Blogs from Fort Portal, Western Region, Uganda, Africa


Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal December 11th 2018

While we have spent time in other people’s homes and experiencing a bit of typical Ugandan life, today was particularly difficult. Chan and Derek have acquired a rural clinic from the ministry of heath which employs one doctor and nurse. The hope was to provide their organizational members easier access to healthcare. However, two major problems exist: the clinic is quite a trek on poor roads and difficult to navigate in rain, second the nurse and doctor only come and open the clinic 2 to 4 times per month because the government is 6 months behind in their salaries. Therefore, people show up everyday hoping to receive treatment and medications only to sit all day and not be seen. They come everyday because they are unsure which days the staff will show up. In the mean ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal December 9th 2018

We were programmed to meet Norah to visit the Amabeere Caves this morning but rain made the world stop as boda drivers refused to come drive to town and very few people move in the rain. Florence used to call me a stupid girl when I tried because I was asking to get sick. Eventually the sky cleared and we were off to the caves. The caves are not very large, they are the only ones in Uganda with stalagmites, stalactites and aspheres. The other great feature is a waterfall you can walk behind. Today it was roaring due to the recent rainfall. Our guide Robert was very educated on the area: the cave history, the people who lived in them and the crater lakes. These lakes were formed by volcanic eruptions. The build up of ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal December 8th 2018

We spent the day with Norah‘s house with her family. As guests, we sat in the living area while the family prepared the meal. The good thing for us was Norah had invited her auntie’s kids (Jethro and Joseb) and their cousin Lena to spend the day at their house. While waiting, we taught the kids to play go fish and concentration. Jethro was very impressed with our bridge shuffle and spent time practicing that as well. When it was time to eat, the amount of food that came out was insane and Norah’s mother kept piling it onto our plates. It was delicious but so much and the explanation of which they prepared on coal stoves verses actual fires out back overwhelmed me. The entire family had spent all day preparing the meal. Norah’s mom ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal December 7th 2018

The morning started with an eventful bus departure. We were late for the bus but it hadn’t departed and as Shelby ran to the bathroom, I found seats. I asked the person next to me where he was heading. He said Kampala (Fort Portal and Kampala are not close). The bus started pulling out, Shelby wasn’t on the bus out, I was trying to get of to ask about the trek, and a worker was pounding on the bus trying to get it to wait for Shelby. As Shelby was jumping on I was trying to get off. I asked the worker if it was going to Fort Portal, he said there is no bus from Masindi to Fort Portal, you go to Kampala first than transfer. We got on the bus mentally preparing for the ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal March 17th 2016

Today is Chimpanzee Walk day. Now to be honest when I booked this trip; it was ALL about (in order) the Gorillas, going to Jinja and seeing Queen Elizabeth Park. Little did I realize that the Chimp visit (which I thought would be “nice’) turned out to be one of the highlights, and the trip has barely begun. We had an early start of 6am from Fort Portal and were at the Kibali National Park grounds by 8ish.On route we saw some baboons, a couple with babies too. We were split into 2 groups and off we went with each guide, in search of the chimpanzees. We were told that human DNA is 95% identical to a chimp and 96% to a gorilla. Not quoting exact science here, but after seeing them, I can completely see ... read more
Chimp walk
The thinker

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal January 16th 2014

Geo: 0.664314, 30.2796July 8th, 2014Today was a travel day from Fort Portal to the Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge in near Queen Elizabeth National Park. This will be our home for the next 4 days.We took the Link bus from Fort Portal to Kasese, which is less than 2 hours with several stops along the way. In Kasese, we hired a car to drive us to the Lodge. When tourists get off a bus, we are a spectacle because it is not super common, and we are hounded by offers for boda-bodas (motorcycles); matatus (van taxis) and, to a lesser degree, hired private cars. As I mentioned before, people are not super aggressive but they are vying for your business so there is lots of activity and assurances that theirs is the best way. We finally hired ... read more
First view of lions
The bandit
Babooon mom and baby

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal January 7th 2014

Geo: 0.664314, 30.2796Today we spent the whole day with the chimpanzees at Kanyanchu in Kibale National Forest. This area is dedicated to habituating chimps for tourism. It takes 5 – 10 years for chimps to get used to humans being close by and right now there is only one colony in this area that is habituated. We arrived just before 7am and were able to observe this group waking up and moving out of their nests, stretching, doing their morning grooming in the lower canopy, the odd one taking a dump or urinating. There is not much chatter among them at this time of day. They get much more vocal as the day goes on.Then they start coming down out of the trees which is an awesome sight to see. They are so incredibly casual about ... read more
Just laying around, doing a little grooming
Morning stretch
Contemplation of the day

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal January 4th 2014

Geo: 0.664314, 30.2796Today we visited the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. This is a small sanctuary which protects the Magombe Swamp. It is a great example of conservation and tourism and it also directly benefits the local community. All the money raised from the trail is used in community projects in Bigodi. It has already funded a library and a secondary school in the village. The extremely well-informed guides make the walk all the more enjoyable. Our guide, Alex, could spot birds we might have otherwise missed as well as small creatures like frogs, snails and centipedes and a good sized lizard with a yellow body and brilliant blue head and tail. We saw a lot of birds, for which this area is most famous. We saw Great Blue Turacos, Greenbuls, Weavers that look a bit like Grosbeaks ... read more
Black & White Colobus Monky
Village Weaver and Nests
Red Tailed Monkey

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal January 3rd 2014

Geo: 0.664314, 30.2796We are taking a day of leisure today to figure out the plan for the next few days and get some medical attention for Richard. He has had a cold, cough for too long now and it doesn't seem to be getting much better. After a long breakfast chatting with the owner of the Guest House, Inica, we headed into town which is a nice walk and the weather is perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. We first went to the Alpine Clinic to get Richard taken care of – antibiotics and antihistamine then went to Kabarole Tours to work out plans for the next few days. We have 5 days planned now so we are set until we get to Queen Elizabeth National Park. There is a lot to do as ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal January 2nd 2014

Geo: 0.664314, 30.2796Up early again and headed to catch the bus to Kampala and then on to Fort Portal. We had debated taking the bus on hard surfaced roads versus a shorter trip, in kilometers, via matatus but after yesterday on bumpy, dusty roads, we opted for the bus. After about 10 hours we are now in Fort Portal relaxing at the Rwenzori View Guest House –a lovely, quiet, respite from the noise and pollution of the day. Ugandan's love loud music so the bus ride is anything but relaxing. We plan to use this as our base camp for the next 4- 6 days as we explore Kibale National Forest and environs.Dinner at the Guest House was very good and enjoyable. The place is full with travelers from around the world. We chatted with a ... read more
Cabin accommodation.
The cabin inside
From our cabin deck

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