Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate.
All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a reference before arrival in Uganda.
There is no specific qualification or minimum level of education required to become a volunteer. The higher the level of education you have completed, the stronger your chances of being accepted.
Applicants who have teaching experience and or a TEFL qualification will also stand a better chance of being accepted.
All volunteers need to have an excellent level of written and spoken english.
Arrival & Orientation
Please book your flight to arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB) on the date that is listed on the website. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the accommodation.
If you are traveling in Uganda prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Kampala or Entebbe on the first day of the program.
Orientation is hosted by our local team at the volunteer lodge in Kanungu.
Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Uganda including an introduction to Uganda, some basics around culture and customs, lodge rules, volunteer code of conduct, safety procedures, language lesson (Rukiga), weekend excursions, introduction to project, and a tour of Kanungu town.
During this time you’ll have chance to get to know your fellow volunteers.
All our programs are based in the Kanungu district of southwest Uganda. This area is home to roughly 300,000 Ugandans. It’s a rural part of the country located approximately 8 hours drive from Kampala.
Many people ask us why we work in a district so far from Kampala. The answer is, the more rural the location, the less support it receives from the government and from NGO’s.
Our volunteer programs align with the three school terms in Uganda. Term 1 runs from Jan-Apr, Term 2 runs from May-Aug, and Term 3 runs from Sep-Dec.
There are six different start dates throughout the year:
January (6 or 12 weeks)
March (6 weeks)
June (6 or 12 weeks)
July (6 weeks)
September (6 or 12 weeks)
October (6 weeks)
On an average day, Volunteers are in schools by 9:30am and are supporting clubs from 3-5pm. We have dinner back at the Volunteer Uganda lodge and often we enjoy a drink by the campfire looking out over Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Whether it’s a morning run, a yoga session, a volleyball match, an open mic or karaoke event, or a talent show, our teams of volunteers are always very creative in organising fun activities during the evenings and weekends.
Applications are live and operate on a rolling basis. Visit our program page to see which programs are currently available. Due to the popularity of all our programs, groups do fill up.
If you’re interested in taking part we recommend submitting an application as soon as possible. If you would like to apply for a program that you can’t see on the website, please contact us help you with your application.
Accommodation & Food
Volunteers live in our amazing purpose-built lodge overlooking the spectacular Bwindi rainforest. The lodge is located near Kanungu town, which is approximately 8 hours drive from Kampala.
The lodge accommodates up to 45 volunteers and you can expect to share a bedroom (banda) with 4 to 8 other volunteers of the same gender. The lodge is safe and secure in a quiet area.
The bathrooms have western toilets and showers. There is electricity and running water, which comes from a nearby natural spring. Bedding is provided, but you will need to bring your own towel. Mosquito nets are provided.
Our lodge staff regularly clean the dorms and also offer a laundry service. We do request all volunteers do their best to keep their rooms and common areas tidy.
WiFi connection can be slow so we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and purchasing a local SIM card when you arrive in Uganda.
We do have WiFi connection can be slow so we recommend bringing an unlocked mobile phone and we can help you get a local SIM card when you arrive in Uganda.
Our Uganda team will help you get set up on a local SIM card and help you add Airtime so you can start using your phone for calls and data. There are numerous 4G data packages you can purchase which are very affordable.
Volunteers are provided with three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), prepared by our chef, Naris. If you wish to snack or eat outside of meal times, this will be at your own cost. There are a number of small supermarkets in Kanungu town where you can purchase snacks.
Breakfast generally includes tea, eggs, bread and fruit. For lunch and dinner, we offer a two-week revolving menu of local dishes, which include typical Ugandan stews, beans, rice, chapatti, groundnuts and vegetables. Starchy foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes, matooke (boiled green bananas), and cassava are dietary staples.
Seasonal fruits, including bananas, watermelon, papayas, mangos, jackfruit, and pineapples are all readily available. We have a water filter at the lodge which is safe free. Bottled drinking water is available at the bar for a small charge.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know well in advance of your arrival so our team can in Uganda can make arrangements for you.
Accommodation & Food (in Uganda) - 41%
Pre-Departure (recruitment, interview, training) - 21%
Staff (Uganda Team & Team Leaders) - 16%
Transport (in Uganda) - 12%
Program (Resources, Printing etc) - 10%
Yes, many of our volunteers raise money to pay for their program. We have a guide to share with you once your place is confirmed.
Many volunteers use their old schools or universities to organise events and sponsored challenges as a really effective way to raise money.
Uganda lies on the equator and enjoys an equatorial climate, which provides plenty of sunshine. This is balanced well by the relatively high altitude across most of the country.
Uganda has warm days throughout the year with slightly cooler temperatures at night and in the mornings. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 19°C (66.2°F) to 27°C (80.6°F) and is rarely below 17°C (62.6°F) or above 29°C (84.2°F). The long rain season occurs from April to June and the short rain season occurs from October to December.
The rainfall is sometimes heavy but often falls in the evenings or early mornings, leaving sunny days. The period from November to March is often very dry, the hottest period is from January to March and coldest months are June and July.
Uganda’s current president, Yoweri Museveni, has been in power since 1986. The previous presidential election was in February 2016, when Museveni was elected with 68 percent of the vote.
Our volunteers are always pleasantly surprised as to how safe Uganda. Kampala is one of the safest capitals in Africa, over 99% of visitors come and leave Uganda without an incident.
Depending on your nationality you will require a 90 day Tourist Visa. This can either be applied for online before arrival into Uganda or completed on arrival at the airport in Uganda. In both cases, the cost is $50 USD.
We recommend completing the application online as it often saves wait time when you arrive in Uganda. The process is normally completed in no more than 2 weeks.
Yes, all volunteers must have a valid travel insurance policy.
Getting travel insurance is important so you’re protected if anything were to happen to you in Uganda that meant you required medical care or needed to change your flight home. Insurance also covers your belongings, so in the event of your bags being lost or stolen you would have cover for this.
You will need to visit your doctor or travel clinic before you leave to make sure you have the right vaccinations. Some of the Fellowship countries will require a yellow fever certificate on arrival.
Volunteer Uganda is not able to give you a list of vaccinations, but will support you. Use this link as a source of information for UK advice: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home
Almost all volunteers opt to go to Lake Bunyonyi and on Safari. These are really popular group activities and are a chance to see Uganda’s wildlife and nature.
Because Gorilla Tracking can only be done in a few places in the world, permits are expensive, so only 10% of volunteers tend to go Gorilla Tracking. Chimp Tracking is much more affordable - and part of the Safari Weekend - so more volunteers do that.
We go rafting with a company called Adrift who take out large groups every day so regardless of how many of our volunteers opt to take the water you’ll always be with a group of 4-6 people in a raft.
- Lake Bunyonyi Weekend
- Safari Weekend (Queen Elizabeth National Park)
- White Water Rafting (River Nile)
- Gorilla Tracking (Bwindi National Park)
- Chimp Tracking (Kyambura Gorge)
Many of our volunteers choose our ‘Bwindi Package’ which includes Lake Bunyonyi, Safari Weekend and White Water Rafting for a discounted price.
Choosing Volunteer Uganda
We’re a Family - Our team in Uganda are like a family. From Priscilla, our lodge manager, who is most often affectionately known as ‘the Ugandan mum’ to John, our groundsman, who is always around to greet you in the mornings, our team ensure you feel supported every step of the way. No one is ever ready to leave.
We’re Focussed - The thing that makes us slightly different to many other organisations is that we don’t work in 25 countries around the world, and we don’t have thousands of volunteers a year, and we don’t have volunteers teaching in a classroom and building toilet blocks, and conducting research, and farming, and working in hospitals… we’re based in one district, supporting the quality of education, and we’re there for the long haul.
We’re Teachers - All four of Volunteer Uganda’s founders are teachers. And today, still, over half of the team are qualified teachers. It makes a big difference having people who are passionate about education at all levels of the organisation.
We’re Sociable - We like to see you work hard, and we also like to see you having fun. Our unique teams of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers quickly become very close and before you know it you’re making life-long friends. At the weekends you’ll have the chance to explore Uganda. We take our groups to Jinja to go whitewater rafting, we show you around Kampala, we enjoy weekends in Lake Bunyonyi and on Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and you’ll also be able to sign up to go mountain gorilla tracking and chimp tracking.
We’re not the Cheapest - You will find a cheaper volunteer project. IVHQ, World Challenge, Project Trust… they all offer short projects, basic living, with limited support on the ground, and limited investment in the ongoing development work. If you want something more, then Volunteer Uganda might be the organisation for you. We pride ourselves on offering a bespoke, fully supportive experience that is actually having significant impact in the area in which we work.