Ibanda gateway is the access route to Rwenzori mountains. It is located in Kasese district, western Uganda, off the Fort portal Kasese road, branching right, 9km before reaching Kasese town. This road goes through the Mubuku valley up to the Rwenzori mountains park gate.
The road is located on a hilly terrain and has always been in very bad shape due to lack of timely maintenance. The area receives too much rainfall and had not been maintained in the last four years, and this road has been in a very bad shape. Most community people, use bodabodas to go to town on the 26km journey since the car owners don’t want to risk on this road. Driving on this road in its bad state is like driving on a river bed. For the Rwenzori visitors and the community, this makes the access of the park gate quite challenging, sometimes forcing some visitors to forego the Rwenzori gate way for other attractions with better roads. In the past, this road has contributed to the low visitation of this beautiful area.
Besides, the environment is very attractive to the travelers. It is a beautiful drive through this residential valley. The landscape is beautiful with homesteads, the small trading centers and small farms of cotton, Mize, coffee and bananas on the roadsides backed by the view of the Rwenzori foothills in the back ground. With several steep drives, one crosses several rivers passed the few powerhouses at several hydro power stations generating electricity from River Mubuku.
The 17.5 km road is being renovated with what will be first class marrum. This road is good news for trekkers of Rwenzori mountains national park using Ibanda central circuit gate. The location of the gateway is also ideal for one day visitors who may not necessarily want to trek the high Rwenzori Mountains. At the end of the valley, is located several tourist lodges, trails into the hills and other community tourist experiences to supplement the main Rwenzori trekking experience for experienced climbers that can go up to 8 or more days into the mountains up to the peaks. This is why some tourist and tour operators do want to briefly branch off to experience the mountains from the park gateway and community on their low land trips of Kibale and Queen Elizabeth national parks or on their way to the gorillas.
Now this repair is the turning point. The road being repaired with first class marrum means it will be easy to drive with all sorts of cars, the local people will have more car transport options, there will be decreased risk of bodaboda accidents, more tourists will branch off to go to the gate way and for those heading to track Rwenzori will have an easy time driving to the base camp. Above all, the local community produce will be better transported with less risk of delays and accidents on the way.