Fort Portal: Uganda’s Adventure Capital: Fort Portal is perhaps the most beautiful town in Uganda. The town is located in Western Uganda, at about 300 km from Kampala city. It lies at the epicenter of highly alluring and reasonably accessible national parks and other tourist attractions; and as such the town Fort Portal is called the adventure capital of Uganda.
The town sits amid lush rolling hillsides which are engulfed in neat tea plantations; and offers fantastic views of the Mountains of the moon, the Rwenzori Mountains. The town’s favorable location amidst various attractions means a variety of activities for any kind of visitor.
Kibale forest National Park is situated about 30 kms South of Fort Portal town. Not only is Kibale the best place to track chimpanzees in Uganda, the forest also harbors the greatest primate diversity and a thrilling variety of birds.
The several dozen crater lakes in Fort Portal are also another key attraction here. Some of these lakes like Lake Saka offer great places for swimming. Several viewpoints and nature trails that a visitor can hike; while surrounded by beautiful birds, monkeys and scenic landscapes.
The most popular one is the Crater Walk to the “top of the world”. This is a short forest trail that leads from Lake Nkuruba to the hilltop that gives a 360 view of the Crater Lake area.
The Amabere caves lie roughly around 8 km west of Fort Portal. The caves are called Amabere ga Nyina Mwiru (loosely translated as Breasts of Nyina Mwiru) because of the stalactite features, which supposedly look like a pair of breasts. Stunning features to see here on this cave excursion including small beautiful waterfalls and the several pillars of stalactites and stalagmites that have met in the middle. You will also enjoy listening to the local folktales about these features, their importance and why you must not touch them!
The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary protects the Magombe Swamp, which harbors a variety of birds and primates. Visitors who do chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park often opt to do the swamp walk as well. The swamp is located right outside the national park boundary, 40 km from Fort Portal.
Bigodi is a must visit for birdwatchers. At least 138 bird species are recorded but the Great Blue Turaco is one of the key species associated with this swamp. Other bird species here include: the black and white casqued hornbill, the grey throated, yellow billed and double toothed barbets; the brown-eared woodpecker and the snowy crowned robin chats, to mention but a few. Butterflies are abundant in this swamp, and it is also one of the few places to see the Sitatunga antelope in Uganda. A variety of primates like the red-tiled monkey, black and white colobus, grey cheeked mangabey and a many more can also be seen on the 3 hour swamp walk.
Rift Valley Hiking Experience:
Fort Portal lies on the periphery of the Rwenzori Mountains and this means lots of hiking adventures. The Rift Valley Hiking challenge will give you chance to explore the rift valley, the hot springs of Semliki National Park and a close interaction with the local people settled on the hills – their culture and ways of living.
Did you know that majority of Ugandans drink more tea in their homes than coffee? Fort Portal and Kibale area produce some of Uganda’s finest tea. Besides chimpanzee tracking or habituation in Kibale, tea harvesting is another experience loved by most of our clients.
Experience a half-day excursion to a tea farm – you will be received by a local site guide, who will give you a detailed plantation tour. Learn about tea planting, seed propagation and local harvesting techniques- followed by the chance to pick your own tea leaves using traditional woven baskets. The site guide will show you the best parts of the leaf to pick. The picked leaves are then transported to the tea processing factory. There is plenty of tea leaves for you to take home as a souvenir or gift. You will have chance to sample at an on-site café. The experience allows tea lovers to get a deeper understanding of their favorite beverage.
If you would love to know more about the town, and history of Toro, then a guided tour through is the perfect activity for you. Key stops include the Post Office, Hospital, school and the Palace of the King of Toro Kingdom.
Another historical aspect of Fort Portal worth a visit is the Karambi Tombs, located 4 km south of the town. The Karambi Tombs tour takes one through the burial grounds of the former kings of Toro and the importance of their traditional regalia.
Visit Local Markets:
If you love shopping and all experiences related to markets, then you just gave got to visit some of the local markets around Fort Portal. Mugusu and Rwimi markets lie along the Kasese road, below the Rwenzori peaks. These colorful weekly markets are key community events, well worth visiting if happen to be in town of the right day.
One other way to explore the magnificent landscape around Kibale and the crater lakes is by biking. The cycling tracks take you through village settlements and farms, coupled with fantastic views of the Rwenzori Mountains.
The Toro Botanical gardens is another key attraction in Fort portal town. This botanical garden contains demonstrations gardens of medicinal plants, herbs, spices, fruits flowers, trees and nursery beds for both indigenous and exotic trees. There is a guide to take you around and the gardens tour takes at least 2 hours. The gardens are also good for bird watching and photography.
Fort Portal, the adventure capital of the world should be on your bucket list for the next travel experience. Contact Us
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