Tooro Kingdom in western Uganda is one of the most interesting Kingdoms with some of the most breathtaking natural and cultural attractions worth exploring while on a safari. When it comes to culture, this Kingdom is a true African boiling pot with so much to explore than you can ever imagine. To remove your curiosity, the mind-blowing Amabere Caves and the Karambi Royal Tombs are all found within Tooro Kingdom in Western Uganda. Another mind-blowing cultural site within this region is the Tooro Royal Palace.
This beautiful Place was constructed in 1963, fell into destruction after the abolition of Kingdoms by Obote I government in 1966 but was newly refurbished in 2001 with the assistance of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (former leader of Libya). The beautiful structure is the Royal Palace of the King (Omukama) of Tooro Kingdom and is found on Kabarole Hill near the serene Fortportal Town hence offers a 360-degree Panoramic Views of the surrounding areas. This Kingdom has one of the most interesting things and is where you will get to learn about the rich history of the Kingdom including how the reigning King took over power and at what age and the relations of the Kingdom with the fallen leader of Libya-Colonel Gadhafi among others riveting facts.
The current King of this exceptional Kingdom is Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV. Omukama Oyo took succeeded his father Omukama Rukirabasaija Patrick David Mathew Kaboyo Olimi III (12th King of Toro Kingdom) in 1995 at the tender age of three years after the sudden death of the former King. However, the Kingdom was ruled by Traditional elders until Oyo was of age (18 years). The word “Kabarole” means “let them see” and derived the name from the terrain of the place. The fact that Kabarole is found on a hilly place, it offers picturesque views of the areas surrounding the Kingdom (Royal Palace).
Outside the Palace is where you will see other temporary structures (grass thatched houses) in which the Omukama performs the annual Coronation anniversaries, locally known as “Empango” (just as it is called in Bunyoro Kingdom).If you are conversant with Bunyoro Kingdom, you will concur that most of the cultural practices are the same. For instance a King in Bunyoro is also known as Omukama. When you visit this Palace, you will get to learn more about how these two Kingdoms came to be what they are today.
Kabarole Royal Palace is a very significant site to the entire Tooro Kingdom, mostly because it is where the Empango (Annual Coronation Ceremonies) are conducted and is also the residence or palace for the King. When you visit the Site while on a Safari, you will meet the caretaker who will also be the guide and he will take you around the palace while sharing the stories about the Kingship and history of Tooro Kingdom that makes the Palace a perfect Cultural Site for tourists within and outside of Tooro Kingdom. You will also learn about some of the Ceremonies that take place around the Palace, although you will not be allowed to enter inside the Palace.
In conclusion, the Tooro Royal Place is one of the must-visit Cultural Sites to visit while on a safari in Uganda, especially in western Uganda. Don’t visit Kibale Forest National Park and leave without visiting the site that brings history of Tooro Kingdom back to life.