generate revenue to the local communities adjacent to protected areas in Uganda, with the understanding that there is an opportunity cost for local people to preserve and protect these fragile ecosystems. As a local tour operator, we must stand with local communities in these challenging times.
We are grateful to our clients and friends, who donated funds to support families affected by the closure of ecotourism businesses around Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks.
Bamboo Ecotours and Mgahinga Community Development Organization (MCDO) Donate COVID-19 Relief Items to Over 300 Households in Kisoro, Uganda.
Update on 28th May 2020
In line with our social corporate responsibility to support the livelihoods of communities adjacent to gorilla parks, Bamboo Ecotours is providing COVID-19 relief support to the ecotourism-dependent communities of Kisoro district in Uganda. In collaboration with our Kisoro-based NGO affiliate, Bamboo Ecotours and Mgahinga Community Development Organization (MCDO) have today distributed COVID-19 relief items worth 6.5 million shillings to over 300 COVID-19 affected families in Kisoro district. Bamboo Ecotours donated 20% of the money to purchase the relief items distributed to the affected families.
The supplies distributed to the families consisted of 1.59 tones of maize flour, 35 bars of soap, and 339 face masks. The beneficiary households are the four villages at the periphery of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, including the indigenous Batwa families, the most vulnerable group. The Batwa community are critical stakeholders in mountain gorilla conservation and need support from ecotourism stakeholders during these difficult times.
The food distribution is the first phase of this concerted effort to support vulnerable families affected by COVID-19 in Kisoro district. In the second phase, if funds allow, we shall start funding sustainable livelihood projects as an alternative source of revenue to wildlife ecotourism-dependent households. We are planning to provide relief support to tour guides, porters, and women handicraft groups around Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Issues Revised Guidelines on Rescheduling Gorilla Trekking Permits
Update on 16th May 2020
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has issued revised guidelines on rescheduling gorilla trekking permits and other activities in the parks in light of the current COVID-19 travel restrictions in Uganda. Gorilla permits rescheduling is now permitted through December 2022 from the earlier date of March 31st, 2022.