Fort Portal is Uganda’s most popular and beautiful tourist city. It is found in Kabarole District, Western Uganda. Fort Portal is named after Sir Gerald Herbert Portal, the British Consul General of Zanzibar. He visited Uganda in the 1980s and it was during his visit that Uganda was officially declared the British Protectorate.
Geographically, Fort Portal lies in an area where tourists can connect to premier destinations such as Kibale National Park, Semuliki National Park/Reserve and Queen Elizabeth National Park. This makes it ideal spot to start your journey to enjoy chimpanzee trekking, big game safari or even if you want to go mountaineering in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park.
For cultural enthusiasts, Fort Portal is home to the King of Tooro. The palace is set right in the city and within minutes, you can be there to explore the unique traditions, and cultures of the Batooro people. With plenty awaiting you to explore and experience, here are the best 5 alternative things to do in Fort Portal on your next trip to Uganda;
Within just half an hour’s drive from Fort Portal City, you can be at Kibale Forest National Park, home to 13 primate species. The 795 sq. km rich tropical forest park shelters up to 1500 chimpanzees, the closest relatives to humans. Chimpanzee tracking is one unforgettable primate adventure you should expect to engage in on your next road trip in Uganda.
This primate adventure is done twice a day –with the first phase often conducted in the morning and the second one beginning in the afternoon. Chimpanzees have over 98% of their DNA similar to humans, and trekking through the lush Kibale Forest and finally coming across their community is a lifetime opportunity to explore their daily behaviors, watch them play and take as many pictures as you can.
A normal Kibale chimp trek can last for 2 to 4 hours inclusive of one hour of up close and personal with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat. If you have enough time, you can opt for a full-day chimpanzee habituation experience. This involves following unhabituated chimpanzee communities as one way to make them used to human presence.
Normal chimpanzee trekking permits cost USD 200 and habituation permits are issued out at USD 250 per visitor. Booking Kibale chimpanzee permits and safaris is easier with a local tour operator.
Tour the spectacular Crater Lakes
Fort Portal lies in an area impacted by volcanic activity, and without a doubt, it is one place to find the most scenic Crater Lakes. The breathtaking landscape of Fort Portal features scenic Crater Lakes and about 50 of them all surround this charming city. The nearby Craters can be reached on walking safaris and you can drive up to where they are found. The notable Crater Lakes to explore around Fort Portal include Ndali-Kasenda and Kyaninga Crater Lakes.
Go explore Amabere Caves
With an experienced local guide, you can head off to Amabere G’Nyina Mwiru (Amabere Caves). The caves take their name as Amabere G’Nyina Mwiru which means breasts of Nyinamwiru, the daughter of King Bukuku. The cave expedition provides a deep insight into Batooro cultures and history.
Visit Tooro Palace –explore Batooro cultures & traditions
If you love cultural tours, then one place to visit on the Uganda tour should be Fort Portal. This is where the Tooro Kingdom/Palace sits. You get a chance to explore the amazing traditions, cultures, norms, and lifestyles of the Batooro people. The Tooro Palace lies right on a hill, and it is where King Oyo Nyimba Kamba Iguru Rukidi Mpuga 11 lives.
Visit the tea farms
Fort Portal is a lush city, and the best place in Uganda to enjoy farm tours. Visit one of the extensive tea farms around the city; get to know the process of tea farming from the very first stage of planting till the tea is ready for consumption.