Locate in the Eastern part of Uganda in Kapchorwa district Sipi Falls is one of the many known and visited falls in Uganda. The Falls are known by locals and foreigners and they have been termed as one of the most romantic places in Uganda. The Sipi Falls pick water as it flows from the slopes of the Elgon Mountain and they are the starting point for the many hikers who climb up the Elgon Mountain.
The Sipi Falls are divided into three waterfalls and the first one is the longest with a drop of 100 meters, the second one has a drop of 85 meters with an upper cascade before plunging and the last of the waterfalls has a drop of 75 meters and it is columnar.
When the falls are hit by the morning sun, they create a mini rainbow which is a sight to see and they are also known to flow with a misty form and they are very vigorous and although there are other small waterfalls in the area, they are not as prominent as the Sipi Falls.
Sipi falls offer breathtaking scenery and it is believed that they were named after a local plant that grows on the banks of the River known as Sep. The local guides tell as told of how the British went to visit the falls and found a young woman picking the Sep from the banks and when they asked for the name of the falls, the woman thinking they were asking for the name of the plant she happily replied Sep and that is how the Falls came to be known as Sipi Falls.
The falls are known for their cold weather and tourists are advised to carry some heavy clothes to curb the coldness and this cool falls are known to be a healing place by the local people when one dives into the Sipi Falls.
Activities that can be done when one visits the Sipi Falls
There are several activities that can be carried out when one visits the Sipi Falls and some of these activities have been listed below:
As you head for abseiling at the Sipi falls, remember to go with a helmet. Abseiling is a sport of descending the slopes and rocks with a friction device that is attached to one’s harness. The sport is not for the faint hearted and when it comes to Sipi Falls, the abseiling can be organized at the Chebonet Falls with a climbing routes ranging from 10 meters to 35 meters. The Chebonet Falls have fifteen sporting climbing sports and this is one of the experiences that you do not want to miss when you visit the Elgon region.
Sipi has well marked routes that can be used for mountain biking. This is mostly done by all those people who love to have a thrill and it is mostly done in the morning and evening and during this ride, you get to see the different birds that can be seen in the Mountain Elgon National park.
Sipi offers one of the best hiking routes in the country. It has several hike routes up the Elgon mountain and these hikes take like fifteen minutes and the beauty about the hiking is the cool weather that is around the Falls and you will take these hikes with an experienced tour guide.
There are various routes that one can use when it comes to nature walks and these are guided by the different experienced local tour guides. You will be able to walk through the different communities and learn about the different cultures that are carried out by the locals that live around Sipi falls.
A visit to the Arabica Coffee Plantations
These are a big attraction to the tourists. They are found on the banks of the River and are found in the Bugisu region. This is possible due to the conducive weather and the fertile soils found in the area. you will be able to find out more about the Arabica coffee and how it is harvested, the exporting process and also help in the sorting and roasting process. To learn more about one of the best coffees in the world, visit a local farmer to take you through the whole process from planting to exporting and then you will be able to appreciate every cup of coffee you take and all this with just a visit to Sipi Falls.
You can enjoy spot fishing in the River and the falls. This is much anticipated mostly by those who love fishing. Come and experience the different techniques used in fishing like the fly method and others and you might also be able to catch a few different kinds of fish and it also provides a challenge of the rainbow trout and when you go spot fishing, remember to bring your own fishing equipment.
There are different types of bird species that can be seen when you take a safari to the Sipi Falls and these can be found in the Mountain Elgon National Park and they include the Tecazze sunbird, black collared Apalis, black shouldered kite, bush shrikes, African Blue flycatcher, Baglafetcht weaver, Jacksons Francolin, the Lammergeyer and many more other bird species.
Trek on the slopes of the Elgon Mountain
As earlier on said, Sipi Falls are locate on the Elgon Mountain and a visit o the place will give you a chance to take a hike up the Mountain where you will be able to view the neighboring towns surrounding the mountain once you are at the Wagagai peak, the beautiful scenery offered from the top, the different cakes that is the Khauka cave and Kapkwai cave located on the Wanale Ridge and these can be used as camping sites and for shelter. And not forgetting the different birds that you will see as you ascend and descend the Elgon Mountain. you should also carry good hiking shoes and clothes which will not let you slide and the perfect time to climb the mountain is during the dry season sa that you avoid the slippery routes.
A visit to the Mountain Elgon National Park
As you are heading to the Sipi Falls, you can visit the Mountain Elgon National Park since they are all found in the same area. You will be able to see the different animals that are found in the area like the Oribi, Duiker, squirrels, elephants, Defassa’s waterbuck, buffalos, blue monkey, spotted hyenas and many more other wild life animals.
Cultural visit with the locals
You can visit the local people who live around the Falls who are majorly the Bagisu and the sebei and enjoy their local food like the Malewa known as the bamboo shoots and the circumcision days which are used to initiate the boys into adulthood.
What’s the best time for one to safari in Sipi falls?
The climate in Uganda is tropical and this makes Sipi Falls an all year round visiting place. Sipi falls has a cooler environment as compared to the other places in the country. The water falls increase during the rainy season and reduce during the dry season but this cannot stop you from visiting the Sipi falls any day any time.
Where is the accommodation around Sipi Falls?
There are various lodges where one can stay when they safari at Sipi Falls but they also depend on how much you have budgeted for when it comes to your safari. If you have a good budget that will not be affected when it comes to spending, you can try the hotels and resorts that can be found around sipi Falls and some of these include:
Sipi River Hotel, this is made up of various luxurious cottages that have inbuilt water system, electricity, personal bathrooms and toilets and has beautiful décor which relaxes your mind after a long hike on the Sipi falls.
Sipi Falls Resort which is located in the mountain Elgon National Park and it has self contained several grass thatched huts and you will get to sleep like how most of the indigenous people sleep in the area and this is one experience you do not want to miss.
And if you have limited money to spend on you safari, you can go to the Crow’s nest which is 2000 meters from the Elgon Mountain slopes and it gives you a clear view of the slopes and the surrounding area. The resort was built in form of dome tents which provides the perfect accommodation place if you do not have enough money.
as you travel to Sipi falls, you need to be aware of the different accidents that might take place in the area due to the narrow road and slippery rocks. Make sure you ask the guide for the best routes to use when it comes to hiking and enjoying other activities at the Sipi Falls.