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Top 10 Best Things To Do In Fort Portal
Here are the top 10 best things to do in fort portal and they include, Nature walks, Game drives, Chimpanzee tracking, Boat cruise, Mountain climbing, Birdwatching, Cultural tours, Sport fishing ,City tours, Bike tours, viewing Nyakasura falls, visiting the hot water springs
Fort portal is a city located in western Uganda. It was named after Sir Gerald Portal a British colonial official in 1900 hence the name Fort portal the city is surrounded with rolling hills and mountains, crater lakes, waterfalls, and forests. Fort portal is also known as a tourism city after its elevation in 2019 from the status of municipality into a tourism city due to its popular attractions and its strategic location to the natural physical features.
Fort portal is a destination with plenty of natural beauty, culture, accommodation facilities, accessible road networks, rolling mountains among others.
1. Game Drives
Game drives are among the top 10 best things to do in fort portal, being a tourism city, Fort Portal is located to the heart of major tourist attractions that includes the most visited and most common national parks in Uganda and they include;
- Queen Elizabeth National Park undoubtedly the second largest national park in Uganda is one of the top most common national parks with 4 of the big 5 in Africa and the large numbers of wildlife species such as hippos, crocodiles, elephants, waterbucks, antelopes, warthogs among others that will probably make your game drive enjoyful. The park is also a home to numerous bird species like the Goliath heron, Little egret, hamercop, intermediate egret among others.
- Kibale National Park located in the southwestern part of Uganda is a tropical rainforest with various wild animal species attracting a good number of tourists from different parts of the country. Wildlife species in Kibale National Park includes, chimpanzees, monkeys, elephants, lions among others, some of the birds includes the black-bee eater, Little greenbul, western nicator.
- Semuliki National Park is located in the south eastern part of mountain Rwenzori and its a home to 53 mammal species and over 442 species of birds.The park is located on Uganda’s boarder with the Democratic Republic of Congo. However the park is also a home to many wild animals which includes crocodile, warthogs, waterbucks, elephants, and the Uganda kob.
2. Nature walk in Fort Portal
Nature walks in Fort Portal is one of the top 10 best activities done in Fort Portal, the natural physical features in the area will attract you to move on your foot while viewing them at clear points of view. The fascinating view of the beautiful sceneries in the city is also another reason for you to have nature walk on your itinerary.
- Tooro Palace is among the beautiful sceneries in Fort Portal that you should never miss out to consider during your visit to Fort Portal. At this point, nature walk is the best activity to consider while viewing the palace for you to see the vast historical feature of the palace including the royal tombs.
- Crater lakes are among the major tourist attractions in Fort portal. There are numerous crater lakes in Fort Portal and they can also be reached out through nature walks. These include lake Kanyango, lake Musitu, lake Lugembe among others. These lakes are located in basins and can be easily viewed during nature walks.
- Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale forest national park, Fort Portal is just adjuscent to Kibale Forest Park. The park is a home to chimpanzees, the number of chimpanzees in the park ranges from 1,500 and there are high chances of seeing the most playful and intelligent gorillas.
- Tooro botanical gardens, the gardens were setup to promote sustainable farming as well as preserving numerous tree species that were threatened by extinction. they were also to serve as science research areas, educational trips, tourism destinations, nature walks butterfly breeding, bird watching sites and nature walks. The garden is populated with numerous plant species such as indigenous trees, flowers and herbal medicine trees, the only way to view flora is by nature walk with guidance from the tour guide.
3. Cultural activities.
- Karambi Royal Tombs, these are barrial ground where all Tooro’s kings and the royal family members were laid to rest. The Karambi tombs are located in the south of Fort portal town. In the Karambi royal tombs we can also find the royal or traditional tools like drums, spears, royal regalia among other tools that were used by different kings during there regimes. The tombs are among the most treasured cultural sites in the Tooro kingdom which attracts a good number of vacationists in the city to learn more about Tooro’s culture.
- Amabere caves sometimes called Amabere ga Nyina Mwiru is a well known cultural heritage site in Fort portal that was believed to come into existence after King Bukuku of Banyoro heard a prophecy that his daughter would give birth to a son that who could kill him and take over the throne. He chopped off his daughter’s breasts Nyina mwiru and commanded to be thrown inside the caves thinking that his daughter would not be admired by any man not knowing that his daughter was already carrying a baby boy in her womb. When she gave birth, the news landed to the ears of his father and he also commanded the child to be killed, however they disregarded the command and threw the baby in the same caves where his mother’s breasts had been thrown.
- Tooro Palace, locally known as Karuzika palace is located on a hill in the center of Fort portal town it was established in 1822 and renovated by General Gaddafi in 2001 after his visit to the palace. Visiting Tooro kingdom you will learn about the finding of Tooro kingdom and its founders, you will learn about the different kings or rulers of the Kingdom, the ancestry of all subsequence monarchs among others.
Fort portal is a bird watching paradise with numerous birding sites of different bird species. There are many places to stay in Fort portal from where tourists can see these birds even without moving from one area to another. However there are sites for Birding in Fort portal and they include;
- Bigodi Wetlands sanctuary is a good spotting area for birds. it is also a home to over 138 species of birds including the great blue turaco and the rare papyrus gonolek.
- Semuliki National Park is one of the prominent bird watching sites in Fort portal with over 460 bird species from numerous habitats some of the birds include chestnut-flanked goshawk, robin cat, Toro olive greenbul, long tailed hawk among others
- Tooro botanical gardens, Birds in the Tooro botanical gardens stands about 170 species and they include, black-faced rufous warbler, willow and reed, scaly francolin, ludher’s bush, shrike among others.
- Kibale National Park with over 350 bird species 4 of which has not been spoted in any other national parks.
Below are some of the birds found in Kibale National Park.
- The blue-breasted kingfisher
Is a tree kingfisher populated across Equatorial Africa. The kingfisher retreats from the dry savanna areas to wet habitats during dry season. It is a large bird of about 25 cm in length. A fully grown Kingfisher has a wing panel, tail and a bright blue head.
- The little greenbul
is a specie from the passerine birds of the bulbul family . you can find it in several parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
- The black-capped apalis
- The black bee-eater,
- The blue-headed sunbird
- The blue-throated roller
- Van Someren’s canary,
5. Boat Cruising
- Kazinga Channel is a fresh water channel that links Lake Edward to Lake George. Boat cruising through this channel on both the two lakes will expose you to various wildlife species such as crocodiles, hippos, Elephants, Buffalos among others while cruising. There are also many more aquatic birds found on this channel including the African Fish Eagle, the African skimmer, and the yellow-billed stork, African finfoot, the blue-headed bee-eater, the martial eagle and the white tailed lark.
6. Mountain Climbing or Mountaineering
Mountain climbing is one of the best things to do in Fort portal. Being located in a crater lake district, Fort portal is surrounded by lush green rolling hills that will be suitable for your climbing experience. You will be impressed by landscapes, 50 crater lakes, hills populated with green vegetations and the well known Nyinambuga lake. Prominent mountain for climbing in Fort portal is mountain Rwenzori
Mountain Rwenzori also known as mountains of the moon is the third highest mountain in Africa after mountain Kilimanjaro and mountain Kenya. it is one of the mountains good for mountaineering or climbing activities on your Fort Portal trip. Mountain Rwenzori is one of the challenging and tricky mountains to climb in the world and hence climbing it is one of the adventurous activities done.
climbing mountain Rwenzori will take you only 9 to 10 days to reach to the top. The mountain is also believed to be one of the sources of water for the great river Nile. While climbing you will be able to spot various species of wildlife among which includes mammals, birds, lakes and rivers, waterfalls, primates, lions, elephants, buffalos, hippos among others.
7. City tour in Fort portal.
City tour is one of the 10 best things to do in fort portal. Being a welcoming and vibrant city for tourism and Center for Tooro kingdom, Fort portal has developed in both economic and social aspects. With the self contained Fort portal hotels, many tourists from different parts of the world have found it interesting to visit the city.
8. Chimpanzee trekking.
There are three major chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda and they include Kibale Forest National Park, Murchison falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kibale Forest National Park in Fort Portal is one amongst all with the largest population densities, sightseeing and trekking of chimpanzees.
9. Bike tours
Bike tours are among the 10 best things to do in Fort portal. Bike tours are always conducted from points like lodges in Fort portal to tourist destinations and then back to the lodges after touring. They may also camp in different area from where they will start off the next day. Riding is done in groups from one destination to another viewing wildlife in close range as well as having peaceful interaction with the locals.
Bike tours in Fort portal takes place by trekking Rwenzori mountains, Crater lakes, bike tours, great trekking chimpanzee’s at Kibale National Park, Isungu cultural community tours among others. You will be able to touch and feel some attractions such as harmless wild animals, plants, cultural items like spears and drums among others.
10. Sport fishing
Sport fishing is one of the 10 best things to do in Fort portal. Regardless of the numerous crater lakes being amongst the major attractions in Fort portal, they are also destinations for various tourism activities like sport fishing done by a good number of vacationists on there tours in Fort portal. some of the crater lakes in Fort portal include, Nyinambuga, kayambura among others.
11. Viewing Nyakasura falls
Nyakasura is a beautiful natural waterfall that causes freshing waterfalls and cool misty with humidity atmosphere located adjuscent to Amabere ga nyina mwiru. The waterfall is one of the main attractions in fort portal. A good number of tourists Visit Amabere ga nyina mwiru and the crater lakes because of the waterfall located nearly to the caves.
12. The hot springs in Fort portal
Hot water spring is one of the 10 best things to do in Fort portal. Hot water springs in Fort portal are mainly known as Sempaya hot water spring are found in two places mainly the male and the female hot springs in Semuliki National Park. The male is locally known as Biteete whereas the female is known as Nyansimbi. The two water springs differ in characteristics. The female water spring is the most visited due to its sparkling water that makes it more attractive. The water in these water springs is very hot with over 100 degrees Celsius.
Fort portal is a conducive city to choose for your purposeful visit. Being the center for various attractions, The city is surrounded with numerous tourist attractions that you would need to perfect your purpose of Travel.
Accommodation facilities in Fort Portal
Incase you visit Fort portal for a good number of day, You should not be stressed with accommodation issues asking yourself how, when, where. You should feel at home because the city has a variety of accommodation facilities including the luxury, midrange and budget that you will chose by yourself depending on your desire and the services you would need to be offered.
Luxury hotels, Here you will live like a King, Fort portal is among the cities in Uganda with the best luxury hotels where a client receives more than he expects. You will be offered all the services such as 24/7 room service, concierge, a pickup and drop-off shuttle/car service gym and pool facilities, a 24 hours bar among others.
Among the luxury hotels in Fort portal includes;
- Boulevard Excelsior Motel
- Reinah Tourist Hotel Fort Portal
- Fort Motel
Midrange hotels, For people who value there money and need more bigger room, more services plus other related amenities. You will find these hotels in the center of the city Fort portal which include;
- Fort Breeze Hotel
- New Fort View Hotel
- Duchess Hotel and Restaurant
Budget hotels in Fort portal provides minimum amenities and services at a lower prices than regular hotels in the area. You will get clean and safe rooms that will meet all your needs. The cost will increase depending on the services you need to be offered. Some of the Budget hotels in Fort portal include;
- Lake Nyamiririma Cottage
- Yes Hostel
- Kalitusi Nature Resort
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is fort portal known for?
Fort portal is known for being a center to Tooro Kingdom, a welcoming and vibrant city as well as well as being a gateway to Uganda’s adventures. Fort portal is also a city in Uganda with an English name built in 1960s by a British chancellor Sir Gerald Portal who came to Uganda in 1890s.
- Is Fort portal worth visiting?
Fort Portal is worth visiting due to its stunning tourist attractions such as crater lakes, Amabere caves, Tooro palace, mountains and waterfalls including the neighboring Kibale Forest National Park famous for chimpanzee tracking.
- How many crater lakes are in fort portal?
Fort portal has 50 crater lakes of different size and character. Activities like nature, swimming, cycling and birdwatching since they have over 300bird species found on the shores and some primates like the monkeys.