This border is also known as “Gatuna” in the Kinyarwanda language from the Rwandan side of the border.
The handling of imports and exports and crossing Katuna border was closed at some point and business was put on a standstill as certain basic cross border relations had to be attended to before reopening the border.
From the Rwandan side of the border, Volcanoes National Park is not so far making it easy to use the Katuna border to access tourist destinations in Rwanda such as the national parks.
Some of the requirements for crossing the Katuna border include a yellow fever card, a valid passport, visas.
During the crossing of the border, the passports are presented at the immigration office for stamping before being permitted to cross the border. Many of the borders in African countries are not so developed due to the fact that they were created during the colonialism times with an effort to mark the extent where the country stops which marks the boundary with another country.
Many clearing and forwarding companies are responsible for handling the trucks which transport imports and exports across the Katuna border. Before certain measures were put in place along these borders such as installing scanners to curb the smuggling practices across borders.
Thorough checks are also made of the documents presented by people before crossing the border to ensure safety and to avoid terrorist attacks and many other security issues. The Katuna border is open for 24 hours a day. The customs and immigration officers at the Katuna border handle the clearing of documents to allow entry into another country.
The fertile soils in Katuna have favored the growth of many crops such as Irish potatoes and the rearing of cattle.
For tourists who wish to cross to the other side of the border using public means such as buses are required to first confirm at the immigrations and customs office at the border that their travel documents are valid before being checked by the security personnel at the border before resuming their seats in the bus.
The goods crossing the border such as imports and exports go through a process before entry is granted to the transporters of the goods. The process of clearing of goods at the border is as follows;
- Submitting documents for clearing to the customs office
- Physical verification of consignment by the customs office
- Payment of road user fees which is optional
- A reference number is obtained and an OSBP (one-stop border post) stamp is given by the Uganda Revenue Authority at Katuna border through the customs office.
Following the closure of the Uganda-Rwanda border, the Kagitumbe border was the available option for crossing into Rwanda via the Mirama hills. The border closure led to the standstill of many businesses that operate across the Katuna border which had led to the growth of the Katuna area.
Many accommodation facilities are also available for a stopover and for rest and people such as truck drivers and many others rest in these places before crossing to the other side of the Katuna border.
Some of the other means of transport at the Katuna border include shared car taxis, minibusses, buses, and many others. The buses sometimes have classes which include the VIP section and the other section of the bus where the rest of the passenger’s seat. The VIP section is more spacious compared to the other section of the bus which may be compared to economy class on a plane.
The clearance at Katuna border on both sides of the border may take time due to the difference of authorities across the border.