Fort Portal

Amabeere ga Nyina Mwiru Caves

22Aug

The water dripping from the roof of these storied caves is milky white, hence the name Amabeere (‘Breasts’). Most of the rock formations are broken, but it’s a magical experience to walk behind the curtain of rushing water created by an overhead waterfall and past the wall of vines along the adjacent ridge.

Small waterfalls are seen on the nature walk through the mythological caves whose origin story is just as staggering than the stalactites and stalagmites that fill them. Afterwards, the guide can take you to the top of the Lake Saka crater, which has a beautiful view over the Fort Portal plateau and Rwenzori Mountains. The caves are 8 km northwest of Fort Portal, sign-posted 1.5km off the Bundibugyo road. The excursion takes half a day.

BIGODI WETLAND SANCTUARY

22Aug

Located 6km south of the Kibale Forest National Park visitor centre at Kanyanchu, and 40 km from Fort Portal Town, Bigodi was established by Kibale Association for Rural and Environment Development (KAFRED) a local development organization to protect the 4-sqkm Magombe Swamp that’s home to around 200 species of birds (highlights include papyrus gonolek, white-winged warbler and great blue turaco).

It’s also good for spotting butterflies and primates, of which there are eight different species including grey-cheeked mangabey, red tail, vervet, and L’Hoest. Three-hour guided walks (at a fee) depart on demand. Other activities available include village walks, Saturday afternoon basket-weaving demonstrations, dance and drama performances; and fun interpretive meals at Tinka’s place (book in advance) where your hosts (Tinka) share the stories behind the local dishes they serve. Ask the reception for more information and booking.

TEA PLANTATIONS

22Aug

As you enter Fort Portal, you can not miss the endless vistas of what looks like carefully manicured green shrubbery that makes up the region’s legendary tea plantations. This area is gifted by nature with a cool climate, which ensures a relatively slow plant growth rate and makes for a yield of slowly grown, high quality tea. You can visit a local tea factory to see how it is processed from fresh green leaves to bags of coarse black grain but can only be visited on appointment. Costs vary depending on the tea factory which is available, but tours can be booked at the reception.

TOORO GOLF CLUB

22Aug

Fort Motel lies adjacent to the Tooro Golf Club, a picturesque 9-hole/18- tee golf course on a hillside that has produced many of Uganda’s finest golfers. If you fancy playing golf with one of the best talented young golfers from Tooro that represent Uganda around the region, please book through the Fort Motel reception. If you did not bring your own set of clubs, you can hire one on the premises.

Crater Lakes

22Aug

The Ndali-Kasenda Crater Field was formed some 10,000 years ago during a period of intense volcanic activity that resulted in numerous explosion craters. Over time, the craters filled with water and today, the Ndali-Kasenda Crater Field boasts one of the densest concentrations of crater lakes anywhere in the world.

Some offer great places for swimming, viewpoints and nature trails that one can hike surrounded by monkeys, tropical birds, and magnificent sights. There are many accessible hiking routes with the help of a map of the crater lakes available at the hotel.

A nice day trip, for example, could be a visit to Lake Nkuruba Campsite & Bandas. They have a short forest trail or you can take a hike from the lake to the Top of the World (a hill with 360-degree view of the Crater Lake area). Guests can choose to stay at Bwigamiro Country Home from where you can be prepared a sumptuous local lunch and dinner. If you intend to stay overnight in the area, you may make reservations at Fort Motel.

Tooro Botanical Gardens

22Aug

Also found in this area are the Tooro Botanical Gardens, specialising in indigenous Tooro Botanical gardens, trees and medicinal plants and boasts of an organic farming project that grows herbs, flowers, trees, natural dyes, vegetables and medicinal plants.

Admission includes a tour through the extensive grounds, with morning and late afternoon bird watching always serving as a notable highlight. A visit to the gardens is free, but a guided tour courtesy of the experienced tour personnel costs a fee. Contact reception for more details on visiting the botanical gardens.