Sipi falls

Sipi falls over view

Sipi Falls is located in the Kapchorwa district of Uganda, roughly 277 kilometres from Kampala, Uganda’s capital. These falls are located in the slopes of Mount Elgon National Park thats home to one of the mountains in Uganda, close the Kenyan border with Uganda. The name sipi was derived from the word’sep,’ which is the name of a wild banana-like indigenous plant that grows along the banks of the Sipi River; this plant can be used as medicine by local people in that area to treat fevers and measles.

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.

There are no worries of where to stay or how much to pay and all other things because all types of accommodation are available for you while in Sipi such as the luxurious lodges, mid range hotels and budget hotels and also campsites are available for those interested in camping.

What to Do in Sipi Falls

Coffee Tours in Sipi Falls

Aside from the falls itself, a highlight of a visit to Sipi is a tour of a nearby family farm that takes you through the full coffee process. You’ll pick the coffee berries, then deshell and grind them with a traditional mortar and pestle before roasting them over an open fire and finishing with a fine cup of robust Arabica coffee. Meet family farms as we tour their farm and learn about the crop’s lifespan and their involvement in it. Visit the local processing factory and take a tour to observe the handpicked green beans awaiting export. Finally, master the artistry of coffee roasting and enjoy your own cup.

Nature Hikes at Sipi

Sipi Falls is at a height of  1,775 meters above the sea level. Sometimes hiking here can be a bit hard and muddy, but they are worthy it. Once you see the water falls, you will forget about your sore fit and just admire the magnificence of the falls. It will take you about 3 hours to complete all three falls hike

The majority of this hike trips follows a river, which makes it simple to keep on course. It will take you past coffee plantations and small villages.

The second-highest waterfall is up first. It drops 85 metres before ending in a maginificent splash. The following fall is the shortest, at 65 metres. You should be able to swim in it during the dry season. If it’s been raining, you can see the water crash in front of you from the cave behind the falls.

The last fall is the tallest, standing at 100 metres. Pack a swimsuit because the drop at the bottom is deep enough to swim in but can be cold.

In addition to Sipi Falls, there are other trails that go to Mount Elgon

Abseiling in Sipi Falls

 Abseiling is the technique of sliding down steep rocks or slopes while attached to a sturdy apparatus. The Sipi Falls are by far one of the best places for this adrenaline sport. Chebonet Falls part of sipi falls is ideal for rock climbing and abseiling. Rob’s Rolling Rock provides abseiling on a stretch of the main Sipi Falls with well-trained guides. Before beginning on this journey, you must have the proper rock climbing and abseiling equipment.

A visit to Sipi Falls is not complete without abseiling 100 meters down the waterfalls. This exercise is completed while hiking and exploring the various waterfalls. Abseiling in Sipi Falls is done on the third and last waterfall. At 100 metres, this is the tallest waterfall. You will climb and explore the other two waterfalls on your Sipi Falls safari, but you will have to go abseiling in Sipi to see the main waterfalls.

Mount Elgon Hiking

Mount Elgon, located on the boundary of Kenya and Uganda, is the world’s extinct volcano with the biggest surface area. Wagagai, at 4,321 metres, is the highest point. The entire hike to the summits takes five days, taking either the Sasa or Sipi paths. Laba Africa Expeditions can plan your journey to and from Sipi Falls, including all equipment.

Many travellers who have done Mt Elgon Hiking in Uganda have also visited Rwenzori Mountains in Kasese . The Rwenzori Mountain ranges are higher than the Alps and include glaciers that feed one of the world’s longest rivers. The area’s exceptional natural beauty is enhanced by the combination of spectacular snow-capped peaks, glaciers, V-shaped valleys, fast flowing rivers with magnificent waterfalls, clear blue lakes, and unique flora that extends from around 3,500 m to the snow line and represents the rarest vegetation types on the African continent.

Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve

Pian-Upe Wildlife Sanctuary

Take a look at the wild life at Pian Upe and admire the country’s uniqueness. The ostrich is one of the reserve’s most intriguing animals. Cycling in the mountains. Mountain riding is a terrific method for thrill seekers to feel the Sipi wind in their hair. Enjoy the sights as you speed past and have the time of your life.

Running with Olympic stars in Kapchorwa

Kapchorwa is one of only a few established high altitude training venues in Africa, and it is home for world champions when it comes to running.

It is known as Uganda’s running paradise, and it serves as a permanent home and training centre for hundreds of Uganda’s  and international endurance runners. World champions such as Joshua Cheptegei, Jacob Kiplimo, Peruth Chemutai, and Stephen Kiprotich has earned the region the moniker “The Land of Champions.”

Kapchorwa near sipi falls  is a tiny farming village positioned at 1800m altitude near Mount Elgon. Blessed with breathtaking views of the plateau far below. Fresh mountain air, tough terrain climbing to 2600m, limited traffic, and numerous routes of the famous red dirt to run on await visitors.

Climbing Tororo Rock: That amazing rock may be visited on the route back to Kampala via Mbale in Tororo town. The 1,483-meter-high rock is the primary attraction in Tororo town. Hiking Tororo rock is among the town’s most popular activities. The climb to and from the rock takes around 2 hours. On your descent down the rock, you’ll come across various rocks and paintings.

Kapkwai Forest Exploration Facility: Schools visit this centre to teach their students about forest protection. The Center lies 13 kilometres from Sipi’s little town, and guests can also visit adjacent caverns, escarpments, and lesser-known waterfalls. There are various bird species and monkeys that can be seen in the forest.

Cultural Tours Near Sipi

Cultural Walks & Visits: The Bagisu and Sabiny are two native tribes who dwell in the area near Sipi. After seeing the waterfalls, guests can go on a cultural tour to learn about the native culture of some of those tribes. During specific times of the year, travellers are drawn to the Sebei and Bugisu circumcision cultures. Bagusi (boys) and Sabiny (girls) teenagers are traditionally ushered onto manhood through cultural initiation rites that culminate in circumcision. Forced female circumcision was common among the Sabiny only two decades ago, but due to vigorous efforts against the practise by female activists, it has been nearly eliminated.

Paintings on Nyero Rock

The Nyero rock drawings near Kumi, two hours from Sipi Falls, are among the most historically significant rock art in the country. They are recognised as a holy sanctuary for the Gods and today house much of Uganda’s and even humanity’s heritage. Immerse yourself in history by touring how ancient people lived via their art. Admire their sophisticated and artistic approach to life.

Sebei people in sipi

Best Time to visit Sipi Falls

There is no such a thing as ” when is the best time to visit Sipi falls” Uganda does have a tropical type of climate with all year sunny and and 2 rainy seasons but be sure that when the rain stop, there is always sun here
Throughout the year, temperatures are rather stable and warm. As a result, the Sipi Falls can be visited all year. Visitors and tourists who want to experience the cool temperature in the area go to the waterfalls throughout the dry seasons of the year. The best time to visit is during the dry season because the trail up to the highest waterfall is not slippery. During the wet season, however, the waterfalls are larger and more powerful. As a result, we encourage guests to come even during the rainy season to feel the full intensity of the waterfalls.

How much does it cost visit Sipi Falls

Surprisingly visiting sipi falls them selves is free of charge but you will need transport to go there, places to stay and a guide to take you around things that have a price.

Please keep in mind that you must have a guide because they will be the link between you and the community since they will be the ones to negotiate your way through private property and farmland to be able to reach the falls. Also having a guide will definitely enhance the fun on your trip since they have insider knowledge about this area they call home.

With that being said, a private 3 Days Tour from Kampala to Sipi falls and back including meals, accommodations, activities such as coffee tours, hiking and others will cost you from $350 depending on the level of accommodations you want and of-course the number of people in you will be traveling with

How to get to Sipi Falls

The route is like this Kampala – Jinja- Mbale -Sipi

The jouney takes about 5 to 6 hours from Kampala to Sipi Falls. The most popular route used is the Kampala – Jinja highway, which provides opportunity to visit amazing sights such as the Mabira forest and the Nile River, Ssezibwa Falls etc.  From Jinja, the journey continues through Iganga town before turning to a highway which leads to Mbale. Alternatively, one might continue on to Tororo town then to Mbale. The Tororo path is lengthier but more scenic, with the opportunity to view baboons in the Busitema forest. The cost of public transportation from Kampala to Mbale is around 30,000 Uganda shillings but its a very uncomfortable ride

Those already in Mbale can take private or public transportation (mini-bus)  The trip from Mbale to Sipi Falls takes around 50 kilometres and costs 7000 UGX. It is advisable that one uses the assistance of a professional tour operator to prevent the hassle of travelling to an unknown region without sufficient direction. International passengers benefit from tour operators because all they have to do is arrive at the airport and everything is taken care of.

Sipi Falls accommodations

Sipi Falls Resort:

this is situated within Mount Elgon National Park and has a great view of the main waterfall. The rooms are beautiful, with native materials (bamboo) and grass-covered roofs yet a modern finish. Staying in the self-contained chambers gives you the impression that you are living like the village residents have for thousands of years. Two luxury villas have been erected to accommodate clients who require more lavish amenities. The hotel gardens provide views of the Sipi Falls and the Karamoja countryside. Bananas, steak, chicken, eggs, French toast, and tilapia are among the foods available at breakfast.

Sipi River Lodge:

This lodge has elegant accommodations with higher-quality services and decorations, but at a larger cost. The lodge offers a reading space, dining room, verandah, and a bar with magnificent views of the waterfalls. Each banda has its own unique name with prices ranging from 120$

Lacam Lodge:

The Lacam Lodge is a mid-range lodge made of of bandas (grass thatched and made of local timber). The majority of the rooms are self-contained, with their own bathrooms and toilets. Campers will appreciate this resort because preparations may be made to set up tents for the night at certain spots.

Noah’s Ark Hotel:

This hotel offers affordable, mid-range, and luxury accommodations. The hotel is located on Mount Elgon’s slopes. This hotel is extremely popular, and booking ahead of time is essential, especially if one is interested in the affordable accommodations. with prices from $25

Rafiki Lodge Sipi

 The lodge is situated on a cliff 1785 metres above sea level, with a panoramic view of Sipi Falls and the Valley.

Bandas, Single, Twin, and Triple Rooms, Family Cottages, and Basic Rooms are available at our Lodge. Each accommodation has been meticulously built with the best view of Sipi Falls and the Valley in mind, in order to provide our visitors with the maximum comfort and a unique experience during their stay at Rafiki Lodge Sipi.

The beautiful Honeymoon Suite is designed to accommodate the newlywed couple in the most comfortable and romantic setting.

Prices range from $25 to 180$

Play Video about A tourist enjoying abseilling down the sipi falls

Ready to Visit Sipi Falls?

The excursions below are just a sampling of what is available. Use these itineraries as a jumping-off point or for inspiration. Then contact us and let our expert team assist you in creating the ideal schedule for you.