Kasese – Location, Transport & Major Attractions
Situated in the western region, Kasese is one of the prominent places in Uganda. It’s renowned mostly for minerals and it welcomes thousands of people including foreigners who come in for copper and cobalt mining. Besides minerals, this area is a great tourist spot.
It is a fantastic base for those who want to climb the Rwenzori Mountains or explore the pretty Queen Elizabeth national park and Kalinzu forest reserve. Kasese district shares borders with other districts like Kamwenge, Kabarole, and Rubirizi.
From Kasese, you can cross to the Democratic Republic of Congo via the Mpondwe border. Bakonzo people are the original residents of this Rwenzururu sub-region, although other tribes come in including Congolese nationals who cross from DR Congo.
How to get there
There are two options for you. You either choose to go by plane or enjoy a road trip in a well-conditioned 4×4 vehicle. Air travel is the fastest way to go but a bit expensive. Several companies offer direct domestic flights from Entebbe to an airstrip in Kasese.
There are scheduled and you have to book in advance. Know that when you use air transport, you have to arrange a car which will pick you from Kasese airfield up to your next destination.
If you need a cheaper option, travel by car is for you. It is 370km from Kampala to Kasese town and 400km from Entebbe airport. It requires about 6-7 hours to reach there by car, but it depends on the speed used, weather conditions, and traffic along the way. Motorists use two routes. There is Kampala – Mubende – Fort portal route and Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara highway.
For those coming from abroad, you can get a private taxicab for direct transfer from Entebbe airport to Kasese. It is quick, cheap, and convenient. For a successful ride, make sure to reserve in advance.
If not a private car, travelers use a bus to reach Kasese. Many bus companies offer scheduled trips from Kampala city to Kasese town. Visit the bus stations in Kampala and pre-book a ticket.
One of them is the Kisenyi bus terminal. The buses are big and carry about 60 – 80 passengers. It is not a good option if you are on time or for those who hate sharing transport with locals.
Why do people visit Kasese?
People travel from different places to Kasese for various reasons. Some go there for tourism and others visit the place for business deals.
There are many draws in this area, but the major inviting spots are the snow caped Rwenzori Mountains, Kalinzu forest reserve, and the notable Queen Elizabeth national park.
Queen is one of Uganda’s ten national parks. Tourists love it because of its diverse wildlife. It is home to great and appealing flora and fauna. Wildlife lovers spend time in this protected area to see wild animals like elephants, buffaloes, leopards, lions, antelopes, primates, and more.
It is also ideal for birding excursions, nature walks, and boat cruises on the Kazinga channel. This park is made up of four areas. These are Kyambura gorge, Kasenyi plains, Ishasha sector, and the maramagambo forest.
For more wildlife, you can visit the nearby Kalinzu forest reserve. It is home to primate species like chimpanzees, monkeys, wild animals, and different bird species recorded on the country’s bird list.
Besides Queen, Mountain Rwenzori is another thrilling attraction you should not miss. This range of mountains in eastern equatorial Africa is located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ruwenzori Mountain is the third highest in Africa. It is made up of six peaks (Mount Stanley, Speke, Baker, Gessi, Emin, and Luigi di Savoia) and Stanley is the highest standing at 5109 meters.
Many adventurers come to Kasese because of this physical feature. Climbing requires 6 – 7 days depending on your physical fitness. It is strenuous, but a breathtaking adventure when you make it to the top.
Other than tourism, some people visit Kasese for a business like copper mining in Kilembe mines, cobalt to name but a few. There are a lot more minerals in this area like lime, cement, and salt in katwe.
Hotels in Kasese
There are many residential places for you to stay in Kasese town. There are categorized into budget, midrange, and luxury facilities.
The list of hotels for you includes Hotel Margherita, Sandton hotel, TJ global, Rwenzori international hotel to mention but a few. Major hotels are just within the town.