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Traveling from Kampala to Kisoro, Cyanika, Bunagana, and Goma

Downtown Kisoro town, Uganda

Why Kisoro is a recommended place to visit

Kisoro has a lot to offer to people who love adventure and discovering the world around them. For the list of attractions and things to do in Kisoro, check this page. Kisoro is a major transit town for people traveling from Kampala to Goma, Kampala to Cyanika border, and Kampala to Bunagana border.

Traveler information about Kisoro

Kisoro is located on the southwestern tip of Uganda. The region borders the Republic of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The region lies on mountainous terrain with an average altitude of about 1,980 meters above sea level. Kisoro is about 78 kilometers from the nearby town of Kabale and 540 kilometers from Kampala city. There are two major internal border crossings in Kisoro: the Cyanika border post at the Uganda/Rwanda border and Bunagana at the Congo/Uganda border. Kisoro is also a major transit hub for people traveling from Kampala to Goma in the Democratic Republic.

Getting to Kisoro from Kampala and transport from Kigali to Kisoro

Kisoro is accessible by road transport. It takes about 7- 9 hours to drive from Kampala to Kisoro. Different bus companies operate from Kampala to southwestern Uganda. Some bus companies include Jaguar, Bismarkan, Horizon, Gateway buses, and the Post Bus. Most travelers prefer Post Bus, which is considered the safest among all the coaches. The price for one bus ticket costs between $10-$30. There are also options to hire a private car from Kampala, which will cost more money but provides more comfort during the journey. 

For travelers who wish to transfer from Kabale to Kisoro, private car hire services are available in Kabale town to take you to Kisoro at an affordable rate. Try to get more information from the lodge/guest house where you will be staying. Uganda Wildlife Authority also has an information office in Kabale town, which provides information about tourism around Bwindi and Mgahinga. Kisoro is just 78 kilometers from Kabale. There is a newly constructed tarmac road that connects Kabale and Kisoro, a less than 2-hour drive. Similarly, one can hire a local taxi to travel from Kabale to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Headquarters at Buhoma in Kanungu and Rukungiri. 

Some people prefer to travel to Kisoro and Kabale via Kigali in Rwanda. A road trip from Kigali to Kisoro takes about 3.5 hours and about 4 hours to Kabale. Upon arriving at Kigali International Airport, some taxis connect to Kigali city to get on public buses heading to Musanze, in the northern province. The public buses from Kigali to Musanze are comfortable, and the journey takes about 2 hours. From Musanze or Ruhengeri town, there are Matatus to the Cyanika border post (Kisoro, Uganda/Rwanda border). On the Ugandan side of the Cyanika border, select hire vehicles commute to Kisoro town, which is 10 kilometers away. There are also private hire services that connect travelers from Kigali to the municipalities of Kisoro and Kabale.

People and culture

Like other parts of Uganda, the people of Kisoro are a friendly community, and you will learn much about the culture and the city once you get a chance to connect with the locals. Go out there and visit the locals in their homes, spend some time volunteering on a community project, visit a market, check out the local schools, visit a local church and so many other activities that interest you. See the section on “People and Places” on this website for more ideas on immersing yourself in the local culture.

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