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Fort Portal

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Fort Portal a town in Western Uganda.

Get in[edit]

Take the Kampala Mbarara road which was tarmaced in 2007 and is in excelent condition. Fort Portal is 311 kilometres (193 mi) by road from Kampala and takes about 4 hours to arrive. Mubende is found about half way between Kampala and Fort Portal, here you can fill up on petrol and buy food and drink. The Uganda Post also runs a very reliable daily bus to Fort Portal which departs from Kampala at 7:30 am, and costs 18 000 UGX (as of July 2012) per person.


Get around[edit]

As there isn't much traffic in Fort Portal it's safe to take the Boda boda's which you will find at just about every corner in Fort Portal. For 1000 ugx (30 euro cents) You can travel about 2 - 3 kilometers.

Otherwise you can also take a private hire (taxi) which you can find on the corner of the rounderbout found at the centre of Fort Portal leadning on to the bundibugyo road.

See[edit][add listing]

Fort Portal on the edge of Uganda’s equatorial rainforest. is an enchanting land full of lakes, grasslands, marshes and forests on the lower slopes of the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda.

There are many wonderful lodges within Kibale forest where you can spend a night or two in a tree house experiencing the sounds of the forests inhabitants including 8 species of monkey, chimpanzees, the forst elephant, bush pig, giant forest hog and much more.


Do[edit][add listing]

Visit Queen Elizabeth National Park [1] which is less than an hours drive from Fort Portal on the way to Mbarara. The wide bio-diversity of habitats means that Queen Elizabeth National Park contains the most astonishing number of species - almost 100 types of mammal and 606 different birds! The Kasinga Channel alone is said to contain the world's largest concentration of hippos, but interestingly enough not many crocodiles! Other wildlife includes warthogs, buffalo, rare aquatic sitatunga antelope, giant forest hog, beautifully horned Uganda kob, topi, waterbuck, elephant and leopard.

This is a wonderful national park, sometimes dubbed 'the Pearl of Africa or Switzerland of Africa'. Quite simply this fertile equatorial area is especially scenic, with two lakes connected by a channel overlooked by a high peninsula. You will also find volcanic craters, grassy plains and tropical forest. As a result it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings in the world. Hunting exhibits such as stuffed lions, leopard skins, deer heads and elephants tusks may still be found adorning some hotels and lodges, but the emphasis is certainly more on shooting with a camera these days. Much of Uganda Safaris were poached out in the past, especially elephants, but now the area is protected and elephants numbers are boosted by those entering the park from the Congo, where poaching is still a problem.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Fort Portal is Famous for its tea. This area is gifted by nature with a cool climate which ensures a relatively slow plant growth rate This naturally makes the tea a high grown, high quality tea.

The consumption of this tea is associated with many health benefits. These include anti-allergy, anti-oxidation, anti-hypertension, anti-viral, anti-obese, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, enzyme inhibition and many other human health problems. You can buy the tea in any local shop or even better visit one of Fort Portal's tea plantations/

Eat[edit][add listing]

For international food Dutchess is the best place. Home made bread, burgers, pizza, fresh juices, smoothies, real coffee. Price for sandwiches from 7.000 Ush to 19.000 for a maincourse (february 2013). Restaurant is signposted 300 meters from Stanbic (town centre).

The Gardens restaurant just oposite the Shell Petrol station on the main road leading to the town centre. For 9000 UGX (as of April 2011) there's an all you can eat local food buffet, or you can order from the menu for those who prefer western food like burger and chips!

Note that rising prices of commodities in Uganda have caused most restaurants to raise their prices. These are still cheap by western standards, but definitely more expensive than is stated in past references.

There are many local restaurants in Fort Portal. The staff at any of them is friendly and the food relatively good, and you can usually get a large meal for 2000 to 3000 UGX (April 2011). Better portions than Kampala for half the price!

Drink[edit][add listing]

The many varieties of tea, fresh fuit juices including pineapple, passion fruit and mango. And for the less health conscience Uganda have some excelent beers, Nile, Bell, and Pilsner to name just a few.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

A great stop along the way to Fort Portal is Miryante Orphans Home and Guest House, where you can spend a few days volunteering with the children, and enjoying really 'getting away from it all' in a remote and natural location:

  • Miryante Orphans Home and Guest House, Kakabara, Fort Portal Highway, Uganda, +256 779 928 039, [2]. Miryante is a locally run children's home, vocational school and working farm on the road from Kampala to Fort Portal. They offer accommodation in a small, simple guest cottage on site, as well as opportunities to volunteer with the orphanage, school and farm. The guest cottage has two self-contained double rooms, living room, kitchen, dining and a study, and overlooks a small local church on the site. Rates are negotiable for longer stay guests. UGS 35,000.  edit

The newest guesthouse and restaurant in town is Dutchess. It is 300 meters from Stanbic bank roundabout. It is a lovely quiet place, but in the centre of the city. Rooms are luxury. Food is excellent. They serve pizza, burgers, cappuccino and ice-cream. A double for $60 and a single for $25. Look for more information Dutchess website

Mountain of the Moons Hotel [3] is situated in Boma. Many tourists use this hotel as a stop over on the way to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

There is accommodation everywhere in Fort Portal town. If your interest is not being as close as possible to the national parks, you can just head to Fort Portal and find a place that suits you upon arrival. The Wooden Lodge is close to the drop off point of the Post Bus and is run by a wonderful woman who goes out of her way to do nice things for her visitors. A single room is 16 000 UGX and has a big enough bed for two people, and a double room has either one huge bed or two single beds and is 21 000 UGX per night. All rooms are self contained, but you'll have to check out the bathrooms and decide if you're all right with them. If you're a traveler, you probably will be! You might want to bring your own mosquito net, though the windows have wire meshing.

Get out[edit]

There is a plethora of night clubs in the centre of Fort Portal including Africana, the newly refurbished Forest bar and the less newly refurbished club ecstasy.

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