The Sipi falls are a phenomenon and breathtaking to many visitors, both local and foreign. Regarded as one of the most romantic places in Uganda, the falls are a series of three prominent waterfalls, with the longest drops as high 100m, the second waterfall drops 75m below with upper cascades before the plunge and the third water fall measures 85m it is tall and columnar with a vigorous flow with mist creating mini rainbows when the sun hits it.
With many other countless less prominent falls nearby, this is a wonderful place to bring a loved one to spend some quality time together. The falls pick their water as it flows from the slopes of Mountain Elgon located in Eastern Uganda in Kapchorwa District, North East of Mbale and Sironko.
Sipi falls are situated at the edge of Mount Elgon National Park near the Kenyan border 55km north of Mbale District and they are also usually the starting point for many hikers looking to scale Mountain Elgon. The falls are also popular for the cool weather, the ice cold water which some describe as healing when dove into and the swim in the waters is very refreshing.
The waterfalls derive their name from the Sipi River which in turn was named after the local plant growing along the river banks called the “sep”. This plant resembles a type of wild banana with translucent green fronds with a bolt of crimson red used for medicinal purposes like treating measles and fever.
Sipi falls is an owesome place to visit all year round since Uganda has a tropical climate which means that it is warm all year and has no drastic changes. Sipi falls is always cool and is cooler than all the areas around, a place to visit to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Sipi falls has many safari lodges around the area that you can stay at and enjoy the cool environment as you relax and unwind. For backpackers, the Crow’s Nest is a good place to stay as it is situated 2000m on the slopes of mountain Elgon offering stunning views of the Sipi falls and the slopes of the mountain. It consists of a number of dome tents and provides very little luxuries thus perfect if on a small budget.
For mid-range and upmarket visitors, the resorts and hotels are a good place to lay your head and they include; Sipi Falls Resort which is located within the Mount Elgon National Park and is made up of self-contained grass thatched huts which will heighten your enjoyment by sleeping the way the indigenous people of the country used to. It also offers views of the falls and the fantastic Karimajong plains.
Sipi River Lodge which is made up of luxurious cottages with very tasteful décor and is perfect if you prefer a quality night in. other resorts include Mbale resort hotel, Lacam lodge, Mount Elgon hotel and Noah’s ark hotel among others.
Hiking is a very good option for tourists who go to Sipi falls as you can pick from the numerous popular waterfall walks. These can be as short and simple as 15 minutes or as strenuous as whole day. However the cool breeze of the Sipi falls will offer a lot of comfort.
The Arabica coffee plantations are also a marvel for many tourists who come to Sipi falls and they are set mainly around mountain elgon which has volcanic soils coupled with the cool weather which are perfect for the healthy coffee plants. Arabica coffee is known to grow at altitudes of about 1600m and one of the best kinds of coffees in the world.
It is an amazing experience to see the different levels of the coffee production chain like the farmers, processors, exporters and roasters among others as you can also take part in the roasting and sorting as you prepare your own cup of coffee straight from the source. Enjoy Mount Elgon expeditions as you hike this majestic giant, the second largest volcanic in the world measuring about 3000m above sea level and is imperious to the landscape.
Enjoy Abseiling – the art of descending rock and slopes using a friction device attached to your harness and these can be organized at the Chebonet Falls and are made up of 15 sport climbing routes ranging from 10m – 35m. You can enjoy the descents and also have fun climbing all the way up. Make sure you have a climbing helmet and other gear before partaking.
The runner’s experience where you can visit the home of the national running legends and trek or run the routes that they run , you might as well take part and enjoy some of the Sebei cultures like circumcision.
Bird watching is a renowned activity can be enjoyed at the Sipi falls as you get immersed in the beauty of the Ugandan wildlife and challenge yourself to spot as many species as you can. Fly Fishing is done on the remote section of the Sipi River above the waterfall,here you learn and take part in the art of fly fishing which requires different techniques of fishing.
Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve as you enjoy the wild life at the Pian Upe and enjoy the diversity in the country, the reserve has some intriguing animals including the ostrich.
Mountain biking is a great way for thrill chasers to get the Sipi wind rushing through their hair and also enjoy the scenery.
Nyero Rock Paintings in Kumi is two hours from Sipi falls and is one of the most historical rock art in the nation. They are revered as a sacred place for the Gods and and even the heritage of mankind.
Immerse yourself in the history as you tour how the ancient people used to live through their art as you marvel at their advanced and artistic way of interpreting life.