Also known as the Gatuna border, Katuna is a border post between Uganda and Rwanda. It is located in the extreme southwestern Uganda in Kabale district and it is the major exit or entrance point for Rwanda’s imports and exports to Uganda and vice versa. Unlike Cyanika border post crossing from Uganda to Rwanda and vice versa, that takes in more tourists, and individual travelers, Katuna is mostly a commercial crossing border for imports and exports, which makes it Rwanda’s busiest border. Note that it’s a 24 hour open border.
Katuna is just 15 minutes’ drive away from Kabale town, a town of hills and several tourist attractions. Kabale being a tourism hub and Katuna the busiest border has led to the rapid development of both these towns, in tourism, as well as business. At the side of Rwanda it’s not Katuna, but rather Gatuna. It’s located in Gichumbi district, roughly a one hour drive from Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
Even if Gatuna is a bit far from Kigali, but with the beauty that the town hold, the one hour drive is worth. Kigali is a fun filled city with so much to see while on a Rwanda safari, visit the Kigali genocide memorial site, the national museum, the craft markets, the shopping malls, and the people themselves. Kigali can never fail to amuse you.
What to do and see near Katuna boarder
This is the second deepest lake in Africa after Lake Tanganyika. It has over 25 small islands including the famous punishment island where young girls who became pregnant before marriage were dumped to die as a punishment. Visiting the lake allows one to engage in various activities, including day and sunset cruises, canoeing, zip lining, nature walks and community encounters, as well as many other activities. Surely, before crossing to Rwanda, Lake Bunyonyi is a must do.
Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park
The home to over 700 mountain gorillas, almost three quarters of the world’s total population is just about 1 to 2 hours’ drive from Kabale, depending on the region to trek the gorillas.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is one of the most visited parks in Uganda, it does not only harbor the gorillas, but also several other primates like the monkeys, also forest buffalos and elephants, the flora and many other attractions. While in Bwindi, also don’t miss the Batwa cultural encounter to experience how these people dwell in the forest.
Mgahinga national park
This is found in Kisoro, a roughly one hour and thirty minutes’ drive from Kabale. Though Mgahinga is majorly known for its mountain gorillas, it’s the only park in Uganda where tourists can track both the mountain gorillas and the golden monkeys. Still here tourists get to engage in the best hiking experiences to Sabyinyo, Muhabura and Gahinga mountains which offer the best views over the other volcanoes in the Virunga ranges.
How to access Katuna boarder
With Uganda’s improved roads, reaching Katuna is no hustle. It is only 8 hours’ drive from Kampala to Katuna boarder, passing via Masaka – Mbarara – Kabale highway. While from Kigali, Katuna boarder is only 5 hours, passing via the undulating hills and extensive plantations. If anywhere around Kabale, don’t miss the Katuna cross border. Even if in Kampala or Kigali, Katuna is one destination that is worth the long distance drives from wherever to come and just have the best border crossing experience.