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Katuna Border Post – Your Essential Guide to Crossing Between Uganda and Rwanda

Katuna, also known as Gatuna in Kinyarwanda, is a border found in Uganda and Rwanda.

The border town on the Rwandan side is called Gatuna, while on the Ugandan side, it’s known as Katuna.

This border is mostly used for the import and export of goods between Rwanda and Uganda, making it Rwanda’s busiest border.

The border is open 24 hours a day, and is commonly used for Kigali to Bwindi gorilla trekking tours.

Katuna Border

Katuna Town

Katuna settlement is found in Kamuganguzi sub-region in Ndorwa County, and the border is about a 15-minute drive from Kabale.

According to history, in 1600 AD, the Bakiga people believed that their ancestors migrated from Rwanda to the hills of Rwanyena and Kagarama but feared to cross the big Lake Bunyonyi.

So, they discovered a shortcut along the plain where they rested and called the place Gatuna for resting.

Gatuna Town

Gatuna town is found in Gichumbi district of Rwanda, approximately an hour’s drive from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, with a population estimated to be about 41,000 people.

Areas of Interest near Katuna Border:

  • Lake Bunyonyi. Lake Bunyonyi, also known as the Lake of Little Birds, is also located near the Katuna border. The lake is an ideal place for relaxation after gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa and consists of 29 islands, including Punishment Island where pregnant unmarried girls would be taken and left to die. You can explore the lake’s flora and fauna by taking a local dugout canoe or hiking to the top of World Hill, where you will have panoramic views of other islands. Some of the birds found in Lake Bunyonyi include the yellow warbler, papyrus gonolek, pied wagtail, malachite kingfisher, black-headed weaver, speckled mousebird, fan-tailed widowbird, pin-tailed whydah, streaky seedeater, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, golden-backed weaver, great cormorant, grey shrike, bronzy sunbird, swamp flycatcher, and grey-crowned crested crane, among others.
  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. The park has 15 habituated mountain gorilla families, with eight permits available for each group daily. Tourists are given one hour to observe mountain gorillas after finding the great apes. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park also offers gorilla habituation experiences at $1500 per person, while gorilla trekking costs $700 per person in Uganda.
  • Ihimba Hot Springs. Ihimba hot springs are found along the Kabale-Katuna border. The locals believe that the springs have divine powers that can heal various ailments such as backaches, rheumatism, measles, scabies, and more. The springs derive their name from the local Bahima people living in the area. There are various bird species within the springs, such as the bare-faced go-away bird and fishing eagles.

How to Reach Katuna Border

Katuna border can be reached within 8-9 hours from Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

It can also be accessed within 4-5 hours from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.


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