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Katasiha Fort and Caves

The Katashiha Fort and Caves are located in Hoima District about 3km on Hoima –Biso-Butiaba Road. The Fort and Caves were constructed by King Kabalega in 1894 as a hide out and defence line during the war with the British. The river before you reach the site provided the first line of defence for the King’s army. He extensively used the fort and caves to fight the war after he abandoned his palace at Mparo.

Details of the Fort and Caves
After King Kabalega and his army were attacked at Mparo in December 1893, they withdrew to Katasiha and set up a battled front. He mobilised his soldiers to dig up trenches in protective circles with many tunnels. The tunnels which were constructed within one month helped his army to move from one command post to another and the tunnels provided a cover from bullets.

Battles fought around the Fort
King Kabalega fought many battles against the British around the fort and caves. The manner in which Kabalega set up his battlefield and the seven years it took the combined forces of the British, Baganda and Sudanese to defeat him made Kabalega one of the toughest opponents to be faced by the colonialists .He later abandoned site and retreated northwards from where he waged a guerrilla war.

British occupation of the Fort
In 1893 the British army occuppied the fort and caves and used them as a base for military operations against King Kabalega.

Burning of the Fort
In 1898 Kabalega’s chiefs Kikukule and Ireta attacked and burnt down the fort. The fort was later rebuilt as the Bunyoro District headquarters in 1900.  Katasiha Fort was again abandoned when the district offices moved to their present location in 1967.

Current state of the fort and caves
What remains today is a long trench partially filled by soil running in several directions. The size of underground tunnel is not known as its entrance was blocked many years ago.

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