District location in Uganda
|• Total||701.4 km2 (270.8 sq mi)|
|• Land||644.6 km2 (248.9 sq mi)|
|• Water||56.8 km2 (21.9 sq mi)|
|Population (2012 Estimate)|
|• Density||362.6/km2 (939/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EAT (UTC+3)|
Kisoro District is bordered by Kanungu District to the north, Kabale District to the east, the Republic of Rwanda to the south and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. The district headquarters at Kisoro are located approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi), by road, west of Kabale, the largest town in the sub-region. The coordinates of the district are: 01 17S, 29 41E.
Kisoro District is tucked away in the southwestern corner of Uganda, where it borders with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It covers an area of approximately 701.4 square kilometres (270.8 sq mi). About 3.88% of the district is covered by open water. Another 2.95% is covered by wetlands and national forest reserves cover another 0.96%. The District is mountainous and hilly and rises an average of 1,980 metres (6,500 ft) above sea level. Due to the delicate nature of the environment and the pressure of a rapidly increasing population, the natural environment in Kisoro District is under severe threat of degradation.
The district was formed in 1992. Prior to that it was known as Bufumbira County and was part of Kabale District. Kisoro District has 13 sub-counties: (a) Kanaba (b) Nyakabande (c) Chahi (d) Murora (d) Kisoro Municipality (e) Nyarusiza (f)Nyakinama (g) Nyarubuye (h) Muramba (i) Busanza (j) Nyabwishenya (k) Kirundo and (l) Nyundo. The district has four parliamentary constituencies:
- Bufumbira South - Hon. Tress Bucyanayandi
- Bufumbira North - Hon. John Nizeyimana Kamara
- Bufumbira East - Hon. Eddie Wagahungu Kwizera
- Bufumbira Women's Representative - Hon. Sarah Mateke Nyirabashitsi
It formerly had chiefs such as "Rukeribuga", "RudovikSemafara", "Sebukweto", "Mizerero", "Mikekemo" and many others. Most of the chiefs were appointed by the Dist Commissioner. The last great chief was Ntibiringirwa John Semafara who was the Resident District Commissioner of Oyam District.
In 1991, the national population census estimated the district population at about 186,700. The district population was estimated at about 220,300 during the 2002 national census. The annual population growth rate in the district was calculated at 1.5%. In 2012, the population of Kisoro District was estimated at approximately 254,300. The table below illustrates the growth of the district population between 2002 and 2012. All figures are estimates.
|Kisoro District Population Trends|
Kisoro District is inhabited by primarily by the Bafumbira, comprising Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa tribes. Rufumbira dialect, which is similar to Kinyarwanda, is spoken in the district. A section of Kisoro District is inhabited by the Kiga whose dialect is intermediate between Kiga and rumbira.
Ethnicity is not a big issue for the Bafumbira as they freely intermarry, particularly among the Tutsi and Hutu. That relationship between the two ethnicities in Kisoro District partly explains why the 1994 Rwandan genocide did not spread to Kisoro District. There is a general acceptance of these conditions and this has led to harmony in the district.
- Note: the category "Other" may include Orthodox Christianity and other Christians.
Like in most of Uganda's districts, agriculture forms the backbone of the economy of Kisoro District. Most of the agriculture is on a subsistence level. Crops grown include:
Livestock is kept by some on a subsistence level. However, a few wealthy individuals in the district have large cattle farms including:
- Bishop Halem'Imana
- Tress Bucyanayandi
The rest of the cattle owners really do not have much to write home about but most families that are influential own at least a cow or goats at zero grazing practice.
Tourist attractions in the district include:
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park  - One of only four national parks in the world where the African Mountain Gorilla can be observed in the wild.
- Mgahinga Gorilla National Park - Besides the Mountain Gorillas, the Park also covers three of the eight Virunga Volcanoes: Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo, all of which lie on the Uganda/Rwanda border.
- "Distance Between Kabale nd Kisoro With Map". Globefeed.com. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Estimated Population of Kisoro District In 1991, 2002 & 2012". Citypopulation.de. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Religious Affiliations Among Ugandans By District As of 2002" (PDF). Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 21 May 2014.