Jubilations and celebrations surfaced on the natives of both countries (Uganda and Rwanda) upon seeing the border of Katuna (Gatuna) open for passenger vehicles. This has come following the official reopening of the two countries’ borders after nearly 3 years of closure.
In late January 31th both governments agreed to reopen the border following many peace talks held between the two countries which started from Luanda Angola between president Museveni and Kagame, the other talks were held at the border of the two countries.
The president of Uganda, Museveni as well sent different envoys to Kigali in a move to ensure that the relations between the two countries harmonized. Among the envoys were the Adonia Ayebare on two occasions and Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
However, Rwanda’s decision to open the border didn’t meet all requirements for crossing wherein in the first place only Rwandan citizens were allowed to cross from Uganda to Rwanda and cargo trucks.
The efforts remained for health offices in both countries to work on the covid-19 protocols to enable the crossing of passengers on both sides.
Following the opening of the Katuna border for Passenger vehicles amidst observing the pandemic protocol on Monday, March 7th, travelers are now constrained with the higher costs of meeting PCR tests.
Travelers opting to cross the two country’s borders are required to pay Rwf30,000 ($29) or Ugsh100,000 ($28) for either side for the PCR Covid-19 test.
A traveler from Kampala to Kigali pays around Ugsh90,000 for transport in addition to the mandatory PCR tests Ugsh100,000. It’s really high rates were for the returning traveler has to use around Ugsh400,000.
The mandatory PCR Covid19 tests only apply to Uganda- the Rwanda border, yet at Tanzania, Burundi, and DRC borders travelers cross freely.
The opening of the borders, it’s a great opportunity for tour operators who handle tourism packages that sell to both countries.
And on March 7th, tourists were seen joyfully crossing the borders. Tourist is to blossom and the affected business due to border closure is expected to regain their lost status.