Fort Portal lies in the northern foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, 300km west of Kampala and 50km north of Kasese town in western Uganda. Fort Portal town is one of the most attractive towns in Uganda and has several landmarks like hotels, banks, restaurants, golf course and many more. It is the only town in Uganda with an English name “Fort Portal”, and the town was named after the British Consul General of Zanzibar, Sir Gerald Portal, who came in Uganda in 1890s to formalize British protectorate ship over Uganda. Fort Portal town is the seat of both Kabarole district and Toro Palace, built in the 1960s.
Attractions & Activities in Fort Portal include;
The beautiful Toro Palace: The palace lies on the hill above the town. It was restored by Libyan government following the rooting and destructions in 1960s, when Kingdoms where abolished in Uganda by Obote government.
Sir Gerald Portal statue which lies at the main road of the town
Karambi Tombs: The Karambi Tombs are the burial grounds of Omukama Kasagama & Rukidi III. They are located 5km out of the town on the Kasese Road
Fort Portal town is the gateway to the Rwenzori Mountains which are viewed from most corners of the town. Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, Semliki Valley National Park lie are few hours drive away from the town centre. Excursions to these parks can be arranged by Kabarole Tours, a local tour operator based in Fort Portal.
Tours to crater lakes, caves (Amabere Caves) & waterfalls around Fort Portal town. These can be arranged by several tour operators.
Toro golf course & Toro Botanical Gardens
Fort Portal town has branches for most banks in Kampala, like Crane Bank, Barclays Bank, Equity Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, Post Bank Uganda, Stanbic Bank, United Bank for Africa and Bank of Uganda. Micro finance banks also operate in this amazing town, these include; Pride Microfinance Ltd & Uganda Finance Trust Ltd. Barclays & Stanbic banks provide foreign exchange services. ATMs operate 24hours.
Restaurants & Bars:
Fort Portal Town has got several restaurants which serve decent meals. Which include: Rwenzori Travelers Inn, Don’s Plaza, Pierre’s Pizzeria, Momo Tea Room, Mesh’s Bar & Glue Pot Bar.
The town has got several shopping points scattered along the main road. The most popular is Andrew’s supermarket which stocks a wide range of local & imported food & drinks. Local handicrafts and souvenirs shops are also located along the Fort-Portal – Kampala Road.
Heartbeat disco (Rumandika Road) & Club Ecstasy (Bwamba Road) are the only two night clubs in Fort Portal.
Minibus taxis and buses run the four hours drive from Kampala to Fort Portal daily. The Post Bus leaves Kampala from the main post office at 0800, daily except on Sundays. Other bus companies like Kalita Coach Ltd, Link Coaches Ltd also operate this route. For details read buses in Uganda section on Guide2Uganda website. Minibuses-taxis heading to Fort Portal stage at the new Kampala Taxi Park. Fort Portal town is also accessible via Mbarara- Kasese route and via Hoima from Masindi town.
Fort Portal has got several accommodation options for everyone. These include;
- Kyaninga Lodge,
- Mountains of the Moon Hotel,
- Mitandi Mountains Huts,
- Rwenzori View Guesthouse,
- Ndali Lodge,
- Sunrise Hotel & Apartment,
- Rwenzori Travelers Rest Inn,
- Rujuna Hilltop Guesthouse,
- Kluges Guest Farm,
- Nyinabulitwa Country Resort,
- Fort Motel,
- Crater Valley Resort,
- Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse
- Backpacker Hostel,
- Tinka’s Homestead,
- Lake Nkuruba Camp,
- Kitojo Tourist Hotel,
- Ataco Country Resort,
- Hotel Soka Ltd,
- Lake Kifuruka Campsite