The Sipi Falls is a stunning series of 3 waterfalls found in the Eastern part of Uganda within Kapchorwa district, northeast of the town of Sironko as well as Mbale town. The waterfalls are situated adjacent to Uganda’s boarder with Kenya.
The area around the Sipi Falls is the beginning point for several hikes taken on Mt. Elgon. These beautiful Sipi Falls are very much worth visiting particularly for travelers that are interested in adventuring the less traveled Easter part of the country or those who wish to escape from the too much activity within the capital city Kampala. The Budadiri trail is the most well-liked route followed by the Sasa trail all the way to the peak.
Descends are commonly done via the Sipi trail returning spectacular views of the verdant slopes of Mount Elgon, the Karamoja plains, as well as Lake Kyoga. Private and group trips can be organized through UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) or using the various private tour operators in and around the country.
River Sipi which is fed by these falls was named after an indigenous plant the ‘Sep’, only found at the river banks of River Sipi. The Sep plant resembles one of the species of wild bananas, and is a medicinal plant. Its transparent green leaf with a scram of crimson-rib is best used in treating fever as well as measles.
The fertile Sipi Falls area is majorly well known for the locally cultivated Bugishu Arabica coffee. Bugishu Arabica specifically grows at a high altitude between 1,600 to 1,900 meters. Fortunately, various companies organize Coffee tours accompanied by guides well knowledgeable about the coffee farming, the processing as well as the roasting procedures. Profits from the tours are offered to help in development of the various community projects in the adjacent communities.
Best activities around the Sipi Falls include;
Since the falls are located on the foothills of Mountain Elgon, they offers a variety of choices of activities which can be enjoyed some similar to those found at the source of the Nile in Jinja. For instance, Rob’s Rolling Rock, a local company trained by professional Italian climbers is one outfit that offers abseiling on the side of the major 100 meter Sipi waterfall, in addition to climbing on the 14 bolted sport-routes with a number of difficulties.
Trekking to the bottom of the 100 meter breathtaking Sipi waterfalls, bird watching, visits to the different caves along the course of river Sipi, rock climbing, Mount Elgon hiking, guided walks around the verdant surrounding hills and fishing on River Sipi.
Getting to Sipi Falls:
The Sipi Falls are located 60 kilometers from the town of Mbale along the main Kapchorwa Road. Minibus taxis are available and operate between Mbale town and Kapchorwa every day and for those people returning to the town of Mbale, the minibuses from Kapchorwa town normally drive through the area of the Sipi falls.
Places to stay around Sipi Falls:
There are several lodges as well as backpackers or campsites in this area that offer a diversity of accommodation facilities for all visitors’ budgets. The climate experienced around the Sipi area is cooler compared to many other parts of Uganda, hence making it a very ideal place to relax and escape all the commotion within the big town as well as the city while in Uganda.
Below I have pointed out some of the most accessible accommodation establishments around Sipi Falls among which you can choose to stay.
- The Crow’s Nest
- Sipi Falls Resort
- Twilight Sipi Falls Guesthouse
- Lacam Lodge
- Moses’s Campsite
- Sipi River Lodge