Kisoro is 550 kilometres from Kampala city. The common means of traveling to Kisoro is through taking bus or coaches that can cost anywhere between $10-20.
There are many bus companies that operate on the Kisoro- Kampala route. Some of the common companies are Janguar, Bismarkan, Horizon and the post Bus.
Many people tend to like taking post Bus which is regarded to be more comfortable. The journey from Kampala to Kisoro can take between 8 to 10 hours.
You can also get a car hire vehicle though it’s very costly. For those traveling from abroad directly to Kisoro, Flying to Kigali city in Rwanda is the best option.
Kisoro is just 3 hours’ drive from Kigali which makes the road trip shorter as compared to driving from Kampala. Kisoro town has also got an air strip that serves as a chartered flights from Kampala.
Getting around Kisoro Town
The most common mode of transportation used by the local people are motorcycles locally known as boda bodas, however, it’s advisable whenever advisable whenever riding a boda boda to put on a helmet as a safety measure.
You can also a hire a matatu to take you around. For information on how to get a taxi or matatu, contact the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park office in Kisoro town.
The Kisoro Travel Guide which is a local tourist information portal that can also be useful in getting ideas on how to explore different places in Kisoro district and the surrounding places.
What to see near Kisoro Town.
Virunga Volcanoes; while you are in Kisoro town, you have an options to hike three volcanoes including; Mt Muhavura which is 4,127m, Mt Gahinga which is 3,474m and Mt Sabyinyo which is 3,645mm.
Lake Mutanda; It’s an ideal place for those who love swimming and canoeing. Mutanda eco community centre, which is a community lodge owned at the Lake can be contacted to arrange these activities.
Mountain gorillas; this is eitherin bwindi impenetrable National park orMgahinga Gorilla national park. You can also hike the Virunga Volcanoes. There are local tour companies you can go through while booking for these activities. These companies offer gorilla tracking, game drives, education tours, volunteer safaris, volunteer tours and community adventures. The gorilla permit costs only $600 at Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Golden Monkey trekking is a great activity to carry out in Kisoro. The safaris start at the main gate of Mgahinga Park and then take you’re inside the forest where you meet the golden Monkeys in the jungle.
Lake Mutanda Community walk; Lake Mutanda is one of the best places that you can’t miss to s. The lake is often regarded as the most stunning lake in Uganda. On your walk to the lake, youare able to see the Virunga ranges, the western rift valley escarpment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The walk also takes your through community farmlands where you run about the local farming systems. Some of the activities you can do at lake Mutanda include otter viewing, canoeing, swimming and boat riding.
The Batwa Trail;
The Batwa Trail is a one day activity in Mgahinga national park that features the lives of the batwa indigenous people before they were relocated from their forest homes. The trail is a great experience that gives an insight into the deep cultures of this good community. You can as well book the Batwa Trail tour directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority or through your preferred local tour operator.
The Echuya Forest;
There is the Echuya Eco Tourism Association offers guided hikes in the central Forest Reserve for shs 30,000.This reserve is located half an hour outside of Kisoro on the road to Kabale.There are two trails which cross forest, bamboo, and a rare high altitude swamp. Cultural visits with Bachiga, Batwa, and Bafumbira communities are also possible. Self-sufficient campground 20,000 Ugx.
What to do in and near Kisoro Town
Move your way into DR Congo. In case you take a motorbike of about 30 minutes to the boarder there is a sign which says “You are now leaving Uganda and entering Zaire”, which makes a great picture. We talked our way across the border and there is a small village there, with the rebels being rather friendly, but do so at your own risk. In your free time, you can as well volunteer at the community projects.
Mgahinga Community development organisation, a local NGO has a couple of volunteer opportunities where the volunteers can work on several projects like teaching computer and sports lessons at community schools.
Kisoro has got a lot to offer when it comes to shopping. Kisoro market is open every Monday and Thursday. There is plenty of stuff you can buy ranging from fresh fruits to the fabrics.
There are lots of shops that are open every day along Kisoro Main Street. Kisoro is also known for handcraft shops where you can buy gorilla musks, t-shirts and other handmade things.
There are many good places where you can find delicious food. One of the most favourites is Graceland motel which is also located on the main street just close to the district Local government offices.
Those who like taking coffee, there is a new coffee place called “The Coffee Pot,” which is in the same building as the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park office.
Many guest houses as well as hotels in Kisoro sell drinks but in case you want to go out somewhere else for a drink, there are a number of places where you can go. Heritage Guest House on the main street has a friendly bar and then Club striker on Mutanda road. There are other hanging out places along Mutanda road.
Lake chahafi Resort which is located on shores of Lake Chahafi in south eastern direction near Rwanda border, you can stay in case you wish to go for gorilla trekking or relax after, do not miss the surroundings, visit the colonial historical battle fields on the northern shore, take a walk to the border with Rwanda or go bird watching or also have a canoe trek.
The budget accommodation near Kisoro town include 3 way gorilla resort campsite, Amajambere Iwacu community camp, Golden Monkey Guest House, comfort inn, and Mutunda Eco community centre.
The Mid-range lodges also includes; travellers rest Hotel in Kisoro town and Mt Gahinga lodge. The luxury lodge in kisoro town is Clouds mountain gorilla lodge.
You can also take a walk around town or hike Nyabitare hill where you will have a full view of the whole Kisoro district. The hill is a good spot for taking cool pictures especially in the evening hours. Nyabitare is also a good spot for site seeing especially Lake Mutanda and the sunset.