Fort Patiko, Sir Samuel Baker’s Fort
Fort Patiko, also known as the Baker’s Fort, was a military fort constructed by Sir Samuel Baker in Uganda. The fort, a historical tourist site in northern Uganda was constructed 1872. Following the departure of Baker in 1888, Charles Gordon and Emin Pasha used the Fort during their tenure as governor of the Equatorial Province under the British Uganda Protectorate. The fort that covers about 9.4 hectares is found in Ajulu Parish, Patiko Sub-county, Aswa County in Gulu district. The fort is among the tourist attractions in northern Uganda. These include Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Mount Moroto, Mount Morungole and Arua Falls in Pader district.
The Fort Features
The Baker’s Patiko, one of the historical tourist sites in Uganda is open to the public for tours and there are entrance fees charged by the sub county administration. Located almost 32 kilometers north of Gulu Town, the Baker’s Fort is encircled by a 15 feet deep and 16 feet wide ditch excavated by slaves on the orders of the Arabs to avoid the escape of the slavery detainees.
Inside Fort lies well-trimmed grass, with a rectangular-shaped configuration sitting on the left of the huge compound. This minor house acted as a reception and a registration room. On the right side of the composite is an oval-shaped erection of about two feet up and used to be a waiting room for visitors.
Outside the deluxe compound spotted with small, scattered, extended rocks is a roofless hut in square form that Arabs used to store their items. In one of the store fortifications, there is an engraving that reads “Fatiko, 1872-88, founded by Sir Samuel Baker, occupied by Gordon and Emin”.
Sir Samuel Baker spelled the name Patiko wrongly as he wrote the inscription. Positioned near the three huts stand a gigantic rock known as the Baker’s seat. The Arabs would stand to watch any possible intrusion to the area by the enemies. Behind the 3 square-shaped huts was the execution lump and what remains of it is a hollow where slaves fated for killing were imprisoned.
The execution slab is speckled with dents created by axes used in beheading the slaves. There are dark spots thought to be blood stains of slaves visible on the rock. Whereas the fort might have experienced the Arab terror during slave trade days, the natural attractiveness of the site stand above its bad past. The Uganda government gazetted the Fort as its property in 1972. Local and foreign tourists continue to throng the area to celebrate the splendor and antiquity of the site.