Civil Avaition Authority approved a plan to construct Batuma Memorial airstrip in Kabale in order to develop this region through tourism and other activities such as agriculture. This Airstrip will be named after the late Canon John Batuma who was one of the leading business men in Kigezi region of Uganda. Ground work is about to start and if completed will boost gorilla tourism in Ruhija region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Batuma Memorial Airstrip to boost gorilla tourism in Ruhija
Unlike other regions such as Buhoma and Kisoro, Ruhija region has been lacking an established Airstrip that can be used by tourists willing to fly from Entebbe Airport to Kabale and then on to Ruhija region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This has left driving to and from Ruhija via Kabale as the only option. Those who have tried to fly and track gorillas in Ruhija region have been forced to fly through Kihihi Airstrip which is normally used by those tracking gorillas in Buhoma region and later connect by road to Ruhija. Unfortunately, the road connecting Ruhija from Kihihi tend to be in a sorry and impassable state most especially during the rainy season thus incoviniencing those who would love to fly for gorilla trekking and bird watching in Ruhija. With Batuma Memorial Airstrip, tourists will be able to fly directly to Kabale thus reducing the drive time from Entebbe/Kampala to Kabale.
Ruhija region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has three habituated gorilla families just like Buhoma in the north of Bwindi and with the development of Batuma Memorial Airstrip, Uganda wildlife authority will be able to sell many gorilla permits since it will attract both those willing to fly and or travel.
Those flying through Batuma Memorial Airstip can choose to stay in Kabale since there descent accommodation properties around lake Bunyonyi including Bird Nest, Bunyoyi Eco Resort and be able to drive to Ruhija for gorilla trekking. Alternatively, tourist can land in the morning and be able to drive to Ruhija accommodation for afternoon activities in the forest or communities.
Encounter Africa Safaris will keep you updated on new developments connected to Batuma Memoria Airstrip, when it will open and flight companies that are likely to start operating scheduled and charter flights to this side of Uganda