Home Blog Page 5

UTB Targets 700,000 Tourists Annually


In a bid to spur tourism investment and increase revenue, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has generated a new five year National Marketing strategy; for the period 2017/18-2022/23, aimed at developing a tourism destination brand identity of Uganda in the source markets by popularizing and promoting Uganda, which is envisaged to impact on the economy. This is to make Uganda a viable destination both locally and internationally.

The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu says; Tourism being one of the sources of growth needs to underscore its importance in transforming the country, through recognizing the players in the sector to achieve our goals. He adds that the natural and cultural assets Uganda has needs a prescribed strategy that will guide the work to unlock their potential, to transform the economy. He says this will boost foreign exchange, increase employment, increase GDP contributions among others.

During a validation workshop with stakeholders at Imperial Royale Hotel last week, The C.E.O, UTB, Stephen Asiimwe; says that there is need to embark on the stay and spend factor, aimed at convincing tourists to visit and stay longer to increase the volumes of tourists. He says that the marketing strategy is expected to increase to 700,000 visitors per year, for the regional core and secondary markets and develop domestic tourism in Uganda; by promoting events, festivals and trips among others. Asiimwe told stakeholders that the challenges of Uganda’s tourism include; historical wars, lost wildlife and low untrained workforce in the hospitality sector among others.

Uganda’s wide range of human, natural, cultural and historical attractions for tourists includes: Mountain guerillas, The Uganda Martyrs, Cultural heritage sites, Mammal and Bird species, Rwenzori Mountains, Lakes and Rivers, Reptile and Amphibian species and Climate among others

The Beautiful Bahai Temple in Uganda Out Of Eight In The World


Bahai temple is the dawning place of the praise of God. From miles away, a green pasture and majestic pillars can be seen on the hill, iconic against the western horizon of Kampala. It is the mother, Temple of the Bahai faith in Africa, out of only seven in the World. And just like the faith it represents, the Bahai temple is no ordinary house of worship.

There are eight Bahia Temples in the world with the Mother Temple of Africa located in Uganda. During the rule of President Idi Amin, the Bahai Faith was banned and the Bahai Hand of the Cause Enoch Olinga, and his family were murdered.

Bahai Temple sitting on 52 acres of land, the temple is a unique architectural masterpiece. It was designed by Charles Mason Remey, who was a prominent and controversial American Bahai and its foundation stone was laid in January 1958. A few meters from the Temple is the dormitory of the mausoleums which are themselves marvels of design.

Thousands of tourists from all corners of the world visit the Bahai Temple every year to gaze at and admire the beauty of this building with its breathtaking view.

Built between 1958 and 1961 on Kikaaya Hill, three miles North of Kampala the building is 130ft. Its dome is 44ft in diameter. It is a nine-sided structure that represents oneness and unity.

The temple has a sitting capacity of over 600 people. The green dome is decorated with tiny mosaic tiles that were imported from Italy, while the roof tiles were imported from Belgium. The walls were built with locally sourced pre-cast stones while reinforcing steel, window frames, and fittings were imported from the UK.

The colored glass came from Germany. Inside the temple are woolen carpets imported from Turkey and the interior will leave anyone in awe.

Community activities
The Bahai community of Uganda has sponsored a number of social and economic development programmes in Uganda aimed at promoting the welfare of the local communities.

The picturesque site.
The ambiance here in serene. The sprawling gardens sitting on several acres are covered with beautiful flowers and trees. They are clean and well-mowed, just a perfect site for a family.
Young people from the neighborhood sometimes come here to revise their books in a quite environment. Some of the trees in the gardens include Musizi, Mvule, Mahogany, Pine, and Eucalyptus.

According to George Olinga, the Director of external affairs of the Bahai faith in Uganda, most of the trees were planted by the Bahai faithful in the 1950s. Also in the gardens are the Tombs where the Bahai faithful who die in Kampala are buried. Olinga says the law of the faith states that one should be buried within an hour after death.

One dies in Kampala and transporting the corpse to their ancestral home would take more than an hour, we bury them here, Olinga says. The graves come in all shapes and designs, the most notable being of Enoch Olinga, which is shaped like the map of Africa.
Massive Tourist Attraction.
On the day we visited Bahai Temple. The massive flow of tourists, most of the foreigners, left us speechless. For two hours we spent there, over 40 tourists visited the place, many coming from as far as India, Slovakia, the USA, Sweden, and the UK. John, one of the Guides at the temple, says they receive over 80 tourists a day. Unfortunately, although the administration employs several Guides and laborers to maintain the place, tourists do not pay any coin to tour the place, hence missing out on some good money.

Not even the locals have been keen to tap into the opportunities as there are no artifacts or souvenirs sold near or around the Place. Olinga said the reason they do not charge any coin is that the Bahai house of worship should be free to all people at all times regardless of race, background, and religion.
History of The Baha’i Faith in Uganda

The Baha’i Faith was introduced in Uganda in August 1951 by the arrival of Baha’is from Iran and the United Kingdom, which included Mr. Musa and Mrs. Samiyye Banani, Mr. Phillip Hainsworth, Mr.Ali, and Mrs.Violette Nakhjavani and their daughter, Bahiyyih Nakhjavani. The first Local Spiritual Assembly, which is the local administrative council in the Baha’i Faith was formed in April 1952 and consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Banani, Mr.Ali and Mrs. Violette Nakhjavani, Mr. Phillip Hainsworth, Mr.Crispian Kajubbi who was the first Ugandan Baha’i, Mr.Fred Bigarwa, Mr.Peter Musoke, and Mr. Enoch Olinga.By October 1952, there were well over 100 Baha’is in Uganda from 15 different tribes and from Protestant, Catholic, and other backgrounds.

By May 1954 the number had risen to well over 670 for the whole of Uganda, comprising of more than 20 different tribes. In 1953, pioneers from Uganda went on to spread the Baha’i Faith to other parts of Central Africa including the British Cameroons (Mr. Enoch Olinga), Belgian Congo (Current DRC) (Mr.Sam Mungono), and Congo Brazzaville (Mr.Max Kanyerezi). The Intercontinental Conference for Africa was held in 1958 This conference also marked the laying of the foundation stone for the Mother Temple of Africa on 26th January 1958 by Ruhiyyih Khanum and Musa Banani.

How Bahai Faith Began

The Baha’i Faith began in Persia. On May 23, 1844, a young man known as the Bab proclaimed Himself to be a Messenger of God. He told of one greater than Himself, a great world Teacher and revealer of the word of God who would come to bring in an age of peace for mankind. After five years of persecution, the Bab was martyred on July 9, 1850, in Tabriz, Persia. He was 31 years old. In 1863, Baha’u’llah was declared to be the one foretold by the Bab and all the previous Prophets.

Like every Messenger of God, Baha’u’llah was bitterly opposed and persecuted. Like Abraham, He was exiled, like Moses, He was stoned, like Jesus, He was scourged. After nearly forty years of suffering and imprisonment, Baha’u’llah passed away in exile on May 29, 1892, at the age of seventy-five in the prison city of Akka. It was Akka which Isaiah had foretold would be a place of refuge for God’s creatures. Hosea too spoke of this valley as a ‘door of hope’ for humanity. By Kabagambe Gerald

The Healing Power of Kasese Hot Springs


Kibenge hot springs in the base camp zone of Kyanjoki ward in the central division of Kasese municipality are one of the unique natural and cultural resources that Kasese district and Uganda as a whole is gifted with and proud of.

This hot spring locally known as Ekitagata is said to be having its sources from the invisible banks of Nile waters sources that flows through Semuliki in the mountains of the Rwenzori.

The Kitagata in Kasese attracts over 1000 visitors per week of which some of them are tourists while others are for purposes of bathing in hot water to get healed of different diseases.

The existence of Kibenge hot springs which was invented in 2006 by a herdsman has reduced the number of patients at Kilembe Hospital and the work of traditional healers who claim ceasing powers.

People who have been visiting the Kilembe Mines Hospital for pains like the head ache, backache, paining legs, the barren and those who have been going to traditional healers after long illnesses resorted to this healing water of the hot spring and confess having been healed completely.

When this reporter visited this hot spring a number of people confirmed having been healed of disease that failed both health experts and traditional healers.

The uniqueness at this hot spring is that the water rejects the drunkards from access and also detects any sort of fornication i.e. anything related to sex.

The spirits in this water will attack and warn anybody attempting to have sex near the source and if drunk the water will turn to be cold or you develop fever before jumping into the bathing basin.

It has also showcased its uniqueness by rejecting any person claiming to own it for those who attempt to collect money from the visitors and if any attempt strange voices are heard from deep the waters.

In 2010 the Rwenzururu Kingdom wanted t gazette it as one of its heritage cultural sites and make it modern to be able to collect revenue from their but he water got cold from a months and night only strange voices were heard from there.

Up-to-date maintenance is done by the users on gentlemen agreement to have smooth hygiene around the water source.

How was it discovered? A herdsman who was grazing around the swamps of base camp was organizing a small pond for his cows’ drinking water and after the first cow that tested it became crazy to tell that the water was too hot for cows to drink.

To confirm what the heck that had entered the cow’s mouth pushed is hand into the water and felt it hot and went on announcing to the whole village that there is hot water in the area.

For those who doubted carried tea (amajani) and mixed to make real hot tea and worked out.

Those who had heard of the hot springs in Semuliki in Bundibugyo and Marembo in Bushenyi started using the water to bathe and drink for healing.

People who are hungry after bathing do mix the hot water from the boiling point known as the heart of the hot spring and make tea.

On September 9, 2016 the spring water fans were shocked after witnessing a man that stubbornly Urinated in this water and died instantly as yeaned.

BY Simon Kagame

Empaako Ceremony, Origin and meaning


Empaako is a naming system practiced by the Batooro, Banyoro, Banyamwenge, Banyakyaka, Batuku, Batagwenda, and Banyabindi from the western part of Uganda whereby children are given one of eleven pet 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, honour, or love. The use of Empaako can defuse tension or anger and sends a strong message about social identity and unity, peace, and reconciliation.

Several districts in greater Ruwenzori ie Kyegwegwa, Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Ntoroko, Kamwenge, and Kasese among others proudly use these pet names.

When Empaako is conducted.
This ceremony is done when there is a newly born baby in a family. It is normally conducted after 3 days for a baby girl and 4 days baby boy after birth.

It is also conducted when someone crosses from another tribe to Tooro culture and this is done as hospitality or when a Mutooro son or daughter marries
from another tribe

Who performs the ceremony?
According to tradition pet names are decided upon by the parents of the child. Originally when a baby was born in Tooro, it was given a Kitooro name.
And this naming of Empaako in the Rutooro language is called “Kuhaka Omuntu” Empaako is given at a naming ceremony performed in the home and presided over by the clan head.

Here the paternal aunts receive the baby and examine its features. Any resemblance to existing relatives forms the basis of the choice of name. The clan head then declares the name to the child.

After naming the child, family members with invited guests share a meal of millet and smoked beef (Omukaro), and then traditional songs follow.

After food is shared family members and friends present their gifts to the baby and a tree is planted in its honor.

The transmission of Empaako through naming rituals has dropped due to inter-marriages and it’s diminishing because of the lack of elders to
teach their children their mother language and cultural norms.

Some of the elders say that there are no longer extended families and family/clan meetings where they used to seat and tell their children
such information regarding the ceremony due to technology, rural-urban migration, time, poverty, and work.

The Empaako Tradition.
Most attractive to the Batooro tribe is the tradition of pet names, which are accorded to every Munyoro or Mutooro in addition to their traditional and religious names.

Mr. Tinka Steven Amooti the deputy prime minister of Tooro Kingdom in Kyenjojo district when being interviewed by our reporter said that the pet name, Empaako is one thing that will readily identify a Munyoro or a Mutooro. He explains that Empaako is a special name of endearment used to show love and respect, for salutation, and by children to refer to their parents and elders.

“It is okay among the Banyoro and Batooro not to know one’s surname or religious names but everyone is expected to know another person’s pet name because it is what is used more often.

When a Munyoro or Mutooro meets another Munyoro or Mutooro, the first thing is to ask the other person’s Empaako, (Empaako yaawe? and then greet the person using the pet name,” he says.

There are eleven pet names shared between the Banyoro and Batooro: Abwooli, Adyeeri, Araali, Akiiki, Atwooki, Apuuli, Abaala, Acaali,
Ateenyi, Abooki, and Amooti. The 12th pet name is Okaali for the king and is greeted “ZoonaOkaali”.

He says greeting without Empaako was like having food without a source, or any tasteless attempt you can think of. Explaining just how important these pet names have come to be for the people who use them.

He says It is difficult for me to deny someone something if they refer to me by my pet name when they are asking. If you want a favor from a
Munyoro or a Mutooro, just try calling them their Empaako before you ask the favor,” he elaborates.

Amooti added that when his mother wanted him to do a tiresome job without complaining, she would call him his Empaako before assigning and he would do beyond the mother’s request. The Empaako is thus a social tool for harmony, encouragement, and respect, which can be used to refer to people and relations comfortably.

On the other hand, there are pet-names that are given automatically after birth as one was born a twin. “As the older twin (Isingoma), is automatically called Amooti and the younger twin (name Kato) Abooki. Male twins are named Isingoma and Kato- respectively, and the female twins Nyangoma and Nyakato with the pet names Amooti and Abooki respectively.

Tinkasiimire told us that these names are related to certain things. “Ateenyi is Ekijoka Kya Muzizi-the snake that resides in River Muzizi
that separates present-day Tooro and Bunyoro, bordering Kibale and Kyenjojo districts.” Why he was named after a snake, he neither knows nor shows any negative concern, he is just evidently proud of his pet name!

According to different sources, Empaako is a praise name or a name of respect used among the Banyoro, Batooro, Batagwenda, Batuku, and Banyabindi of western Uganda. Empaako is a word borrowed from the Luo word “Pako” which means “praise”.

They are 13 known Empaako and Out of these, 12 begin with the letter A and only one starts with the letter O. Some are believed to have Luo origins with and others claimed to be native to Bunyoro and Tooro.

1. Abbala: This is akin to the Luo word “Abalo” meaning “I have spoilt it”. Accordant to our culture, it means someone who loves other people unconditionally. It was formerly reserved for those close to the king.

2. Abbooki: Comes from the Luo word “Aboko” which means “I have narrated to you”. The holder of this praise name is meant to be someone who cherishes the roles of parents, teachers, elders, mentors, counsellors, and leaders.

3. Abwooli: Comes from the Luo word “Abwolo”, meaning “I deceive you”. However, in our culture, it has to do with diplomatic relationships. The theory behind this is that “Not all truth needs to be told always because it might cause unnecessary and often avoidable hurt and pain”.

4. Acaali: From a Luo word “Acalo”, meaning “I resemble you”. In Bunyoro it refers to someone who resembles another in nature and character and who easily relates to other people.

5. Acaanga: It is an uncommon praise name. Not much is known about its Luo root. More research is being done.

6. Adyeeri: Related to the Luo word “Adyero” which means “I have sacrificed you”. In Bunyoro, however, Adyeeri is someone who is friendly, and affectionate with a larger-than-life heart.

7. Akiiki: Is one who upholds national, community, and family interests with great love, care, kindness, honesty, etc [Perhaps this explains why this is a very popular Empaako among parents] It has no Luo root; it is the only praise name whose root is in Bunyoro-Kitara.

8. Amooti: From the Luo word “Amoto” meaning “I greet you”. In Bunyoro-Kitara, however, Amooti refers to someone who genuinely respects other people, thinking and speaking well of them.

9. Apuuli: Means one who has powers, abilities and skills to attract other people, exhibiting qualities often observed and admired among small children.
10. Araali: One who saves other people and is perceived to have the power of thunder, giving the expression “Araali Nkuba”.

11. Ateenyi: Is derived from the Luo word “Atenyo”, meaning “I have left it”. In our culture, Ateenyi is someone who loves and understands a wrongdoer without condoning wrongdoing.

12. Atwooki: One who embraces or punishes –as the case may be-other people either physically or spiritually.

13. Okaali: Comes from a Luo word “Okalo”, meaning “S/he has jumped over you”. In Bunyoro/Tooro kingdoms, however, it implies someone with the highest responsibility as a leader in the kingdom ie Rukir’abasaija Agutamba Omukama. It used for Omukama only and even then by men only when greeting him.

NB. Akiiki, Apuuli, Araali and Atwooki seem to have no definite Luo roots. It is important to note that there is no mpaako exclusively reserved for women, while four-Araali, Apuuli, Acaali and Abbala are exclusively for men. The rest are unisex, save for Okali which is only for kings.
Gratitude to Mr Isaac Kalembe Biromumaiso Akiiki, editor Bunyoro Tourism Journal for the research

By Robinah Birungi.

The Narration of Ankole Kingdom


You may wonder what this is all about or where on earth is Ankole (Nkole) Kingdom! well as you are still debating with your brain, allow me to bring you aboard the mighty “Kaaro Karungi” as Nkole was often referred to. Kaaro Karungi means a beautiful hamlet, for the benefit of those who can’t trace the dialect.

Ankole kingdom is believed to have been founded way back in 1447. Legends give different background information about who and how was this kingdom formed. Today I bring you some of these stories, some of which sound a bit hilarious.

Ankole kingdom is said to have succeeded the Chwezi empire. The title given to the Ankole kingdom is “Omugabe” The first Omugabe was called Ruhinda Rwa Njunaki who was the son of Wamala.

For those who did their Social Studies Subject well, you can remember Wamala was the last ruler in the Chwezi dynasty. This explains how Nkole succeeded the Chwezi empire.

Like any other kingdom, the Ankole kingdom has many clans and the ruling clan is Bahiinda. this originated from Ruhinda the first king. “Ekihinda” means a black mark on the face. So that’s how the name Ruhinda came up. Njunaki was a maid at the king’s palace who gave birth to Ruhinda thus the name “Ruhinda Rwa Njunaki”.

Ankole kingdom is located in the southern region, often referred to as the “cattle corridor” and it extends to Tanzania that’s why the Bahaya of Tanzania have similar dialects to Runyankole. It covers the current districts of Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Mbarara, Isingiro, Cheema, Rubirizi, and Ibanda. the then Ankole countries (Amashaza) were Kashari, Isingiro, Rwampara, Nyabushozi, Ibanda, Cheema, Kajara, Bunyaruguru, Igara, Buhweju, Rushenyi, and Ruhaama.

The Ankole kingdom palace is at Kamukuzi in Mbarara and despite its collapse in 1967, the palace buildings are still standing. The Royal regalia of the Ankole kingdom include spears, shields, and the royal drum “Bagyendanwa” Bagyendanwa played an ancestral role in determining and confirming who the next king would be.

The Ankole kingdom was inhabited by people who valued unity but also had social stratification. The Bahima and the Bairu, Bahima are the pastoralists and Bairu are the cultivators.

The two castes carried out what I can term as batter trade in a way that Bairu exchanged their agricultural products like grains and another foodstuff for milk, ghee, and meat from the Bahima.

In fact about these castes is; even if a “Muhima” didn’t posse cattle, he could not be called a “Mwiru” and likewise even if a “Mwiru” had large herds of cattle, this would not turn him into a “Muhima”. The two persons were given names; that’s the Abahima with little or no cattle was called a “Murasi” while a “Mwiru” without extended crop farms was called a “Mwambari”.
People would take cows, local beer, and grains to the king as a sign of loyalty, and the king “Omugabe” would in return offer them security from internal disputes like cattle raiding by stronger families and external conflicts as well.

Meanwhile, other legend sources say that the Ankole kingdom was founded by “Ruhanga”, the creator who is said to have come from heaven to rule on earth. Ruhanga descended onto earth with his three sons that are; Kairu, Kakama, and Kahima. Kairu is the eldest, followed by Kahima then Kakama.

Ruhanga wanted to choose one among his three sons who were to be made king. he gave them a test inform a task to keep milk vessels (Ebyanzi) as they were called and their contents on their laps trans night. Whoever passed the test ie the one who had his vessel full by morning time would be crowned.

At the break of dawn, Kakama had passed the test and was made king while Kairu and Kahima were to be his servants. so they took up the rule of the Ankole kingdom. This could be the reason why the Bahima ie the cattle keepers have a tendency of underlooking the Bairu because they could not pass the milk fest.
The Ankole kingdom flourished with greatness from the 15th century to the 20th century and it was finally abolished in 1967 by the former president of Uganda Dr.Milton Obote. It had 23 kings throughout its existence from Ruhinda Rwa Njunaki to Gasonga II.
A committee was formed to reform the kingdom but these arrangements were again trashed by the NRM government in 1993. well, we can never say never I hope the Ankole kingdom rises to its heights once more.
By Kabagambe Gerald

Uganda is the Best English Speaking Country in Africa- says Report


There are 28 English speaking countries in Africa and The World Linguistic society named Uganda as the best English speaking country in the continent.

This report comes amid reports of a Miss Rwanda contestant who reportedly failed to express herself in English.

It is worthy to mention that Rwanda was not colonized by the British. It would be asking too much to expect fluency from them. Rwanda was a French speaking country recently.

Uganda speaks a dialect known as Uglish. After Uganda- Zambia, South Africa, and Kenya follow closely.

Below is a list of the top 9 best English-speaking countries in Africa.

1. Uganda
2. Zambia
3. South Africa
4. Kenya
5. Zimbabwe
6. Malawi
7. Ghana
8. Botswana
9. Sudan

The Back Ground of a Kanzu


Kanzu is a Swahili word, you can call it “Omutega Nswera” in Luganda but the English word is Tunic, treasured by many men in Uganda especially in the central region, and was introduced by the first Arabs to Uganda.

Kanzus is also synonymous with the Muslim community and some East African Bantu communities and It is believed that the wear was introduced by Arabs centuries back when they had just come to trade. The outfit is also common among Nigerians. But here in Uganda, Baganda copied that dress code from Arabs after they came up with their own design owned by Baganda.

Here in Uganda, it started from Mende, Busiro Wakiso district, and in the palace of Buganda (Mulubiri). Then and now the main source of income in Mende is to toil tunic (KANZU). And it has two types Akatema Mbidde as a cousor wear and the main Kanzu for the ceremonies. The specific colors used to make it are white and cream.

Buganda Kanzu

We use a white or cream cloth and a thread to make up but by the time way back they were using backcloth to make it. tools used to make it are a needle and Crabb. it is hand made no machine to make a Kanzu that makes them different from that of the Arabs. it is designed in the four main Baganda clans as follows: Abaganda Wawu, Abaganda Gere, Abaganda Nakabala, and Omuganda here in Buganda, and Many kingdoms were copied from Buganda like Busoga, Bunyoro, and Tooro with that very that designs. see the named structure of the Kanzu.

It is usually worn during cultural events like “Kwanjula” which means introduction, burials, and clan meetings. The Ankle length tunic is at times mostly associated with prestige, power, and culture, and keeps secrets.

Ssalongo Buyungo a frequent maker of the outfit advises that though long, it should never touch the ground or trip the wearer. “Though ankle length, it should not be overly long that the wearer steps on it. The outfit should also be baggy such that it doesn’t shorten the walking strides,” he says.

Though not important to passersby, one should not put it on without anything underneath the tunic. Ismail advises that a vest or t-shirt under the outfit is suitable for absorbing sweat when it is hot adding that at no point should it be figure-hugging.

“Some people feel a little uncomfortable wearing the outfit over boxer shorts or briefs hence prefer to wear shorts underneath so that they do not feel naked,” Ismail adds.

Lately, men have been spotted in clothes of almost all colors some of them too fruity for our ancestor’s liking, but such disrespect should not be shown to Kanzus. The most common colors are cream and white. There are numerous occasions to wear Kanzus including wearing them for the weekend as you sit at your favorite beer joint as well as giving a visit to your in-laws.

Footwear to complete the outfit is mostly the wearer’s preference; some prefer open shoes while others will go for closed shoes, they should However be polish-able and sneakers do not pass. The most common material for these outfits is silk and cotton.

In Uganda, Kanzu’s are mostly customary made from Mende, Busiro Wakiso, and Kampala tailors.

Fort Portal is not just a beautiful name – it’s a top international brand


Fort Portal is not just a beautiful name; it’s a top international brand,

My heart gets perfect vibrations of fondness when the feeling that I was born in one of the most beautiful and serene places on earth – Fort Portal; the budding tourism capital of Uganda is received sensually by my phenomenal intellect.

Fort Portal located 320km from Kampala mid west of Uganda is an adorable metropolis, popular among tourists traveling from across the globe because of its situation in the center of Uganda’s most naturally gifted region engulfed in multitudes of attractions dotted by the most notable Rwenzori mountains seasoned by the world’s primate capital in Kibale Forest and National Park, over 50crater lakes, thousands of rich green hills, rivers, abundant species of flora and fauna and most of all her beautiful, pacific and hospitable people.

In addition, Fort Portal is enveloped by breathtaking nature averaging an hour away from neighbouring districts; Kasese the abode of the medley of wonders – Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lakes George and Edward, Tooro Semiliki National Park, Lake Albert and the Great Rift Valley in Ntoroko and Sempaya Hot springs and Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Bundibugyo.

Fort Portal, the pillar of Empaako – one of the world’s most unique cultural traditions and the seat of the Youngest Reigning Monarch, the King of Tooro Kingdom Omukama Dr. Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV unlike other towns in Uganda has an English name moreover attracts scores of travelers from different parts of the world, especially from the UK where Sir Gerald Portal from whom the town was named came from. Many people wonder what extraordinaire the town possesses by its name only to be launched into absolute wonder on getting there.

Twine Crate Lakes

Fort Portal rose to the summit of Uganda back in age during colonial times when Uganda was a protectorate of the British. Due to her weather which is not so different from Europe; its locale and the amazing natural environment, the British turned Fort Portal into their sitting room from where plans for Uganda were drawn. This is the process shoved them to protect the haven from external aggression by building a military base also known as a Fort at Booma Hill where the current Tooro Golf Club sits hence the name Fort Portal.

In the early 2000s, Fort Portal set for a rapid rise further into a modern urban centre becoming one of the cleanest in East Africa with hardly a glimpse of polythene paper and rubbish common with other towns and cities in the region, a feat it has maintained over the years

Fort Portal has consistently grown from a British Fort to a popular international destination for nature lovers to a top social and economic brand influencing numerous travelers and businessmen and women. Due to her popularity all over the world and her strategic location, it has influenced businessmen and women to set up a top class hotel and lodging facilities like Kyaninga Lodge, Mountains of the Moon Hotel, Nyaika Hotel, Fort Motel, Crater Safari Lodge, Lodge Bellavista, and Primate Lodge among others and sites that currently attract honeymooners, holidaymakers, backpackers, researchers and nature lovers alike. Some business people have gone on to name their businesses prefixed with the word Fort Portal like Fort Motel, Fort Portal International Nursing School, Fort Portal SSS, Fort View Hotel, Fort Pharmacy, and so many others

Fort Portal as a high-flying brand has overshadowed her mother district Kabarole; it is a stunning fact that most people including media reporters think apparently Fort Portal is a district. Some people traveling to any destination from Kyegegwa to Kasese will say they are traveling to Fort Portal; such is the power garnered by Fort Portal.

The entertainment industry has not been spared either, lots of popular songs have been recorded full of praise like the hit Beautiful Land by Joseph Israel. The movie Wrong Incite was produced promoting the beauty and tourism investment potential of Fort Portal featuring the LCV Kabarole District Hon. Richard Rwabuhinga and Member of Parliament Fort Portal Hon. Alex Ruhunda in the movie cast.

Fort Portal is destined for further greatness now raving with the ultimate enthronement of Uganda’s Tourism City that will be the home and hub of hospitality, holidays, vacations, entertainment, conventions, and great excursions among others.
“If you have not been to Fort Portal, you have not lived”

“Fort Portal is not just a beautiful name; it’s a top international brand, a top destination”
By Nelon Gerrard

The People of Uganda


Made up of five major ethnic groups, the natives of Uganda speak over 30 languages and dialects. Amidst this diversity, Uganda is a nation of solidarity, equal opportunity, and tolerance. Culture and tradition continue to be handed down from generation to in the preservation of Uganda’s only-one-of-its-kind heritage.

North, South, East, Central, and West all intertwine their distinguishing customs, beliefs, and traditions into a wealthy tapestry that creates the diverse national identity which defines the Ugandan culture at the moment.

The country’s ethnic evolution can be traced back to the 10th century AD. The Bantu, Uganda’s primary inhabitants, is an ethnic and linguistic group with over 130 million people in Africa. They lay down their ancestry in the central and southern parts of the country and constitute half of the population. Among the Bantu tribes are the Baganda, Banyankole, Bagisu, Bakiga, Batooro, Basamia, and Baruli among others.

The northern and northeastern parts of Uganda were largely populated by the Nilo-Hamites and Nilotes whose genesis can be traced back to Ethiopia. As semi-nomadic people, their migratory habits led them to split and settle in different parts of the country. Ultimately, some adopted languages and customs resulted in distinctions that can be clearly identified between them today. Nilotic tribes include the Langi, Luo, Iteso, Sebei, and Karamajong.

The Sudanic speakers from West Nile form another group. The Lugbara, Madi, Bari, and Metu are counted as part of this group. They are sometimes referred to as the Madi-Moru group.

Latest Updates