Fort Portal, located in Western Uganda, is home to a number of beautiful crater lakes that are worth visiting.
Fort Portal, situated in the western region of Uganda, is a city located approximately 290 kilometers away from Kampala. It is nestled at the base of the Rwenzori Mountain range and boasts a plethora of tourist attractions, notably the stunning crater lakes.
Crater lakes are bodies of water that were formed as a consequence of volcanic eruptions, where the top of the volcano was blown off, resulting in a depression that took the shape of a crater. About thirty kilometers to the south of Fort Portal city, between the main Fort Portal-Kasese road and Kibale Forest National Park, you’ll find a cluster of these crater lakes. Exploring these lakes is an exciting and captivating experience cherished by many tourists.
Fort Portal is home the highest number of crater lakes in Uganda, tataling 50, each varying in size and character. These crater lakes offer a range of activities, including swimming, fishing, nature walks, cycling, and birdwatching. The lakeshores and the surrounding areas are home to over 300 bird species and various primate species. The Fort Portal crater lakes are distributed in both the northern and southern parts of the city. The breathtaking landscape of the crater lakes, cradled amidst steep hillsides in the southern region of Fort Portal, provides travelers with a picturesque setting for leisurely nature walks and road cycling. Biking safaris are a popular way to explore this area, where you’ll encounter crater lakes that reach depths of over 400 meters.
List of the crater lakes in Fort portal, western Uganda.
Since Fort portal has 50 crater lakes here are some of them one should consider paying a visit. The popular crater lakes include;
- Lake Nyabikere. This is 30mins drive from the main road at the edge of Kibaale forest national park. And when translated Nyabikere mean frog. One can possibly access Lake Nkuraba from Lake Nyabikere via Lake Nyinabulitwa to lake Nyamirima. Lake Nyabikere is a popular base for the chimp treks in the primate kingdom of Kibaale.
- Lake Nyinambuga. This lake is located south of the lake Nkuraba and has got amazing landscapes around it which is full of forests. This lake has got many luxurious places of stay for people with very high budget one of them being Ndali lodge.
- Lake Kifuruka. This lake is located west of lake Nyinambuga and has blue green waters which offer stunning views of nature. The waters are of that color because they are still suphuric. This lake also has hotels like Ndali lodge which is set on a narrow ridge overlooking this waterbody 100 meters below.
- Lake Nkuraba. Lake Nkuraba is located 25 kilometers south of Fort portal. On this lake there is a campsite known as Enfuzi community campsite.
- Lake Lyantonde. This lake is located south west of Lake Nyinambuga. Lake Lyantonde I one of the beautiful lake and has various accommodation like the papaya lake lodge where ne can sleep.
- Lake Kasenda. This lake has fertile soils around it therefore it favors the growth of crops an plants like the Arabic coffee which has led to the growth of Agro tourism in the area.
Note: while on the visit to Kasenda one cant miss visiting the Mohammad falls in Kabata village near Ndali lodge
- Lake Katanda. This lake is secluded and is very close to the Mohamed falls which may also added on the list to compliment the visit.
Other crater lakes in Fort Portal include;
- lake Mwimba
- Lake Rwenjuba
- Lake Mwamba
- Lake Mwegenyi
- Lake Murigamire
- Lake Ntambi
- Lake Nyamugasani
- Lake Mutusi
- Lake Nyamirima
- Lake Kanyango
- Lake Lugembe
- Lake Nyaswiga
- Lake Nyamiteza
- among others.
Things to do on a visit to Uganda’s crater lakes in Fort Portal.
Tour the different volcanic crater lakes.
This is the star and main activity that is done. It involves visiting the different crater lakes thus viewing the different attractions found on the lakes, getting beautiful scenic views of the landscape and the Rwenzori mountains ranges. As you tour you will meet the locals who I’ll be greeting you, different birds on the shores, and other water animals. You will explore the different crater lakes like lake Nyabikere which is one of the easiest lakes to access located 11km from Fort portal and has different accommodation facilities.
Nature walks around the lake
This involves walking around the lakes for example taking a walk around lake Nkuraba going to see tye views of the crater lakes above like lake Nyamiteza. These nature walks will earn you sights of the birds, interaction with the people who live around the lakes.
Top of the world walk.
From this point you can see the 3 lakes at the same time which is a good option for the nature wall in the area. There is an accommodation at the top of the view point that serves as a stopping point for eats and drinks and spending the night.
Visiting the Rwenzori mountains.
One can choose to proceed to the Rwenzori mountain while on the visit to the crater lakes in the Fort portal. Mountain Rwenzori is the highest mountain Uganda. This is one of the icons of the country with a variety of impressive landscapes. And while here you can get involved in the hiking an mountaineering.
Other activities that one can get involved in are; swimming, fishing, birdwatching, primate watching, cycling and hiking
How to get to Fort portal?
Fort portal is very accessible and very well connected. Through the lakes there are different dirt roads that connect to different lakes. Mainly there is a main road that goes through the Fort portal to Rwakwenzi in the south passing through the top of the world Nyinambuga, lake Mwimba, Lake Kasenda, Lake Rwenjuba and finally to the tow of Rwakwenzi. This route is accessible without using 4×4 from here you can go through the different lakes that are a far kilometers from the main road.
If you are accessing Fort portal from Kampala you I’ll follow a good road (A109) travelling the most 300km that separates the city. If you are coming from the North you can get there from Masindi-Hoima Fort portal road an if your coming from south you can get there from Kasese on the same A109 road which skirts the Rwenzori mountains o through Katoma and Kibaale national park.
Its advisable while visiting the crater lakes in Fort portal to have your own vehicle or hire private driver to take you through.
For an adventurous and amazing successful tour to the crater lakes in Fort portal book and work with us( @Journeys Uganda) you won’t regret.