Volunteer in Uganda

Are you seeking a meaningful and exciting adventure abroad? Africa means adventure, and at the geographical heart of the African continent lies the extraordinary land of Uganda.  Volunteering in Uganda is a perfect way to experience  this amazing country and help others in need at the same time.


Volunteer in Uganda and discover snow-capped mountains, dense forests, arid savannas and the great Lake Victoria. On top of its natural beauty, Uganda is home to some of the most welcoming people in Africa, the perfect place for you to volunteer abroad!


There is no country in the world like Uganda, located astride the Equator where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle. The country is home to more than 100,000 species of animals and 1,200 species of butterflies. Beautiful landscapes; the Rwenzoris mountain range, Africa's highest; many national parks, including Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to half the remaining world population of mountain gorillas;  the source of the Nile river; and Lake Victoria, the world's second largest; make this spectacular country an adventurer's dream.


Volunteer opportunities in Uganda

Regardless of its rather small size, Uganda offers a great variety of experiences and places for volunteers to explore. As a volunteer in Uganda, you will be able to see diverse landscapes - from mountains to forests and the beaches along Lake Victoria. Apart from the things you'll learn from your volunteer work, there's so much more to explore in your free time.


The Ugandans are known to be among the happiest and most welcoming people worldwide, making Uganda a great place to volunteer. There are also a lot of volunteer opportunities in Uganda which you can choose from. We are sure it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience!


Support community services

You want to get to know Uganda and its people while giving something back? A great way to do so is to volunteer in Uganda in the very diverse field of community development. Community volunteer opportunities in Uganda range from working in culture and arts to construction and social work. Thus, your personal interests and skills will be applicable for sure!

As a volunteer, you may hold classes to teach children in drama, music and arts. You'll work closely with the locals, reaching out to the community, organizing events and learn a lot about the Ugandan culture.


Teaching in Uganda


Volunteering in this field provides the greatest impact on those who need it most. Social projects focusing on assisting with educational initiatives provide a better education for local children, but also for illiterate adults. This is a great chance for everyone who couldn't afford to go to school otherwise. Quality education is the key to the positive development of a community.


As a volunteer in education, you might teach local children a variety of school subjects such as:


  • Maths
  • English
  • Spelling
  • Reading and writing
  • Games and sports

Especially good English skills are extremely helpful for locals to find a job. That's why your help and support as an international volunteer who teaches English in schools is highly valuable. Depending on your English skills, volunteering in education might include:


  • helping with English homework
  • practicing children’s conversational skills
  • giving complex grammatical lessons

What do I need to volunteer in Uganda

You might have noticed by now that there are many different projects that require different skills and abilities from their international volunteers. While you can find out the specific requirements for each project on their profiles on Volunteer World, here are some general requirements that apply to most projects in Uganda:


  • You need to be at least 18 years old for most of the volunteer projects. When in doubt, we advise you to get in contact with the local project manager, as in some projects you can also volunteer when you're 16 years old.
  • You should have an intermediate level of English knowledge; some projects also require an advanced English knowledge.
  • Depending on the project you're interested in, you might need to provide a criminal background check and a health declaration before volunteering.

Things to know before you volunteer in Uganda

When you travel to a different country for voluntary work it is important to familiarise yourself with its culture and social characteristics. This helps you to settle in quickly and avoid misunderstandings. These are some tips that you might find helpful when preparing for your volunteer work in Uganda:


Safety & precautions

Most visits to Uganda are trouble-free and the country has experienced a noticeable improvement in all security categories except international terrorism and road safety. Still, you should pay attention to some issues to avoid any negative experiences. To be on the safe side, you should keep the following safety guidelines in mind at all times during your volunteer journey in Uganda:


  • Roads in Uganda are poorly maintained, inadequately marked, and poorly.
  • Limit the amount of cash you carry and leave valuables, such as passports, jewelry, and airline tickets in a hotel safe or another secure place.
  • Don't leave your bags and camera on the car seat while driving
  • Credit card fraud is widespread and ATM machines are often tampered with. To avoid issues make sure you carefully inspect any ATM before using it.

Culture & religion

Uganda is so much more than Lake Victoria and the mountain gorillas. As a volunteer in Uganda, you'll have the time to really get to know the country and experience it like tourists usually can't. The local Ugandan culture is a diverse mix of different ethnic groups, languages, history and cultural habits. As a volunteer in Uganda, you will be able to immerse yourself in and become a part of the local community and culture you're living in.


While visiting Uganda, you will notice that the country is very diverse when it comes to religion. Christianity (85 %) and Islam (11 %) are the most widely practiced religions, but there are also many people belonging to one of the local traditional religions or atheism. All travelers and volunteers in Uganda should be respectful of religious particularities, especially when visiting religious sites. If you want to attend a church service in Uganda you need to have quite a long attention span. The average church service in Uganda lasts between four and six hours but it is worth the experience.


Health advice

Going abroad always includes some issues and precautions that need to be taken into account, especially if you are traveling to a country with tropical temperatures and wilderness. The risks to health whilst traveling will vary between individuals and many depend on your activities, length of stay and general health.


  • Eat and drink safely: Don't eat undercooked food, avoid eating street food and don't drink water from the tap
  • Also, wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • Plan for how you will get health care during your stay. Get a travel insurance and bring medicine with you, especially if you need special medication.
  • Prevent bug bites: You might want to cover exposed skin, use an insect repellent, and use a bed net.
  • Be aware that rabies exists in domestic and wild animals. There are many street dogs in Uganda and you should avoid direct contact with dogs, cats and other animals.
  • Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations before every trip. These include MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, chickenpox, polio, yellow fever and your yearly flu shot.
  • Moreover, the US-based Health protection agency CDC  recommends hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations because you can get these diseases through contaminated food or water in Uganda.

What visa do I need to volunteer in Uganda?

You have made it to the last section of this guide, which is another really important aspect while planning your trip: getting your volunteer visa for Uganda.


Please consider that the following information is based on a best practice approach, which has been made according to the best of our knowledge and in cooperation with several volunteer organizations. That's why you should please make sure to discuss your visa requirements with your contact person on Volunteer World. If in doubt, we also recommend getting in touch with the Embassy of Uganda or consulate in your country.


General entry information

There are some general requirements you should comply upon your arrival:


  • Please check the current validity of your passport. Your passport should have at least 6-month validity from the date of arrival in Uganda
  • Make sure your passport has at least two blank Visa pages. Uganda requires that you have adequate unused pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure
  • Please check if a transit visa is required for any connections
  • Make sure to be in possession of a valid return ticket.


Best practice for short-term volunteers

If you are planning to volunteer in Uganda for less than 3 months, you must obtain a tourist visa. You can apply for a visa in advance or get a Visa on Arrival (VoA) for USD $50. As the name suggests, this visa can be obtained at the airport where you will arrive. We recommend volunteers to obtain a tourist visa prior to arrival in the country as this will save you time and will avoid the hassle of having to fill out forms and wait in a long queue at the airport. You can obtain your tourist visa online about 10 days before you arrive in Uganda.


In order to complete the application you'll need:


  • A copy of the bio-data page of your passport
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate
  • A recent passport size photo