+256-706-124-498 travel@smiletoursafrica.com
+256-706-124-498 travel@smiletoursafrica.com

1 DAY FORT PORTAL TOUR

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Long Hours
Availability : Jan 16’ - Dec 16’
Entebbe International Airport
Entebbe International Airport
Min Age : 12+
Max People : 40
Tour Details

Fort Portal was founded in 1893 at the Rwenzori Mountain Ranges in western Uganda. The town is named after the British Special Commissioner for Uganda Sir, Gerald Portal Fort Portal. This is the administrative center for both the Kabarole district local Government and the Tooro Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth, Kibale, and Semuliki National Parks are all not far from the town.  

Highlights 

  • Tooro Kingdom Palace Tour 
  • Amabeere Caves Tour 
  • Nyakasura Hills Hike
  • Tooro Botanical Gardens 

Departure & Return Location

Entebbe International Airport (Google Map)

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Park Fees
  • All activities (unless labeled as optional)
  • Accommodation in preferred lodge/hotel
  • Services of a professional Tour guide-driver
  • Melas (as specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinking water
  • Roundtrip Airport Transfers
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Transport in a 4WD safari vehicle with a pop-up roof
  • All fuel for the tour

Price Excludes

  • • Gorilla Tracking permits
  • • Chimp Tracking Permits
  • • International Flights
  • • Visas
  • • Travel Insurance
  • • Tips
  • • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • • Personal purchases (souvenirs, drinks, laundry, optional activities, tips, etc)
  • • Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees

Complementaries

  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees
Itinerary

This is a suggested itinerary but can be customized to meet your interests. Our first stopover will be at The Amabere Caves, also known as the Nyakasura Caves given their location at Nyakasura Falls, which are located some five miles from Fort Portal on the Bundibugyo Road. Not really caves, more a large overhang, the name Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru translates as “Breasts of Nyinamwiru” with Nyinamwiru being the daughter of a local usurper king who reportedly had her breasts cut off to make her less attractive to men. This rather drastic plan failed and the king, Bukuku of Toro then hid her in the cave. 

The Amabere Caves and Nyamiska Waterfalls is some of the most popular trails. The Guided nature hikes can take place at any time of day, but earlier is better to avoid the hot daytime sun. Make sure that you have plenty of water, good shoes, insect repellent, sunscreen, and long trousers. 

Next, we visit the Empaako Monument in town. Empaako is a naming system practiced by the Batooro, Banyoro, Batuku, Batagwenda, and Banyabindi, whereby children are given one of twelve names shared across the communities in addition to their given and family names. Addressing a person by her or his Empaako name is a positive affirmation of social ties. It can be used as a greeting or a declaration of affection, respect, honor, or love.

Tooro Palace is located on a Karuzika hill, overlooking Fort Portal town. The palace was built in 1963, but the circular structure fell into ruin and was refurbished to its former glory with money sent by General Gaddafi in 2001 after he visited the palace. 

The Tooro Botanical Gardens were established in 2001 to help conserve at-risk trees and plant life in western Uganda. Today, the garden sprawls over 100 acres and is an important site for conservation, scientific research and education. Nature walks with knowledgeable guides are a fantastic way to learn about Uganda’s indigenous flora. There are many trails to choose from, including tree nurseries, butterfly breeding grounds, and stone gardens. The gardens are a birdwatcher’s haven, and several bird species have made their home here, so be sure to pack your binoculars. 

Karambi Royal Tombs, 4km south of town, make for a peaceful excursion. This is the burial ground for Tooro Kingdom royal family members including the past Kings. The Kingdom was established in the 19th century when Prince Kaboyo, son of Bunyoro`s King Kyebambe rebelled against his father.

Other excursions: 

The Agro-tourism experience here in the Tea and vanilla plantations is all about learning about the tea production process from planting, harvesting, and drying of the tea leaves. The vanilla plantations at Ndali is also a great experience. Learn how each plant is hand pollinated. Learn about vanillin extraction and taste your own vanilla ice cream. 

Kibale National park is situated just 30 minutes away from town. There are approximately 1,500 chimpanzees here. The tracking excursions depart twice a day at 08:00 and 14:00. The morning excursions are likely busier since several itineraries combine it with an afternoon visit to the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary.

Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is just one hour away from Fort Portal, near Kibale Forest. This is a great spot for birders, and those interested in primates. Make your way through the swamp on wooden walkways, spotting all the birds and animals you may have missed earlier in the day while your full attention was (understandably) on the chimps. 

Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve is an hour’s drive from Fort Portal. The reserve is home to many animals, including elephants, buffalo, waterbuck, crocodile, warthog, and Uganda kob. Also watch for pygmy hippo, leopards, and bush babies. Semliki Safari Lodge runs boat cruises on Lake Albert to see the elusive and critically endangered shoebill stork. Chimpanzee walks are also popular here. These chimps are less habituated than those in the  Kibale ForestBudongo Forest, or Kyambura Forest. However, it is still a brilliant opportunity to view and learn about these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat. 

Sempaya Hot springs are located in Semuliki National Park about 70km from Fort Portal. The name Sempaya comes from the Swahili word, “Sehemu Mbaya”. This came about as a result of the difficulty in penetrating the rocks during the construction of the Fort-Bundibugyo road. There are two springs; male (Biteete) and female (Nyansimbi). The latter has sparkling waters that it gushes out 2 meters high. 

Hike the Rwenzori Mountains. The Rwenzoris lie in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The equatorial snow peaks include the third highest point in Africa, Margherita Peak. The rewards and exhilaration of reaching the top are enormous as you look across Albert Peak to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) then east across the Rwenzori Mountains. The mountains are just 55km from Fort Town.

Crater Lakes Hike. Fort Portal is situated in the Crater Lake District and is surrounded by lush green rolling hills which are fantastic for hiking. Some of the lakes here include Lake Nyabikere (closest to Fort Portal), Lake Nkuruba, Lake Nyinambuga, Lake Lyantonde, Lake Kufuruka. Most lakes are found in the Katwe Crater explosion area in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The rest are found in Kichwamba escarpment, also known as Ndali Kasenda Area. The elevation of these lakes is higher than the surrounding areas. A hike here will avail 360 views of the area code hence the nickname of Top of the World Experience. 

 Nightlife experience. If you love to party through the night or are just looking for a cool place to hang out and meet new people, Fort Portal will not disappoint you. You can spend the evening playing pool with revelers as you catch the latest sports news or take a bottle of local beer (Nile Special, Club, Bell Lager, Tusker) at one of the local bars. A Nightlife tour of the best night attractions can be arranged.

Duration: +6 hours
Meal Plan: Lunch 

Accommodation: Not included 

Photos