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Sipi Falls Breathtaking Waterfalls

Sipi Falls is the most beautiful, stunning and breathtaking waterfalls in Uganda, with a series of three waterfalls all of different heights. This is a reason you should consider visiting sipi falls in Africa (Uganda). The view of the wide plains disappearing into the distance below is also spectacular. It’s well worth spending a night or two in this peacefully magnificent place, which also allows you time to enjoy some of the excellent walks in the area, including the show-stopping descent to the bottom of the falls.

 

The Sipi Falls area is particularly famous for locally grown Bugisu Arabica coffee. Bugisu Arabica only grows at an altitude of between 1,600 and 1,900 metres. Coffee tours are organized through guides with knowledge of coffee farming, processing and roasting. Profits from this go towards community projects.

Overview | Sipi Falls

Overview: Sipi Falls

Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls in Eastern Uganda in the district of Kapchorwa, northeast of Sironko and Mbale. The waterfalls lie on the edge of Mount Elgon National Park near the Kenyan border. The Sipi River is named after the ‘Sep’, a plant indigenous to the banks of the River. Resembling a type of wild banana, Sep is a medicinal plant, the translucent green frond with a bolt of crimson rib is used for treating measles and fever.

The Sipi Falls area is particularly famous for locally grown Bugisu Arabica coffee. Bugisu Arabica only grows at an altitude of between 1,600 and 1,900 metres. Coffee tours are organized through guides with knowledge of coffee farming, processing and roasting. Profits from this go towards community projects

 

The sipi falls is comprised of 3 waterfalls each flowing from a different altitude. The highest fall drops from an altitude of 100m referred to as the main fall since it is the last fall in the series, this fall is a little bigger than the other two falls, but all give Uganda a beautiful scenery. In fact most people say that sipi falls are the ‘most romantic falls’ in Uganda which is evidenced by the wonderful falls.  This area is majorly where most hikes to Mt. Elgon are started from. Hiking up to these falls gives a beautiful scenic view, like Lake Kyoga, the karamoja low lands, coffee plantations and other surrounding areas.

 

The climate in this area is cool since it’s a hilly area and sometimes as individuals are hiking there are rains, which makes hiking a bit hard but it is also an experience of its own, generally it is a place available for chilling, loosening up and relaxing from the congestion around cities.

 

The nearby communities have hospitable people and majorly the Sabiny and Bagishu live around this area and do farming such as growing of Arabica coffee which is the major cash crop in this land, this coffee is grown on altitudes between 1600metres and 1900metres above sea level. While there individuals can engage in visiting these plantations, these visits can be organized by local guides in the area.

How To Get There

How to get there & When to go: Sipi Falls

How to get there:

  • By Road: A journey on road from Kampala city to Sipi takes you approximately 5 hours about 277km. here you drive to Eastern Uganda on Jinja road passing via the outskirts of Jinja town, then go through Mbale town as you head to Kapchorwa the home to the beautiful sipi falls. Along the way you will be able to see the beautiful green vegetation and rocks along the slopes of Mountain Elgon. Driving to this area also adds to your unforgettable experience before you even reach.

When to go:

  • As earlier said the weather in the sipi area is cool all year round, so you can travel and visit this place at any time in the year, though during rainy seasons you may get challenges hiking hence advised to move with walking sticks, this is an added experience.

Wildlife And Activities

Things to Do: Sipi Falls

Hiking

Since all the waterfalls are located in different areas of Mt. Elgon, it is impossible to see them at the same time but they can be seen in one day. The paths to these falls are approximately 7km to 8km as you walk and it takes around 3 hours to visit all the falls, but it is dependent on individual fitness and pace. As you hike you will need walking sticks to give you support since you go through some steep spots and in case it rains the paths get slippery and muddy.

 

Abseiling & Rock climbing

  • You need to do abseiling in Uganda; sipi is the place to go. This activity is done at the main water fall and is most enjoyed by adventurous travelers. Equipments also known as rappels to be used are availed and also there are skilled guides to guide you through this exciting adventure.

 

Coffee plantation visit

  • The coffee plantations are on the lower slopes of Mt. Elgon; while at sipi add on your experience by visiting these plantations. The coffee is majorly Arabica coffee and grows within altitudes 1600m and 1900m, it is the cash crop to the Bagishu and Sabiny in this area, during this visit you will learn also how coffee is harvested, processed, roasted and other things, you will also be able to see how people live in these communities.

 

Cultural encounters

  • Being in Kapchorwa there is a lot to see like the Sabiny who basically stay around sipi. There way of life, dress code, traditional dances that can be organized by the community. Also this place is known for female and male circumcision, though that of females has reduced over the years since it was found to be unhealthy and risky to women, but that of men is an amazing activity to witness especially if you visit thus area during the time circumcisions are done.

 

Bird watching

  • You are a birder, you can miss out on visiting sipi while on a safari in Uganda, in fact mountain elgon national park has around 275 bird species so you will see most of them while in this area, you can also see some birds while seated in the gardens of Sipi River lodge if that is the accommodation you have opted for.

 

Mountain Biking

  • You can opt to travel with your bike if you are to take part in this activity; it is so adventurous and thrilling to ride your bike on the Rocky Mountains, something to remember always.

 

Visit the Sipi River

  • Apart from visiting the 3 waterfalls you could also take a time and visit the Sipi River, it has nice vegetation including the ‘sep plant’ which is where the name sipi was derived. This plant is said to be a medicine to measles and fevers. Enjoy a walk along this river with its beautiful scenery.

Where To Stay

Where to stay: Sipi Falls

Where to stay: Hotels & Lodges:

There are a number of accommodation facilities in sipi region, and there are no worries of where to stay as long as you visit this area. The facilities are Luxurious/Up market, mid range/moderate and those for budget travelers are also available, they include;

 

Sipi River lodge

  • This is an up market lodge found in Sipi falls region, it has a nice view since it is near the water falls, it is safe and secure with comfortable and en suite rooms such as those that have elegant designs, those offering better views of the water falls. There are various cottages and Bandas with various names like the Chepkui cottage, Kapsurur cottage, and the Piswa and Sasa Bandas among others.
  • There are various facilities provided by this lodge like the stylish bar, nice veranda, a reading longue, a dining room.

 

Sipi Falls resort

  • This is a moderate/midrange resort located in the sipi region. This lodge has 5 comfortable thatched cottages which are equipped with private facilities. It has a very good restaurant that provides local and international cuisine and also a nice bar area where to enjoy your drink from.
  • Sipi falls resort is just a place to stay on your tour to sipi falls, the rooms are classified as double, single, twin, triple, family occupancy. These rooms also provide a nice view of the green vegetation and the romantic and beautiful waterfalls.

 

Lacam Lodge

  • This is also a midrange lodge; it is an impressive lodge to stay in, it is on a certain cliff which offers you a great view of the Sipi waterfalls. It has wooden Bandas that are made of timber and grass thatched; there are toilets and bathrooms en suite but it has like 3 non-self contained Bandas so these rooms are cheaper than the self contained rooms. The lodge also has space for camping where clients can pitch their tents.

 

Noah’s Ark Hotels

  • Located on the slopes of mountain Elgon, and favors all kinds of guests such as the luxury, midrange and Budget travelers. So you can book in basing on your room preference rooms. But in this instance someone visiting sipi falls would be advised to book accommodation in ‘Noah’s Ark Sipi Falls Resort’ especially if he/she is a budget traveler. This accommodation also has tents.

 

Crowns Nest Rest Camp

It is a campsite for budget travelers and it overlooks the 3 amazing Sipi waterfalls and other great sceneries like Mount Elgon peaks. The local staff of this place is good and friendly. While in this campsite you can easily go for some activities such as village walks, coffee plantation tours, hiking to the sipi falls, trekking Mount Elgon and rock climbing.

Gallery

When To Visit

Bwindi Impenetrable national park is open to visitors throughout the year, but the park is best visited during the dry seasons of the year that is from the month of June, July, August, December, January to February, these months receive little or no rainfall at all which has influenced a number of activities to take place including Gorilla trekking, birding experience, nature walks, and others, during this time, the trails are dry and the ground is less slippery enabling easy access through the trails.

 

Bwindi Impenetrable national park can also be visited during the wet season from the month of March, May, and September to November since the park is open and all the activities take place regardless of the rain. During the rain season, the park is green with plenty of food and fruits which attracts Many birds, and by this time, there will be a lot of Migratory birds.

Attractions

Activities: Mount Elgon National Park

Together with the fauna and flora, the park has a variety of scenery; this includes cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas, hot springs, and the mountain peaks. The most popular areas are the four explorable, vast caves where frequent night visitors such as elephants and buffaloes come to lick the natural salt found on the cave walls. Kitum cave, with overhanging crystalline walls, enters 200 m into the side of Mt. Elgon.

At the Endebess Bluff there a panoramic view of the areas’ escarpments, gorges, mesas, and rivers. The highest peak of Mt. Elgon on the Kenya side, Koitoboss, measures 13,852 ft (4,155 m), and is easily reached by hikers in about two hours from the road’s end. Activities include

Mount Elgon Caves:

  • Mount Elgon’s slopes are riddled with caves left by moving lava and erosion of soft volcanic deposits. The most accessible are Kapkwai Cave, near the Forest Exploration Centre, and Khauka Cave on Wanale Ridge. Historically, such features acted as shelters for locals and their livestock; later on they provided manure in the form of bat droppings.

Jackson’s Pool and Jackson’s Peak:

  • Jackson’s Pool stands at 4,050m and is a natural pool with shallow waters. This pool lies in the shadow of the 4,165m high Jackson’s Peak, a free-standing volcanic plug rising from the western flank of the mountain. These features were named after the explorer Frederick Jackson, who in 1889 was the first European to climb Mount Elgon

The peaks and the caldera:

  • Mount Elgon’s highest peaks are formed by high points around a jagged rim enclosing one of the world’s largest calderas, at 40km long and 8km wide. The tallest peak is the 4,321m Wagagi, followed by Sudek (4,303m), Koitobos (4,222m) and Mubiyi (4,210m).

Nkokenjeru Ridge and Wanale:

  • Nkokenjeru Ridge is a distinctive finger of forest extending outwards from the main massif of Mount Elgon. It lies at an elevation of 2,347m and covers a 25km-long tongue of lava that flowed out of the side of the volcano after the cone collapsed to block the main vent. Nkokenjeru Ridge culminates at the superb Wanale Cliffs which tower above Mbale Town; the seasonal Nabuyonga and Namatyo Waterfalls are located here. A trail at this western end of the ridge leads you to  Khauka Cave where petrified wood can be found.