With views of the Rwenzori’s and a pleasant temperate climate visitors to Fort Portal come not especially to visit the town but the surrounding district. With Kibale Forest National Park, Semliki National Park, Semliki Game Reserve and the attraction of the several outstanding community tourism projects surrounding the Crater Lakes of Kabarole district there is enough to do to justify several days exploring the region.
Fort Portal-Kasese 75 km, 1,5 hrs
Fort Portal-Kampala 319 km, 3-1/2 hrs
Fort Portal-Hoima 197 km, 5 hrs
Fort Portal-Bundibuygo 61 km, 1.45 hrs
Fort Portal-Kibale Forest NP/Bigodi 35/39 km 1 hr
Fort Portal-Lake Nkuruba 25 km
Fort Portal-CVK 21 km
Fort Portal-Mbarara 288 km, 4 hrs
The direct route to Fort Portal from Kampala is along what is known as the Mityana, Mubende, Fort Portal Rd. The road is now completely tarmac along it’s entire lenght having being completed in August 2005. The journey time from Kampala to Fort Portal to just over a mere 3 hours now along this route.
Fort Portal Town centre
Coming from Kasese the road has also been completely newly tarmaced in 2007.
There are numerous matatus daily between Kasese and Fort Portal as there are between Fort Portal and Hoima. There are buses throughout the day to Kampala direct on the Mubende road and via Kasese, Mbarara. There is a Kalita Bus that runs to Kabale, departure at 06.00am traveling via Bushenyi, Ishaka and Ntumgatmo. A Kalita bus also leaves from Kabale at 03.00am bound for Fort Portal.
Those without their own transport will be concerned primarily on how to get to Kibale Forest, Bigodi and the crater lake campsites at CVK and Lake Nkuruba. There are matatus leaving Fort Portal when full proceeding to Kamwenge that pass CVK, Kibale Forest and Bigodi. Matatus to Lake Nkuruba proceed to the trading center of Rwaihamba.
If heading for Queen Elizabeth National Park use the Express Public bus to Mbarara and get off at Katunguru. This will be the easiest way of reaching the park HQ at Mweya. Please read the document on QEII NP for more information.
Kalita Executive bus company operate a direct bus from Kampala to Bundibugyo daily. The bus departs Fort Portal around 15.00hrs. The one way fare is Ushs5,000-. Get off the bus in Karugutu Trading Centre if you are proceeding to Semliki Game Reserve and Ntoroko. For those visiting Semliki National Park get off the bus at the Sempaya gate. The bus returns to Fort Portal from Bundibuygo at 07.00am.
With a boom in vistors to the town in recent years many new accommodation venues have opened up to cater for visitors heading to the west of Uganda. There are without a doubt some very high standard accommodations now available in and just outside of town whilst for those on a budget you will find you are equally well catered for.
Ataco Lodge: 8 cottages located on the Kasese Road just outside of town.
Room Rates include breakfast and Internet access for staying guests
Single Ushs70,000-, Double Ushs80,000-, Twin Ushs80,000-
Fort Motel: Tel. 0772 731307, 0712 220259, email: email@example.com. The elegant architectural style of Fort Motel is influenced by the centuary old colonial building that has now been refurbished, extended and signifcantly modernised. The hotel set in its own lovely grounds is adjacent the golf course and only a few minutes walk into Fort Portal town. The hotel is providing a high standard of accommodation which are reflected in the room rates.
Single deluxe US$90-, Double deluxe US$120-, Twin standard US$100-, Twin deluxe US$130-
Rates inclusive of continental breakfast.
Kluge’s Guest Farm: Tel. +256 (0)772 440099, (0)382 275623, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The farm is accessed from the Kasese – Fort Portal road by turning right at the Buhessi Sub County Head Quarters. The farm is 5 km from the junction. If coming from Fort Portal turn left at the Kasusu Trading Center. The farm is 11 km from the junction. Sign posts are placed strategically to guide guests to the farm. Guests without their own transport arrangements can be pick them up from Fort Portal town.
The accommodation comprises 8 spacious self contained bungalows, a VIP guest house with 2 self contained bedrooms, a lounge and a fully equipped kitchen, ideal for families all with a views onto the Rwenzori Mountains. 5 spacious furnished tents are available for comfortable camping. A camping site is also availble for self campers with running hot and cold water, toilet and shower facilities and access to electricity.
Restaurant and bar. Meals include home grown produce, fresh bread and milk from the farms cows.
Hotel Cornerstone: Plot 24 Ruhandika Street, Tel: +256 (0)483 422222, Fax: +256 (0)483 422222, email: email@example.com. This centrally located new hotel has modern facilities including spacious rooms all of which are self-contained. The hotel has a guest lounge it’s own restaurant and a popular Sports Bar. Double and twin bedded rooms. All rooms have a mini bar, high quality furniture and a private balcony with a panoramic view of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Double room Ushs80, 000-, Single Ushs55, 000-, Deluxe Twin Ushs90, 000-
Mountains of the Moon Hotel and Resort: Plot 4 Nayaika Rd. Tel. Plot 4,Nyaika Avenue, Tel. +256 (0)483 423200, (0)483 422632, Fax. (0)483 422631, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Set in nice grounds on the outskirts of town. This spacious 33 room hotel with well designed and fully appointed rooms has excellent services and modern facilities. The hotel has a swimming pool and was completely renovated during 2007 to a very high standard.
Rates from: Standard single room USD115–, Standard Deluxe double USD150-, Superior and twin rooms USD165-, Mountains of the Moon suite and Family rooms USD195-.
Palace Motel: Plot 33 Muzosi Road Fort Portal, Located 330 meters from King Oyo’s Palace. Tel. +256 (0)772 837226, +256 (0)772 6776677, email: email@example.com. Palace Motel is a comfortable transit hotel for tourists visiting the region and places further afield. Comfortable accommodation, a restaurant offering good and wholesome meals, bar services and magnificent views of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Single room US$20-, Double/Twin room US$25-.
Ruwenzori View Guest House: Lower Kakiiza Road, Plot 15, Boma.
Clean rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Restaurant with home cooking. No camping possible. Used extensively by tour operators and NGO’s. Tel: 256 (0)483 422102, Mobile: (0)772 722102, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 5 rooms and 1 family room all en-suite. All rooms are provided with hot and cold running water, shower, toilet, emergency lighting and private veranda.
Single room Ushs45,000-, Double/Twin room Ushs60,000-.
Rujuna Guest House: Tel. 0483 425077 Located 6 kms outside of the Fort Portal on the Kasese Road. This large guest house has stunning uninterupted views of the Rwenzori mountains and surrounding area.
Single room Ushs50,000-, Double room Ushs70,000-, there is a Family room also available.
Rwenzori Travellers Inn: Tel. 0483 422075, (0)774 504020, (0)712 400570, email: email@example.com. Plot 16 Kyebambe Rd. Central location on the Kasese road in Fort Portal town. Clean rooms all self-contained. Lively bar and restaurant with an International menu. Internet cafe and craft shop in the wlak through mall.
Executive Doubles: Ushs97,000-/night
Executive Twin: Ushs82,000-/night
Above room rates include breakfast.
Tooro Resort: Plot 22-25 Rwaheeru Road, Tel. +256 (0)382 275363, Mobile. 0772 671508, 0772 888900, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The venue is sign posted 4 kms out of town on the Fort Portal – Kampala highway. The resort has six self-contained cottages and five rooms in the main house, all clean, private and fitted with DSTV. Bar and restaurant with snacks menu. Safe secure parking is guaranteed. Ideal for campers with own vehicle looking to stay close to town.
Accommodation ranges in price from Ushs40,000- to Ushs50,000- per room. Rates include breakfast. Camping rates negotiable
Continental Hotel: Tel. 0772 333440, 0772 484842. Located on the Kasese Rd at the junction to Semliki National Park and close to the Andrews Supermarket. Bar and restaurant.
Doubles Ushs20,000- self-contained, Doubles/twin Ushs10,000- non self-contained
Single Ushs8,000- non self-contained.
Camp David Rest House: Tel.0772 634159, 0772 612381. Located on the Fort Portal – Bundibugyo Road 1km from town. Friendly atmosphere on Rwengoma hill over looking the Royal Palace of Toro.
Hilton Tours Inn: 0772 493328, 0772 508661. 40 rooms centrally located.
Room rates single or double Ushs35,000-
Kenneth Inn: Tel. 0772 992076. Bar and Lodge, located on Rukidi Street, opposite Centenary Bank.
Singles Ushs15,000- Non self-contained rooms
Single Ushs35,000- Self-contained
Doubles Ushs45,000- Self-contained
Pearl Inn: Located opposite Wooden hotel near Total fuel station is another Humble and basic Lodge; rooms cost Between Ushs8,000- and Ushs10,000-.
Vistours Lodge: Tel. 0772 142681, 0782 142679. This 25 room hotel is located right in the heart of the town next to the Continental Hotel. Restaurant serving snacks and African dishes. Close to facilities including the bus park and taxi parks.
Singles Ushs10,000- non self-contained, Doubles Ushs20,000- non self-contained
Doubles Ushs25,000- self-contained
Wooden Hotel: Tel. 0782 918324. 4 Kyebambe Rd. Centrally located in the upper town on the main road. Rooms located off an open courtyard where meals can be taken. Meal prices between Ushs1,000- to Ushs5,000-. DSTV is available and the bar closes at 12 midnight
Single rooms Ushs10,000-, Double/twin bed rooms Ushs15,000-, Double self-contained Ushs25,000-.
Rates include breakfast
Yes Hostel: Tel 0772 780350, email email@example.com www.ugandaforhim.com/yeshostelprogram.html. Located next door to Rwenzori View Guest House on Kikiza Road. The hostel is a 15 minute walk into town, is set in a large grassed compound where you could also camp should you choose and have equipment. Secure parking for those with their own vehicles. There is a communal kitchen for visitors to use and a large dining/sitting area. The hostel is a run by a christian organisation Youth Encouragement Services that is helping AIDS and other orphans in the Fort Portal with education, medical and their basic needs. Money from your bed night stay is going to a very good cause. Cold water showers and very clean toilets.
All accommodation in dormitories, but there are also a couple of private rooms
Dorm bed Ushs7,000-
Privte room Ushs15,000-
Accommodations Kibale Forest and Crater Lakes Region
Alternative accommodations in the region are listed on both the Kibale Forest and Crater Lakes pages of this website.
Accommodation in Mitandi:
Mitandi is to be found far from the main ‘tourist trail’ into the Rwenzoro Mountains and a wonderful place to learn about culture and life of people in the mountains. Mitandi is located about 40 minutes drive from Fort Portal town off the Kasese road. To get there 14 km from Fort Portal in the trading cetre of ‘Buhesi turn right and and follow the road straight for ca. 8 km.
Camp Norway, Mitandi: Tel. +256 782 500979 (Tore), +256 782 348475 (Vigdis), email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mitandi.com/mitandi. Situated at 1800m in the Rwenzori mts, 35 min from Fort Portal off the Kasese road. Norwegian and Bakonjo staff offer a hospitable service and comfortable surrondings to very high standards. 3 beautiful, clean, new huts with 2 (3) beds, WC, hot/cold shower. Wonderful food is prepared using locally produced ingredients. An open fireplace is a central focus to sit and enjoy views all the way to Fort Portal!
Camp Norway is and ideal venue for trekking Mt. Karangura (3014m), and to use as a base for day-trips to Kibale forest or Queen Elizabeth NP. Great place to prepare and unwind after Rwenzori trek.
It is requested that alcohol not be consumed at Camp Mitandi. It not available for sale either on the premises. In respect of social responsibility 5% of your overnight fee goes to education and environmental projects in the locality. Affordable transport to and from Fort Portal is arranged by prior request.
US$120- per person – all meals and unique service included
US$80- per person – bed & breakfast
The main supermarket in town is ‘Andrews’ located on the main road in the upper part of town between the 2 round about’s. It is very well stocked, with fresh prduce and even frozen goods. There is a foreign exchange bureau in the upper town opposite the Shell Station. Rates are considerably lower than in Kampala. Do not rely on them accepting travelers cheques. You can pay for activities at Kibale Forest in US$ cash. The bus and matatu parks are centrally located in the upper part of town. Most of the hotels listed above are within walking distance of the bus/matatu park.
There are now several Internet Cafes around town with rates between Ushs50- and Ushs100- per minute that include:
Armsat Internet cafe, located on Lugard Road, Voice of Toro Fm Radio Building, opposite the Continental Hotel.
SS.Mugasa Internet cafe, opposite Rwenzori Travellers Inn is one of the most popular and reliable.
Regional Tourist Information:
Kabarole Tours and Safaris Tel. 0774 057390. There office in town has lots of information and leaflets on the various tourist facilities and community projects in the area. KTS is the only tour operator in Fort Portal they will arrange tours to places of interest in the region.
Kihingami Wetland Eco Tourism site 1 km from Sebitoli is a KTS project located just 15 kilometres from Fort Portal on on Fort Portal to Kampala Road just prior to entering the Kibale Forest National Park. Camping and chalet accommodation is available at Sebitoli only.
Attractions at Kihingami Wetland include forest walks, tea plantation visits and bird watching. Kihingami is regarded as the home of the White Spotted Flufftail a must see for bird enthusiasts. All activities costs Ushs15,000- per person.
Birding at Kihingami Wetland
Mpora Rural Family Kichwamba: Tel. 0772 555732. Do you want to stay in a rural community, experiencing life through the eyes of an African resident of the region? Then this may be for you. Eat three typical Ugandan meals a day, enjoy a good bed, enough water to wash, tea and coffee, relax in a beautiful setting, and be located in a good base for days walks to the Rwenzori foothills all for a voluntary donation. To get there take a matatu to Kichwamba Technical collage 15 kms from Fort Portal, walk through the collage and ask for Mpora Rural family where you will be hosted by Morence Mpora.
Bars and Restaurants
The Glue Pot Pub next to The Andrews Supermarket is a very popular hang out for expats and resident volunteer workers. Wednesday afternoons is a regular event.
The Tea Gardens Restaurant in the lower section of town opposite the junction for Kibale Forest National Park is also well spoken of. Daily there is an excellent buffet lunch for Ushs4,600- and on sundays cultural entertainment is added to the menu from 4.00pm till 9.00pm.
The market is located in the lower part of town between the Mpanga River and the junction of the Mubende road opposite the Pepsi depot. There is always a large choice of fresh vegetables and bread is always available.
There are several major service stations in town with pit facilities to work on or service your vehicle. Spare parts for Landcruiser should not present too much of a problem in town. This vehicle is used by many of the NGO’s that are using Fort Portal for their operational HQ’s.
There is a hospital and many small clinics in town. Obtaining medicines from pharmacies for minor ailments and even anti-biotics is very cheap and are readily avaliable.