Katuna Border

Katuna border also known as Gatuna in the Kinyarwanda language is a border connecting two nations of Uganda and Rwanda. The border is located in south western Uganda in Kibale district – Kigezi sub-country approximately 28 kilometers from Kabale the largest nearest city in the region. Katuna border is found south of Kabale in the Kamuganguzi sub-region (Ndorwa country) is the main entrance to point to Rwanda from Uganda and since Rwanda is a landlocked country, Katuna border handles most of exports and imports from and to Uganda and Kenya. Katuna border is the busiest border between Uganda and Rwanda operating 24 hours away.

Katuna Border
Katuna Border

At an elevation of the border consists of two locations that is Katuna town in Uganda and Gatuna town in Rwanda, Gatuna is located in northern province Gichumbi district which is approximately 86.5 kilometers a 1 hour and 42 minutes’ drive. Katuna border receives an average temperature of 17.8C and average rainfall of 1026 millimeters which has attracted a lot of people in this area with different intentions, some come as tourists and others for business which has led to development of Katuna .the warm and temperate climate has influenced population growth in the area and as per 2012 census Katuna is a home to 1,300 people. Katuna border is largely occupied by Basigi, Abagyesea and Abungura sub-clans whose ancestry is traced to Rwanda. They are believed to have come from Murindi, Byumba, Ruhengyere, and Mukaniga. Due to business, there are other tribes that can be found in the area of the border.

The present-day Katuna border has a legendary tale which state that Around 1600 AD the first bakiga arrived to Uganda from Rwanda across the hills to Kigarama and Rwanyena as they were afraid of crossing a big lake they named Bunyonyi meaning the lake was too big for small birds to cross it, on their quest to cross they discovered a shorter route in the plains. These plains had a big tree where they rested, played and prayed to their ancestors for better life ahead, blessings and giving thanks before proceeding to the hills, the named the place Gatuna a Rwandese word meaning a meeting place .other Rwandese immigrants who came to Uganda following their relatives from area of Byumba, Murindi, Ruhengyere. 

Katuna border was a very significant location for the colonial administrators and beneficial as they formed the kigezi political district in this area, Katuna belonged and was located in the Belgian Rwanda and as of 1926 based on the agreement between the British and Belgian governments Katuna became part of the then British Uganda following the demarcation of Uganda-Rwanda border in the same year of 1926

Naturally, Katuna is a very compact area with unique terrain made up of extremely steep rocky mountain with the swampy and marshy valley, this landscape makes construction building a little complicated as you have to fill the site with a lot of rock and soil which is expensive. Katuna is gifted with the area has extremely fertile soils suitable for various farming practices that is Irish potatoes growing and dairy cattle keeping. Katuna the Switzerland of Africa surrounded by terrain beautiful terrain of kigezi covered by forest canopy is a tourism potential, this magical place is filled with fresh unpolluted air attracting a large number of tourists who love nature and hiking. Points of interest to tourists around Katuna border include.

Katuna market. Katuna border has Katuna market which a place of interest to both tourists and business people, the market is located a few kilometers from the border. The market’s construction process at kiruruma government was commissioned in august 2015 taking shs 28 billion with support from Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and funding from the European Union.

Kigezi hills. Kigezi hills most times referred to as Switzerland of Africa surrounding Katuna border are potential attraction as they have magnificent terrain suitable for hiking, nature walk. The hills also have forest cover.

Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi deriving its name from harboring a lot of birds, the lake is a perfect place for relaxation, bird watching, canoe rides and nature walks. Lake Bunyonyi the second largest deepest lake in Africa ad adding on its beauty it consists of numerous 29 islands which have tales behind them for example the most famous punishment island which was a place where unmarried women who got pregnant were banished to and left die for their sin. Other islands in Lake Bunyonyi include Bushara, Akampene, Bwama, Njuyeera and Bucuranuka .the clear water, flora, fauna, beautiful terrain and numerous bird spices for example  yellow warbler, pied wag tail, malachite, speckled mouse bird, golden backed weaver in this area make it a wonder full destination to visit, the lake is 60.7 kilometers a 1 hour 39 minutes’ drive.

Ihimba hot springs. The magnificent Ihimba hot springs are found along Kabale-Katuna border deriving its name from the local bahima residents of the area, the springs are believed to contain divine powers that heal several diseases for example measles, scabies, backache and many more. The area doesn’t only have the hot springs which make it beautiful, it also has harbors various bird spices like fishing eagles, bare face go away bird and many more.

Bwindi impenetrable national park. Bwindi impenetrable national park famous for mountain gorilla is found 89.3 kilometers from the border. The park harbors over 400 mountain gorilla individuals with 15 habituated mountain gorilla families. Mountain gorillas are highly endangered animals and trekking to see them requires a tourist to be in possession of a gorilla trekking permit which costs the US $ 700 per hour with the gorillas per person.

Lately operations of Katuna border has been affected by conflict between  and Rwanda which has resulted in closing of the border by Rwanda authorities numerous times. The feud has been ongoing for two years and the climax of the feud was closing down the border on 09 March 2019. The feud was caused by numerous accusations of interference in each other’s affairs. Fortunately, the border was reopened by June 10th, 2019 and its operations resumed. 

Cargo Vehicles Crossing Katuna Border
Cargo Vehicles Crossing Katuna Border

Travelers who do gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park prefer to and in Kigali and then cross this border to Uganda.

book a gorilla trip