WELCOME TO SIPI FALLS
Sipi Falls, in the foothills of Mt Elgon, is a stunner – arguably the most beautiful waterfall in all Uganda. There are three falls separated by steep hillsides. Though the upper two are beautiful, it’s the 95m main drop that attracts the crowds, and most lodgings look out on to it. The view of the wide plains disappearing into the distance below is also spectacular. It’s well worth spending a night or two in this peacefully magnificent place, which also allows you time to enjoy some of the excellent walks in the area, including the show-stopping descent to the bottom of the falls.
Sipi Falls is actually a series of three tall waterfalls all plunging along the lower slopes of Mt Elgon (the 4th highest peak in Africa shared between Eastern Uganda and Western Kenya). The name of the falls was often associated with only the main falls in the literature.
Walks to the fall
A network of well-maintained (though often muddy) local trails give you beautiful views of the area and on your way to the bottom of each of the three levels of waterfalls. It is possible to walk off on your own, but we recommend taking a local guide who can explain the flora and fauna and also negotiate the passage through private property. Village and forest walks are also possible at Mt Elgon National Park’s Forest Exploration Centre nearby, though you will incur the national park fees to hike there.
Aside from the falls themselves, a highlight to visiting Sipi is a tour that takes you through the entire coffee process at a nearby family farm. You will pick the coffee berries, to deshell and grind them with a traditional mortar and pestle, and roast them on an open fire, before – the best part – finishing with a fine cup of strong Arabica coffee.
Climbing Mt Elgon (5 – 6 days)
Lying on the border between Kenya and Uganda, Mount Elgon is the extinct volcano with the largest surface area in the world. The highest peak is Wagagai, at 4,321m. The full trekking circuit to the peaks takes five days to complete, following either Sasa or Sipi trails. The graben tours and safaris can organize your trip departing and returning to Sipi Falls.