Destination Of The Week, Fort Portal; Uganda
The best word to describe Fort Portal is quaint, a pretty little town surrounded with hills on your way to Kasese, Bundibugyo and Mbarara. With a 3 and a half hour ride from Kampala when using a personal vehicle and a little longer when using public transportation, it has become a traveller’s destination for the weekend.
The town is located in Western Uganda with a beautiful view of the Rwenzori mountains and also serves as the official headquarters of Kabarole district.
Fort Portal derives its name from the late Sir Gerald Portal, a British officer during the colonial era of East Africa.
When you are driving to Fort Portal as the rest of the drive through the Ugandan country side, you will be amazed by the lush green beauty that you encounter the further you leave the city behind. You will constantly be amazed at what you see across the sprawling hills filled with forests and farmland plus occasional homesteads every after a distance.
The town has a cool feel to it, a lazy sleepy town feel that will make you relax when you get there. Everything in Fort portal moves at a simple graceful pace, the city has meticulous boulevards running through the centre with clean roads and curbs. You will find a number of Restaurants and hotels along the streets with banks and stores through the town.
With a population of about 50,000 people, Fort portal is a very lively little town whose beauty is not just limited to the people but spreads beyond to the sights and wonders like the Amabeere ga Nyinamwiru caves stalagmites and stalactites that are believed to be the breasts of the Tooro Princess Nyinamwiru. You can go through the Tooro Botanical Gardens to look at the beautiful farming projects done by the people and get a bird watching tour while at it. After that, there is a chance to go look through the Karambi Royal Tombs which are a few kilometers south of the town and learn a few things about the Royals that lived in Fort Portals in the years past.
To cap it off, visit the Tooro Kingdom Royal Palace that sits on a hill watching over the town like a mother, it stands stoically representing generations of Royalty that are still going on years. The current Omukama, Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV is also in the Guinness book of records for being the youngest ruling monarch who ascended to the throne in 1995 at the age of three when his Father the late Omukama Patrick David Mathew Kaboyo Olimi III died.
Fort Portal is a very relaxing town and after all the sightseeing, you can drop by hotels like Mountains of the Moon and Reinah for a necessary TLC with spas that will take away all the tension that your body has been holding in. You will also get to enjoy the delicious cuisines as you take in the beautiful scenery around you and on your way out of town, pass by the Kyaninga crater and save the best for last.
The Splendid Longonot – Mt Longonot National Park
A rewarding view of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Naivasha meets you at the top as is a virgin forest of small trees covering the crater, with steam vents spaced around the walls. Longonot is home to Buffaloes, Gazelles, the Impala and giraffes with rare sighting of leopards.
Funny Encounters at Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East has got to be one of those Parks I walk into and; baboons & warthogs look at me like we’ve met before.