Discovering Fort Portal

Discovering Fort Portal

Fort Portal is one of Uganda’s busiest tourism hubs located in western Uganda, fort portal is the main city of Kabarole district and the administrative center for the Toro Kingdom and the city was named after Sir Gerald Portal, a British Special Commissioner to Uganda during the colonial times and the city is the only city named in English, whose statue graces the main road of the town. Situated between the Rwenzori Mountains, Kibale National Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Semuliki national park it is a significant market town.

Things to do while Discovering fort portal

Most however will want to take in Fort Portal’s tourist attractions which range from caves and waterfalls to Royal Places (with Fort Portal being the home of the traditional Toro Kingdom) and tombs to its tea plantations and guided walks that take in crater lakes and with their bubbling sources.

There is good accommodation in and about Fort Portal from which you can use as a base for trips and adventures to Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, and the Kibale forest. Food is plentiful both for those who prefer traditional African food and those who would rather have international food with the Dutchess hotel and restaurant close to the center of town offering pizzas, burgers, etc.

Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest

Kibale forest is located just 1 hour from Fortal city and its one of the top places to see chimpanzees in the whole world and day trips can be arranged from the main city of fort portal during your stay

Visit the Tooro kingdom palace

The Toro Kingdom is a home for the world’s youngest king “Oyo”. While here, Students will learn about the history of the Tooro kingdom’s traditional dress code, the language spoken, the past kings, and where they are buried among others, there are also numerous artifacts that represent their culture.

Visit the Amabere Caves                                                                                              

The Amabere Caves also known as the Nyakasura Caves given their location at Nyakasura Falls, are located some five miles from Fort Portal on the Bundibugyo Road. Not really caves, more a large overhang, the name Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru translates as “Breasts of Nyinamwiru” with Nyinamwiru being the daughter of a local usurper king who reportedly had her breasts cut off to make her less attractive to men.

Visit Tooro Botanical Gardens

Founded in 2001, the Tooro Botanical Gardens were established in Fort Portal to help conserve trees and other plant life that was at risk of facing extinction in Western Uganda. Today the gardens are flourishing and cover a 100-acre site and not only concentrate on conservation but also scientific research and education.

The Tooro Botanical Gardens also encourage sustainable agriculture and partner with SATNET, the Sustainable Agriculture Trainers Network.

Visitors to the gardens can enjoy a guided tour by well-informed staff as well as strolling around the gardens with their abundance of flowers, medicinal plants.

Kyaninga Crater Lake hike from fort portal

The fort portal to Kyaninga hike is an 8.6km hike that runs from the entrance of the Mountains of the Moon Hotel to the scenic Kyaninga Crater Lake, with a side tour to some nearby smaller dry craters. Allow for 2 hours and 45 minutes without long interruptions or breaks. People that are unsure on their feet might benefit from a walking stick.

Lake Nkuruba guided walks

About 30 minutes’ drive from the fort portal is the beautiful forest and Lake Nkuruba famous for primates and you can spend your time exploring the beautiful scenery around Lake Nkuruba with our friendly Tourist Guides. The ‘Top of the World’ viewpoint, not far from Nkuruba, really is a must-see!

Day trips to Semuliki National Park                                                                      

Semuliki National Park is slightly different from other national parks in Uganda as it doesn’t boast much animal wildlife, though there are some; however, its main attraction is its birds and hot springs. The park is next to the Semuliki and Lamia rivers and is located on Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Lake Albert to the park’s north and the stunning Rwenzori Mountains to its south-east.

Day trips to Rwenzori Mountains National Park                                                             

Rwenzori Mountains National Park was designated in 1991 achieving World Heritage site status in 1994 to protect the highest parts of the mountain range and covers most of the center and eastern half of the mountains ~ an area of some 384 sq miles. It is home to over 70 mammal species and 217 bird species and perfect forest walks can be arranged from the fort portal which is just two hours drive.

Visit Queen Elizabeth National Park                                                                   

Queen Elizabeth National Park is the most popular destination in Uganda for those looking for a safari not least because of its diversity stretching from the Rwenzori Mountains that straddle the border with the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo to the shores of Lake Edward taking in forest, savannah, and wetlands along the way wildlife like Leopards, hyena’s, antelopes and so much can be seen and the drive from fort portal is just 3 hours.

Day trips to Lake Albert the Ntoroko section

Lake Albert was so named in 1864 by European explorers Samuel Baker and Sass Flora when they “discovered it” and named it in honor of Queen Victoria’s consort Prince Albert who had died three years previously.

It was briefly renamed as Lake Mobutu Sese Seko by President Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga of the Congo (President 24 November 1965 – 16 May 1997) before reverting to its widely known name and is Africa’s seventh-largest lake measuring some 100 miles long and 19 miles wide with a maximum depth of 168 feet.

Lake Albert is located between the Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo in Western Uganda and is the most northern of the lakes in the Albertine Rift which straddles parts of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),

Visit Bigodi sanctuary wetland

Activities and attractions in fort portal – Bigodi is a community-based organization that started with a view of uplifting the status and lifestyle of the lower class families of Bigodi village and other communities around. In 2016 is when it started and with four people who trained with Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development, found a loop and unauthenticated community walk and derived means, making it more authentic giving scholastic materials, improving households, and providing employment to the community guides and demonstrators.

Experience Bigodi community walks

Bigodi Community Walk (BICOWA) is located six (6) kilometers from Kibale Forest National Park which is thirty (30) kilometers from Fort Portal town.

In visiting the Bigodi community you are supporting the community directly and through this, it teaches them not to encroach on the protected area encouraging them to conserve for the nearest home of the Chimpanzees the Kibale Forest National Park.

Best time to visit Fort Portal city

Fort portal can be visited any time of the year, it is one of the places in Uganda with the best climate all year around.

How to get to Fort Portal city

By Road, the fort portal is located about 298 Km road from Kampala the main capital city of Uganda to Fort Portal by road via Mityana-Mubende-kyegeggwa-kyenjojo which is about a 5-6 hour drive

By air, travelers can fly into Kasese which is located 2 hours from fort portal city-There are 1:30 minutes scheduled and charted domestic flights from Entebbe to Kasese operated by Aerolink which is about 2 hours from Kasese to Fort. portal.                                                                                                                      

Where to stay in Fort Portal

There quite a range of accommodation facilities in fort portal ranging from Luxury, Mid-range and budget, and some of the places to look out for including Kyaninga Lodge, Mountains of the moon hotel, Aramaga rift valley Lodge, Rwenzori view, and Dutchess hotel.

Activities to do in park

Climbing mount Meru from Arusha national park
Game drives in Arusha national park
Primate walks in Arusha national park
Walking safaris in Arusha national park
water fall hikes in Arusha national park
Canoeing on Lake Momella

How to get there

How to get to Arusha national park

Popular tours and safaris

3 Days Arusha national park safari
4 days Arusha national park safari
5 days hike Mount Meru

Best time to visit the park

Best time to visit Arusha national park

Where to stay in the park

Hatari Lodge
Lake Duluti Lodge
Mount Meru game Lodge
Rivertrees country inn
Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge


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