Please note that U.S. currency notes in $20 and $50 denominations are exchanged at a lower rate than $100 currency notes. In addition, travelers often find that they cannot exchange or use U.S. currency printed earlier than the year 2000. Travelers who find they cannot pay for accommodation or expenses often must request that friends or family wire money to them in Uganda. There are offices that facilitate Western Union, MoneyGram, and other types of money transfers in Kampala and other cities throughout the country. ATMs are available in Uganda, particularly in downtown Kampala, but many only function for customers who have an account with a specific Ugandan bank. A few machines function with overseas accounts.
Ugandan Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the importation of pets. A Ugandan import permit is required, along with an up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate and a veterinary certificate of health issued by a USDA-approved veterinarian no more than thirty days before arrival. Travelers are advised to contact the Ugandan Embassy in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.
The U.S. Embassy frequently receives requests from U.S. citizens to verify the bona fides of nongovernmental (NGO) and charity organizations operating in Uganda. The Embassy is unable to provide information regarding the bona fides of these organizations, and U.S. citizens traveling to Uganda to work for an organization are encouraged to request that the charity provide references of past volunteers whom they may contact. U.S. citizens have also reported intimidation and harassment by directors of organizations when the U.S. citizens question the organization's activities or use of donated funds. While the vast majority of NGOs operating in Uganda are legitimate organizations aiding development efforts, there have been reports from concerned U.S. citizens regarding the suspected diversion of charity funds for personal gain and other questionable practices.
The U.S. Embassy also receives frequent inquiries from U.S. citizens wishing to register a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Uganda. Information about registering an NGO can be obtained from the Ugandan NGO Board, which has offices within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The NGO Board can be reached via telephone at 256 414 341 556. One of the requirements for registering an NGO is that a foreign national employee or volunteer must provide a Certificate of Good Conduct/Criminal Background Check. The U.S. Embassy Kampala cannot provide a Certificate of Good Conduct or Criminal Background Check, so U.S. citizens intending to travel to Uganda as an employee of an NGO or who plan to register an NGO should obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct from their local police or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) before departing the United States.
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