Fort Portal lies in the northern foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, 300km west of Kampala and 50km north of Kasese town in western Uganda.
The estimated population of Fort Portal in 2011 was approximately 47,100, according to UBOS.
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 to 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
- The beautiful Toro Palace. The palace lies on the hill above the town. It was restored by the Libyan government following the destructions in 1960s, when Kingdoms where abolished in Uganda by the Obote government.
- Sir Gerald Portal’s statue 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 are few hours drive away from the town centre. Kabarole Tours can arrange excursions to these parks, a local tour operator based in Fort Portal.
- Tours to crater lakes, caves (Amabere Caves) & waterfalls around Fort Portal town. Kabarole Tours can arrange these.
- Toro golf course & Toro Botanical Gardens
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 souvenir shops are also located along the Fort-Portal – Kampala Road.
Take the Kampala Mbarara road, which was tarmacked in 2007 and is in excellent 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 with petrol and buy food and drink.
There are two options to consider when getting to Fort Portal:
- Private Hire
- Via one of the big bus companies (see OTB page), as Uganda Post Bus no longer travels to Fort Portal from Kampala.
As there isn’t much traffic in Fort Portal it’s fairly 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 kilometres. Otherwise you can also take a private hire (taxi), which you can find on the corner of the roundabout found at the centre of Fort Portal leading on to the Bundibugyo Road.