Bunagana Border Crossing in Kisoro District
Bunagana border is an official land border crossing between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, located in Kisoro district, southwestern Uganda. The administrative division of the Bunagana border is the Bunagana Town Council, which is part of the Kisoro district local administration system. On the Congo side, the Bunagana border is located in the Rutshuru Territory, in the North Kivu province.
The Bunagana border crossing is an essential driver for the economic development of the Kisoro and Rutshuru Territory.
The Bunagana border is a significant business hub for commercial merchandise crossing from Uganda into DR Congo. However, the Bunagana border is less used by tourists visiting Virunga National Park and hiking Nyiragongo Volcano due to security concerns in Eastern DR Congo. Had it not been insecurity, the drive from Bunagana border to Goma is shorter than driving to Goma from Kisoro via Kyanika-Ruhengeri/Musanze-Goma Grande Barriere. The drive from Bunagana to Goma is about 3hrs (90kms).
Tourists planning to visit Virunga National Park through Kisoro should still consider crossing the Uganda-Rwanda border at Kyanika and continue through Musanze town and onwards to Goma via the Grande Barriere. The route from the Goma border to Virunga National Park headquarters at Rumangabo should be relatively safe, but please still check with your tour operator or the Virunga National Park office before making the trip. If you plan on trekking gorillas in Congo or hiking the Nyiragongo volcano after visiting southwestern Uganda, it should be possible to organize the visit to Congo.
Location of Bunagana compared to other significant landmarks and towns close-by:
Bunagana is about 90km from Goma city, 14km from the nearby Kisoro town, and about 90kms from Kabale and Lake Bunyonyi. There are public buses that connect Kampala to Bunagana via Kisoro town. If boarding a public bus in Kampala traveling to DR Congo via the Bunagana border, make sure to check if it’s safe to travel from Bunagana to the Goma border before reserving your ticket. If traveling between Goma and Kampala through the Kyanika border crossing, some bus companies that operate the Kampala-Goma route via the Kyanika border are Jaguar Executive Coaches and Trinity Bus Express.
Immigration and visa processing at the Bunagana border: Both DR Congo and Uganda have immigration offices at the Bunagana border. If you already have a visa, the process of verifying documents takes less time. However, if a visa is to be obtained at the border point, make sure to check with the DRC embassy in Kampala if it’s possible to get a Congo tourist visa on arrival at Bunagana.
Bunagana Uganda-DR Congo border crossing during Covid-19: There may be restrictions on crossing the Bunagana border during Covid-19. Please check immigration websites for both countries for the latest information on Covid-19 conditions.