Fort Portal is one of the most attractive towns in Uganda. It was named after the British Consul General of Zanzibar, Sir Gerald Herbert Portal, who came in Uganda in 1890s to formalize British protectorateship over Uganda. It lies in the Northern foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains and about 300km west of Uganda’s capital, Kampala.
Fort Portal has got stunning tourist attractions including the neighbouring Kibale Forest National Park which is famous for Uganda chimpanzee tracking safaris and the magnificent Rwenzori Mountains.
Here are some of the stunning sights of Fort Portal and the nearby tourist attractions;
Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park is one of the most popular and most visited Uganda National Parks. The park is well known for the large number of chimpanzees that can be found in their natural habitat. There are about 375 bird species including the Superb Sunbird, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Western Nicator, Grey-winged Robin-chat, White-tailed Ant-thrush, Hairy-breasted Barbet, Brown-crowned Tchagra among others.
Semuliki National Park
Located some 150 miles from Kampala, Semuliki National Park is home to 442 bird species, 53 mammal species and is famous for the Sempaya Hot springs which are always a marvel to encounter. Although the park doesn’t boast of abundant animal wildlife, it is a great spot for bird watching with so many rare species of birds. 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.
Rwenzori Mountains National Park
The 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 is home to over 70 mammal species and 217 bird species. The mountains, however, are probably best known for their stunning views and as a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination.
Visiting the Karuzika palace gives you 360-degree panoramic views of the town. 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.
The Amabere Caves, also known as the “Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru” which translates to “Breasts of Nyinamwiru” are caves named after an ancient folklore where a local king had his daughter’s breasts cut off to make her less attractive to men. The King’s plan failed and his daughter got pregnant. He then hid her in a cave, or so legend has it. Visiting the Amabere caves gives tourists a chance to check out the waterfalls and three nearby crater lakes. Many colobus monkeys can also be seen around.
Karambi Royal Tombs
An excursion to the Karambi Royal Tombs is worthwhile. Several of the former Kings of Tooro Kingdom are buried here. The caretaker will let you in for a look at the tombs, which house drums, spears and other personal effects of several of the Toro kings. The cemetery outside is the resting place for various other royal family members.
Tooro Botanical Garden
Tooro botanical gardens have a lot of well-signed indigenous plants and trees, as well as an organic farming project growing herbs, flowers, natural dyes and medicinal plants.
Located between the Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo in Western Uganda, Lake Albert is sourced by water from both the Semliki and the Victoria Nile in the North. Although a large lake there are no major towns on its shores on the lake’s Ugandan side, however a relatively small population live in nearby villages with Buliisa being the largest town at the north end of Lake Albert with a population of some 30,000.
Visiting Fort Portal in western Uganda can be a very memorable Uganda Safari experience especially when organized by a reputable Uganda tour company like African Pearl Safaris.