Uganda Safaris Through Fort Portal Town
These pre-planned Uganda safaris are all-inclusive and can be customized to meed any traveler’s demands.
Fort Portal Town
Historical Site Seeing, Bird Watching, Community, Culture, People
Fort portal Town is one of the most attractive towns in Uganda situated in the northern foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains amidst lush rolling hill side swathed in neat tea plantation and clouds permitting offering excellent views across to the glacier of the peaks to the west. The town Centre has seen a great deal off renovation since the early 1990s, including plenty of hotels and restaurants, and what with ongoing resurfacing of its internal roads, it is barely recognizable from the random ‘”Fort portal pot-hole” of a few year back.
Fort Portal Town is named after a British fortress constructed between 1891 and 1893 on the site of the towns present day golf club, with the aim of protecting the Toro Kingdom from guerrilla raids by King Kabalega of Bunyoro. Fort Garry as it was originally known was named after the British Consul General of Zanzibar Sir Gerald Portal, who arrived in Buganda in late 1892 to formalize the protectorate ship of Uganda and died of malaria on Zanzibar a few months later. Norma Lorimar, who traveled to Fort portal in 1913, referred to the settlement as “Toro” adding that it then consists of “about six bungalows, the bank, the Boma, the huts for a few KARs (kings African Riffles), the Indian bazaar and the native settlement.
Fort Portal Town boasts few urban land marks off note. Perched on a hill above the town is the large circular Toro Palace; built in1960 for Omukama Kasagama’s son and successor, Rukidi III, this was destroyed and looted after the abolition of the old kingdoms under President Obote and was recently restored with Libyan money.Kasagama and Rukidi III are buried at the Karambi royal Tombs, 5kms out of Fort portal town Centre on Kasese road.
Attractions in & around Fort Portal Town
- The beautiful Toro palace that lies on the hill above the town
- Kibale Forest National Park, famous for chimpanzee tracking activities.
- Sir Gerald Portal’s statue which lies at the main Kasese road just after round about,
- Karambi Toms which is the burial grounds of Omukama Kasagama & Rukidi III,
- Fort Portal town is the gateway to the Rwenzori Mountains which are viewed from most corners of the town. Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Semuliki valley national parks are few hours’ drive away from the town Centre hence being easy for visitors to explore them in shortest time,
- Tours to the crater lakes, caves (Amabre caves) and water falls around Fort Portal town can be easily done,
- Visits to Toro golf course and botanical gardens can as well be explored from the town.
Looking down at town from its highest hill, the palace is worth a visit purely for its 360-degree panoramic views. It’s the residence of King Oyo, who ascended the throne in 1995 at the age of three. A guide relates the history of the kingdom and explains the ceremonies that take place here, but you can’t go inside.
The circular structure was built in 1963, but fell into ruin after the abolition of the royal kingdoms by Idi Amin. It was restored in 2001 after Colonel Gadaffi met the king and donated the money for repairs.
Kibale Forest located just outside Fort Portal Town is a major attraction for Chimpanzees, the delightful apes, most closely to humans than to any other leaving creature. These can be seen swinging in tree branches as one trek through the forest trails. While you enjoy your tour in this sunny side of nature, you have a life opportunity to sight over 300 bird species. The 180km – long migration corridor for wildlife also habits mammals like the elusive forest elephant, buffalos, giant forest hog, and a half a dozen antelope species; thereby making it one of the most stunning parks in Uganda.
Best time to visit Fort Portal
Fort Portal is open to visitors and tourists pretty much all year round. The perfect time to visit however is September to March which is the dry season and catching sight of wildlife is much easier.