It’s common for travellers to enter a town, sample a few of the happening spots and head out. Little do they notice how much lies beyond the town.
The same happens to most people who go through Fort Portal town. A lot has been said and written about this town already. But tucked away 11km from the town whose leaders are dreaming of turning into a city, is a gem – Kluge’s guest farm. The place is accessible by a first-class murram road.
When Stefan Kluge came to Uganda in 1989 to help with the rehabilitation of the tea industry in the western part of the country, he saw no better place to settle than in the shadows of the mountains of the moon.
In 1992, Mariam and Stefan Kluge, bought the 72-acre piece of land on which the guest farm sits today. It is surrounded by a papyrus swamp and a tropical rain forest, which is home to several families of black and white colubus and grey vervet monkeys.
Over the years, the ever-welcoming couple has developed the land into a farm and planted a big number of trees and flowers of various varieties, making this place so unique and colourful. Today, Kluge’s Guest Farm is a nature lover’s sight to behold.
Indeed, the intriguing combination of swamp, forest and open land makes the place attractive for a wide variety of birds thus making it an ideal place for birding. Species like the crested crane, sunbirds, hornbills, crows and the different coloured Turacos are a common sight here.
Apart from birding, guests can take nature walks in the vast forest, get a ride on a horse and/or decide to camp here. The camp site facilities are equipped with running hot and cold water, showers and flush toilets, so one should worry about a lizard falling on one’s head as nature’s call is being answered.
Campers may carry their own tents or use those at the guest farm. Visitors to this place also enjoy taking a dip in the swimming pool. The kids too have their own pool nearby where they splash under the watchful eye of their parents.
The restaurant, Gavamukulya, Luganda for “strength comes from food” has an a la carte menu with daily specials and if one has a special order, the chef will gladly serve the request.
The cuisine is farm-based with fresh milk from the farm, home-grown vegetables and freshly baked bread. I recommend the whole fish served with chips and a salad.
Kabarole’s people have even discovered a secret in holding their wedding receptions in its plush gardens. Now you know - there is more to Fort Portal than just the beautiful town centre.
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