Hiking Sipi Falls in Uganda.
Hiking Sipi Falls in Uganda.

Hiking Sipi Falls in Uganda. Discover the most beautiful waterfall in Eastern Uganda. Book a trip to hike Sipi Falls now.

Hiking Sipi Falls in Uganda. The Sipi Falls are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Uganda. The Sipi Falls consists of 3 waterfalls and are located in the District of Kapchorwa East of Uganda on the boundary of Mount Elgon National Park. Apart from the Sipi Falls, there are over 1000 other less-known waterfalls on the slopes of Mountain Elgon in areas of Bulago, Chebonet, Sisiyi, and Wanale. Unfortunately, some of these waterfalls are found higher up the mountain and unreachable unless one opts for a hike to the Top of Mountain Elgon.

The name Sipi comes from the “Sep”, a plant that thrives around the banks of the river Sipi. The Sep plant has a green and red color and has a striking resemblance to a wild banana. A story is told of how some British travelers found a local lady picking the wild Sep plant near the river Sipi and asked her for the name of the beautiful falls uphill. She assumed they were inquiring about the wild plants and answered, “Sep”. The British travelers heard Sipi and thought it was the name of the waterfalls. From then onward, the waterfalls became known as Sipi.

Getting to Sipi Falls.

The major route used to reach sip is the Kampala – Jinja highway which offers opportunities to see fascinating places like the Mabira forest and the river Nile among others. After Jinja, the journey continues to Iganga town before turning off to join the Tinyiri highway leading to Mbale. Alternatively, one can continue straight up to Tororo town and then to Mbale. The journey from Kampala to Sipi can take between three to four hours of driving by road.

Hiking Sipi Falls in Uganda.

Sipi Falls is one of the top things to do while on a tour through Uganda. Touring Sipi Falls is great for family, partners, or those seeking to have an adventurous and good time away from the stress of urban life. Once in the lodges around Sipi, some of the falls can be seen from afar. However, a hike to the actual falls is different from viewing or taking photos from afar. A guide is required because the trails are not marked and can be confused with routes used by the village residents. The local guides live in the area and using their help will ensure you don’t get lost. The guides can help you with your heavy luggage and passing through the more difficult sections of the hike. They know how to navigate through local property and can help you explain the history of the falls and facts about the different kinds of plants along the way. There are so many guides around the lodges and the starting points all claiming to know the area. Be careful not to be overcharged. To avoid the imposters and fakes, ask for a receipt or get a reliable guide from your lodge. Travelers who book their trip through a tour operator should expect to find everything arranged before their arrival including a guide.

The sipi falls area receives a lot of rain and the trails can be slippery because of the mud. It is advisable to acquire good hiking boots that have a firm grip on the ground. A walking stick should be provided by your chosen guide.

Hiking starting point.

Hiking Sipi Falls in Uganda. There are several starting points and it all depends on which particularly waterfall you intend on hiking. If you are intending on seeing all three, then it is better to start with the top most to save your energies for the main waterfall downside. Choosing to start from the top-most falls involves following the route from Budadiri and then joining the Sasa trail to reach the summit before descending the Sipi trail to the waterfalls. However, most people start with the first and main waterfall and it is what we shall describe for now.

The first and main) Sipi falls drops at about 95m (the highest) and is where most people end their hike. Most of the accommodation facilities are found within the fast fall.  Although this main drop is the most beautiful and attracts most people, hiking to also see the other two higher falls is more adventurous. The upper two provide great better views of Karamoja’s plains, Mount Elgon, and beyond

The second or middle fall is known as the Simba Falls and is about 74m tall. Reaching this second cave involves hiking past the first waterfall and then continuing to a steep trail to an ancient cave. There are bats in the caves and humans are believed to have lived in these caves for hundreds of years. Hikers can stand near the entrance of the cave and watch the water from behind safely.

The third fall involves hiking further up more steep areas before reaching the topmost falls known as Ngasire. The distance between the second and third falls is more challenging to hike although the reward is greater. Nsagire is the tallest Waterfall at about 85 meters and you will begin seeing them at a far distance. The height, force of the flow, and mist covering the place are amazing. The mist is so strong that it reaches most of the forests surrounding the place making them unusually dark green. The sun and mist combine to form mild rainbows which look very spectacular. Hikers will also have opportunities to take great photos of Mount Elgon, Lake Kyoga, and the Karamoja plains. After taking enough photos, the descent back to the starting point of the lodge was pretty simple and less demanding. If there is still time to spare, hikers can stop by a lodge midway for lunch or relaxation.

Other tourist activities around sipi Falls.

The area around the Sipi Falls is a serene place that cannot be enjoyed in one day. Apart from the main activity of hiking to see the three Sipi falls, visitors can choose to take part in other activities within the area such as: –

Visiting Sisiyi falls.

Bugisu Arabica Coffee Tour.

Climbing Mount Elgon.

Abseiling Sipi Falls.

Bird Watching.

Nature and Village walks.

Mountain Biking and jogging.

Cultural Walk and Visits.

Visiting Wildlife Reserves that are to say Pian up and Matheniko Game reserves

Visiting the Nyero Rock Paintings.

Watching Bulls Fight in Bududa.

Climbing Tororo Rock.

Kapkwai Forest Exploration.

When to visit Sipi Falls.

Uganda has a tropical climate with two rainy and wet seasons. Temperatures are relatively steady and warm throughout the year. The Sipi Falls can therefore be visited throughout the year. Visiting the waterfalls during the drier seasons of the year is popular with travelers and tourists who wish to experience the cool weather in the area. The dry season is best for a visit because the trail up to the highest waterfall is not slippery. However, the waterfalls are larger and flow with more intensity during the rainy season. We, therefore, encourage visitors to visit even during the rainy season to experience the full force of the waterfalls.

Accommodation around the Sipi Falls.

There are no shortages of hotels and lodges around the Sipi falls area that offers comfortable living while enjoying the cool and peaceful environment. The accommodation facilities range from the Up Market, moderate to budget options. These hotels include The Crow’s Nest, Sipi River Lodge, Lacam lodge, Noah’s ark hotel,

Contact us with any more inquiries about organizing a trip to Hiking sipi falls.

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Katland Safaris
April 20, 2024
Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

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