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Know Your City Series | Discover Fort Portal

Tooro Kingdom Palace (Photo by Kabarole Tours)

Just before Covid in 2019, the Uganda Government elevated 7 municipalities to city status which include; Arua in the West Nile region near the DR Congo and South Sudan borders, Gulu located in the Central North, Mbale and Jinja located in the east, Mbarara in the Midwest, Fort Portal in the west and Masaka in central region.

Fort Portal at a Glance:

Created as a barracks for British soldiers by Gerald Portal in 1859, the area ultimately came to be known as Fort Portal. It happens to be the only town with an English name in Uganda. Fort Portal, which was granted a municipality status in 1976, is marking 41 years.

√ Location:

Fort Portal City (Courtesy Photo)

Located in the Western Region of the country, Fort Portal is a designated “Tourism city of Uganda” and the official seat of both Kabarole District and the Toro Kingdom

Fort Portal is about 180 kilometres (110 mi), north-west of Mbarara, the largest city in the Western Region. This is roughly 297 kilometres (185 mi) by road, west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city, on an all-tarmac two-lane highway.

√ Population:

Figures from the 2002 national census put the population of Fort Portal at about 41,000. In 2010, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) projected the population to be 46,300. In 2011, UBOS estimated the population at 47,100 and in August 2014, the national population census put the population at 54,275.

√ Weather:

The average temperature in Fort Portal is warm and overcast. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 58°F to 81°F and is rarely below 56°F or above 87°F.

√ Language:

Case in point, people around Mbarara speak Runyankore and people from Fort Portal in Tooro Kingdom speak Rutooro, but in the area between those towns, there are villages where most of the people speak a dialect that is best characterized as intermediate between Runyankore and Rutooro.

English and Luganda are also used, like everywhere in Uganda.

√ Notable Personalities:

1. Beenie Gunter – Dancehall artist

Courtesy Photo

2. Juliana Kanyomozi – Singer

Courtesy Photo

3. Andrew Mwenda – Journalist

Courtesy Photo

4. Edward Rugumayo – Politician, diplomat, author, academic and environmentalist.

Courtesy Photo

5. Kayanja Muhanga – High ranking officer in the UPDF.

Courtesy Photo

√ Culture:

Fort portal is found in southwestern Uganda in Kabarole district. On your Cultural tour of Fort portal town you will find the district headquarters of Kabarole district, where the magnificent Tooro kingdom palace if found.

√ Top attractions to explore in Fort Portal:

1. Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary

2. Semuliki National Park

3. Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve

4. Amabere Caves

5. Tooro Botanical Gardens

√ Top Things To Do in Fort Portal:

1.      Fort Portal City Tour:

This town, now City is a bird lover’s heaven – with species, many of which you have never seen and can only see in this area.

3.      Amazing wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Get ready for an early start when you drive escorted by the Ugandan sunrise towards Queen Elizabeth National Park.

4.      Visit all the crater lakes

One of the many Crater Lakes in Fort Portal (Courtesy Photo)

Well, that might take you a bit longer than a week, as Fort Portal is bounded by over 50 crater lakes, some of which are hard to reach.

5.      Hike in the Rwenzoris

Rwenzori Mountain Hiking (Courtesy Photo)

After spending some days looking at the mountain range in the background of Fort Portal you might feel the urge to actually hike them.

6.      Look out for the Primates

Courtesy Photo

Just outside of the City, the well-known Kibale Forest National Park has its roots. Go on a short walk through the deep green forest and see how Chimpanzees live.

7.      Look for forest elephants on a nature walk.

Forest Elephants (Courtesy Photo)

Forest elephants are not used to humans and go into full attack mode if you cross their path, and yet one cannot stop wishing to find them anyway.

√ Transport:

The distance between Kampala and Fort Portal is 260 kilometers. This air travel distance is equal to 162 miles.  296 Km – Distance from Kampala to Fort Portal via Mityana, Mubende – Fort Portal Road

√ Where to Stay:

There are over 10 top Hotels, with prices ranging from $16 to $53. See for yourself. Search for Hotels and price deals below:

There you have it – Is there anything else that we left out? Please let us know in the comments section below, or reach out to us on WhatsApp (0772987442) or on email.

Know Your City Series | Discover Mbale

Additional Information:

1. Wikipedia

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