Kasese District is located along the equator. It is bordered by Kabarole District to the north, Kamwenge District to the east, Rubirizi District to the south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The district headquarters at Kasese are located approximately 359 kilometers (223 mi), by road, west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city.
Kasese is a multi-ethnic district with many people of different ethnic backgrounds. The main languages and ethnic groups that dominate the area are Rutooro and Rukonjo, the languages of the Batooro and the Bakonjo people respectively. However, there are other ethnic groups in the district who include the Banyankole, Basongora, Bakiga and Baganda. There is also common usage of English and Swahili.
Things to See & Do in Kasese District
When you mention Kasese district to anyone Uganda, what comes to his or her mind is the November 2015 riots where many lives were lost, others sustained injuries while the Omusinga (King) and some of his Royal Guards were arrested. But there is more to this district than meets the eye.
Kasese district is situated within western Uganda, on the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo border. It is also bordered by a number of districts that include Kamwenge and Lake George to the east, Bushenyi to the south and Kabarole to the North. It is known for many wonderful things and particularly, Kasese was popular for copper mining and now known as one of the exceptional cobalt mining places but most importantly, it is one of the places where the Uganda Railway passed before proceeding to Kampala then Tororo district. In no particular order, the interesting places you can visit in Kasese district during Uganda safaris include;
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth is undeniably the main attraction within Kasese, with almost half of it lying within the district. It was gazetted in 1952 and covers an area of 1978 square kilometers, thus making it one of the oldest and largest Parks in the country but undoubtedly the most popular in the country. It boasts of a wide range of ecosystems that include fertile marshlands, extensive savannah plains and breathtaking Lakes, hence making it a perfect habitat for over 95 species of mammals including over 10 species of primates including Chimpanzees in Kyambura gorge, lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, antelopes (topis, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, sitatunga, bushbucks), warthogs and more than 600 species of birds making it the Park with the highest bird species. Interesting places like the Kazinga Channel (renown for boat rides to spot high population of hippos and crocodiles), Lake Edward, Lake George, Lake Katwe as well as other remarkable Explosion Crater Lakes.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
Situated in western Uganda, Rwenzori Mountains National Park is another magnificent destination you can visit during Uganda safaris. The Park is a home to the famous Rwenzori Mountains also referred as the Mountains of the Moon with its snow-capped peaks. Climbing to the peaks of the Mountains is usually organized near Kasese Town because it is interestingly just a stone throw away from the start of most Hiking trails. Due to its closeness, majority of the tourists can spend overnights within Kasese Town before or after the unforgettable hiking experience. In most cases, climbing to the highest Peak of the Rwenzori mountains last up to 9 days. Besides the famous Queen Elizabeth and Rwenzori Mountains National Parks, tourists can also choose to explore the famous Hima Cement Factory within Kasese as well as the Kilembe Mines (former copper mines but now known for cobalt mining). Copper mining in the area dates back to the 1950s where the very first Canadian Mining firms put up several equipments to mine this precious mineral.
In conclusion therefore, Kasese district might be one of the driest places in the country but is also a tourism goldmine with several interesting sites including Queen Elizabeth and Rwenzori Mountains National Park Kilembe Mines as well as Hima Cement Factory.