Sipi falls is a set of three falls at different heights above the sea level with the most spectacular fall flowing at 100 meters, the second fall Simba at the cave entrance which is 75 meters tall and the third one at 85 meters tall. Sipi falls is located at foothills of mountain Elgon in the eastern region of Uganda in Kapchorwa district neighboring mountain Elgon national park. Sipi falls lies at the coordinates of 20’16’N 34.22’46’E experiencing cool weather of tropical climate with temperature averages of 20.5°C and average rainfall of 1450 mm .
Sipi falls is 277km from Kampala capital city of Uganda and it derives its name from a local herb plant Sep found at the bank of Sipi River. This plant shares a similar resemblance to with the wildflowers and it is used to cure measles and fever. Sipi falls is under the management of Uganda wildlife and is surrounded by the Sabiny and Bagishu tribes of people. It has many trails which are used by nature lovers and hikers with the Budadiri trail as the most popular trail leading to Sasa trail the second popular, Sasa trail leads to Sipi trail.
Sipi falls mostly referred to as romantic falls by lovers is a breathtaking spot for nature lovers and good for picnics. When you are at the top of the falls you get a chance to see the scenic view of Karamoja plains, Lake Bisna in Kenya and the Arabic coffee plantations at an altitude of between 1,600 and 1,900 meters. A trip to Sipi falls using the Kampala-Jinja high way to eastern Uganda is an additional bonus for adventure as u get to cross through the fascinating Mabira forest and river Nile in Jinja.
To visit Sipi falls, there is no amount of money charged for the entrance fee. As tourists, the only bills you get to incur is paying the tour guide (between 25,000-30,000 a day), transportation (a bus from Kampala costs USD 4-USD 7 and a private car hire costs range from USD 24- USD 35) and accommodation.
Sipi Falls is a destination with unpolluted fresh air offering various activities, for example, mountain biking, nature walks, bird spotting, cultural visits, cave expeditions, coffee plantations tours and rock climbing which are fun offering and worth your precious time.
Activities to do while at Sipi hills include:
Mountain biking. Trails to Sipi falls are steep meaning they do not accommodate vehicles and for nature lovers who are not strong enough to walk the 7-8 kilometers journey can opt for biking which is extremely fun. Unfortunately there is no company offering bikes but if you are interested using a bike you can hire one when you get to Uganda using your travel agent’s help or at Sipi river lodge, mountain biking trail is 1 and a half hour journey starting from the Sipi trading center to Kapchorwa town (chema hill).this trail is a thrill as it offers scenic views to waterfalls, slopes of mountain Elgon and karamoja plains.
Hiking: Hiking in Sipi falls is an adventurous 7 kilometers to 8 kilometers journey which involves climbing on the foothills of mountain Elgon. You get to hike to three falls in one vicinity at different altitudes while enjoying the beautiful view. The terrain to the falls is very steep which makes it difficult for cars to reach there and trails get muddy and slippery from the rain which requires hikers to be physically fit for hiking because it is tiresome. Hiking at Sipi requires tourists to be accompanied by a tour guide who is knowledgeable about every aspect of the falls and also essentials, for example, hiking boots, hiking stick, and heavy clothes. it is recommended to start with the main major fall then the second one rest for lunch then proceed with the last fall.
Cave expedition.: Cave expedition is also another thrilling activity at Sipi Falls. Sipi has two caves that is a little cave at the base of the first fall and a cave behind the second fall Simba.
Visiting Sipi River: Sipi River is also magnificent feature you’re granted to visit while at Sipi falls, for nature lovers, this is the best spot as it harbors numerous vegetation species including the Sep herbal plant, besides the trio Sipi fall Sipi River offers a beautiful scenery and fishing games as it is a home to Rainbow Trout.
Arabic coffee plantation visit. Arabic coffee only grows at higher altitudes of 1600m-1900m with cool weather conditions and mountain Elgon is a suitable place for coffee plantations. Sipi falls have the best Arabic coffee in the region and the world. Coffee plantations tours showcase the local process of selecting green beans and also gets to learn the traditional art of roasting and making coffee. Arabic coffee is a cash crop to the Bagishu and Sabiny group of people. Tours in the coffee plantation are guided by the Sipi widow’s group.
Cultural encounters. Sipi Falls is home to Bagishu and Sabiny tribe of people. As a tourist interested in the indigenous lifestyle of these people Sipi falls is the best destination well known for male and female circumcision. Currently, female circumcision is considered illegal but male circumcision is still taking place. This ceremony is very grand and celebrated all over the area and participating in it is very thrilling. At Sipi you can also learn more about the dressing codes, traditional dances of the Sabiny and Bagishu local people.
Rock climbing and abseiling. Sipi Falls is a famous destination for rock climbing and abseiling in Uganda and Africa at large. As a tourist with the assistance of a guide, you will climb rocks through forest vegetation to the peak (top of the main fall). Abseiling is good for nature lovers and involves descending down to the base of a steep rock with the help of a double rope coiled around your body.
Bird spotting. Bird spotting is very breathtaking as you get a chance to view numerous bird types. Sipi falls is the best destination to bird lovers’ neighboring mountain Elgon national park which consists of approximately 275 bird species like African Goshawk, White-chinned Prinia and African Blue Flycatcher.
You can visit Sipi falls anytime throughout the year as it has conducive climate and it is secure in terms of security.