Sipi Falls Uganda
night photo of the sipi falls, sky, stars, lights
Sipi Falls hiking adventure

Welcome to Sipi Falls Tours

Hikers paradise in Uganda

Sipi Falls Waterfall

Welcome to
Sipi Falls Tours

Hikers paradise in Uganda

What to do
at SIPI FALLS

Where to stay
at SIPI FALLS

SIPI FALLS TOUR PACKAGES

The Sipi Falls in Uganda

The Sipi Falls is a series of waterfalls and are located in eastern Uganda on Mount Elgon. Mount Elgon was once one of the highest Mountains in the world, but due to erosion the top of the mountain collapsed and created a huge caldera. Today Mount Elgon is one of the National Parks in Uganda and offers several different activities.

Mountain trekking is one of these activities, but also lots of different hiking opportunities. The climate is moderate and it is possible to climb the mountain throughout the whole year. Even though during the rainy season it can become a wet experience.

The Sipi Waterfalls offer many interesting shorter hiking trails. You can go just for a short hike to one of the falls, or you can do the whole route with all 3 waterfalls, which can fill several hours. Once you stand on the top of the waterfalls watching down the slopes of Mount Elgon you will feel the magic of this region.

While hiking the trails, you will pass through several plantations of local farmers. You can learn a lot about the local community and the local way of life. You will have a chance to visit local farmers and learn a lot about Arabica coffee, which is grown on Mount Elgon. You will have the opportunity to do a coffee tour, where you can experience the whole process of coffee, from planting to brewing.

If you are looking for some more fun and adrenaline, you can experience abseiling the Sipi Falls. The drop is around 100 Meters with an amazing view. You will have a one-of-a-lifetime experience at this beautiful spot.

You are most welcome to join us for some activities in Sipi and enjoy a wonderful time with us. If you are looking for accommodation, feel free to reach out to us, and we will give you all information you need.

We will show you all the highlights of our beautiful region. If you have a little more time, we can show you as well the Sisiyi Falls, which are very beautiful and amazing as well.

Wildlife in the East of Uganda is as well very interesting and the Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve is just about 1,5 hours away from Sipi. It is a great opportunity for a photo safari.

If you wish to encounter several wild animals, like Cheetahs, Giraffes, Zebras, different Antelopes like the Roan Antelope, Elans, Jacksons, Uganda Kobs, and others, and a huge variety of birds, we will be happy to take you there and show you this beautiful place.

Pian Upe has been marketed very poorly and most tourists skip this Wildlife Reserve, not knowing what they are missing out on. It is very possible to visit Pian Upe on a day trip while you’re staying in Sipi. Once you visit the eastern part of Uganda it is a good opportunity to visit Kidepo Valley National Park for a safari. We are also happy to take you there if you wish. We can help you too with any safari to any other national park in Uganda as well, of course.

If you are planning to do a bird watching tour in Uganda, you should take into consideration visiting the eastern part as well. Mount Elgon hosts a huge variety of birds and you should give yourself the chance to spot the species which can be found in the East.

Feel free to contact us. We will make sure, you will have a wonderful time in Sipi, exploring the Sipi Falls.

the amazing sipi waterfalls in east uganda mount elgon
fun at the sipi falls photo spot
sunset experience in sipi
enjoying the view at the second Sipi Waterfall
Enjoying the Sipi Falls view point

our top highlights at the Sipi Falls

HIKING SIPI FALLS

SIPI COFFEE TOUR

ABSEILING SIPI FALLS

SIPI FALLS TRIPS / TOUR PACKAGES

Sipi Falls tours packages

When you mention travel in Uganda, Sipi Falls is one of those places that automatically pops up. The series of three majestic waterfalls on the Sipi River is a must-see in Uganda. Do you want to visit Sipi Falls but have no idea how to arrange your trip?

 

We, at Sipi Falls Tours, have created a number of Sipi Falls tour packages for you. These packages are customized to suit all travelers’ needs, depending on the time and funds you can set aside for the trip. The packages include the best activities at Sipi Falls.

 

The best thing about our Sipi Falls tour packages/trips is that you can leave all the stressful things for us to manage while you just prepare yourself. If you let us, we can take care of transportation, accommodation, meals, and security, leaving you with nothing to worry about. Besides, our Sipi Falls trip prices are affordable.

hiking group photo sipi falls

2 DAYS SIPI FALLS TRIP PACKAGE - PRICE FROM KAMPALA

coffee tour in Sipi

3 DAYS SIPI FALLS UGANDA TRIP PACKAGE - ALL IN

Roan Antelope in Pian Upe

3 DAYS SIPI FALLS AND PIAN UPE WILDLIFE SAFARI PACKAGE

2 DAYS SIPI FALLS TRIP PACKAGE - PRICE FROM KAMPALA
Day 1

This starts with your journey from Kampala to Sipi. From Kampala, it takes about 5-6 hours to reach Sipi by road. You can travel on your own or have us pick you up from Kampala, or any other location, especially if you’re not very familiar with this part of the country. If you arrive early enough, you’ll have lunch in Sipi and then go for a coffee tour.

On the Sipi Falls Coffee Tour, you’ll see how locals grow and process coffee using traditional and modern methods. During the coffee tour, you’ll see interesting features and interact with a few natives.

The highlight is preparing your own cup of coffee in the traditional way. Enjoy the fun process and have a cup of organic delicious coffee in your hands within minutes. Sipi has some of the tastiest coffee in the world, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

After the Sipi Falls coffee tour, relax by visiting the sunset viewpoint in Sipi. The sunset walk starts between 5:30 and 6:00 pm and ends at 7 pm.

At the viewpoint, feast your eyes on the dreamy landscape, the plains of Karamoja, various peaks, and the three waterfalls of Sipi. Also, listen to grand stories about the people around Sipi and beyond. Alternatively, enjoy the mountain sunset in silence as the breeze from below fans over you.

You can take splendid pictures that will keep the memories of Sipi with you forever. The sunset walk gives a perfect end to your first evening in Sipi.

However, if you arrive late in Sipi, you may not do the coffee tour. We recommend doing the sunset walk which enables you to get acquainted with Sipi in a relaxed way. The sunset walk ends at 7 pm.

Return to your place of lodging (Lacam Lodge, Mise Cave Lodge, or Sipi Falls Lodge) and enjoy a peaceful night.

Day 2

On the second day of the two-day Sipi Falls trip, have an early breakfast at 7 am as you prepare for the big day. Thereafter, embark on the Sipi Falls Hike, which will be the hallmark of your travel to Sipi. During the Sipi hike, you’ll be able to see almost all the amazing things Sipi has to offer.

From the breathtaking landscape to the high hills and ranges, Sipi will not disappoint. Feast your eyes on the beautiful landscape and stunning views from the clifftops as you proceed. Enjoy walking along clear paths under thick vegetation that shades you from the sunlight.

During dry seasons, the trails are dry and easy to move on. However, they get challenging during the wet seasons. They’ll be slippery, which makes the hike harder, but more adventurous.

The normal Sipi Falls hike usually takes about 2-3 hours. This hike includes the following trails that lead to the three Sipi Falls. The first fall is an 85m drop while the second falls over 65m. The third waterfall is 100m long, making it the longest.

The hike will be longer if you choose to hike the upper loop as well. There’s a nice view and adventure waiting for you up there. It’s close to the Mount Elgon National Park. You can take a peak at the montane forest during your Sipi Falls hike. If you did the coffee tour on the first day, you’ll have more time for the hike because you can leave when it’s done.

If you didn’t do the coffee tour on the first day of the Sipi Falls trip, you have the opportunity to do it on the second day. After the hike, you can rest and grab a bite before going for the coffee tour.

Optionally, you have the opportunity to do abseiling at the tallest Sipi waterfall, which is a drop of 100 meters.

The second day marks the end of the trip, after which you’ll leave. The two-day Sipi Falls trip is the shortest. It’s very likely you’ll still feel like staying, having enjoyed life in a tranquil environment away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

3 DAYS SIPI FALLS UGANDA TRIP PACKAGE - ALL IN

The three-day package starts with a transfer from Kampala to Sipi Falls, located on the slopes of Mount Elgon. Thanks to the mountain, Sipi has an idyllic landscape and you’ll see something interesting at each turn. Moreover, the environment is tranquil, which makes it a great place to relax. A three-day trip to Sipi Falls will energize and invigorate you in ways you’ve never imagined.

Day 1

If you arrive early, you can go for the Sipi Falls Coffee Tour, which is a short walk through the Sipi community. You’ll discover how the people of Sipi grow, harvest, and process coffee. During this coffee tour, you’ll also get to find out more about Sipi. Our guides will tell you more about the people and features of Sipi.

The best thing about it is having a freshly brewed cup of delicious coffee made with your own hands at the end of the coffee tour. You won’t be forgetting that kind of experience anytime soon. When the tour is over, return to your place of lodging for dinner.

Day 2

Enjoy a sumptuous morning breakfast at 7 am and get ready for the Sipi Falls hike, which starts at 8:30 am. The hike will take two to three hours. The hike starts from your place of lodging and takes you through trails in the community. You’ll see several features and the people of Sipi going about their daily activities.

The hike starts off easy and gets moderately difficult as you climb up the various slopes. Enjoy the beautiful views and exercise as you go up the slopes. At the clifftops, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of the places you’ve passed. You can view the villages of Sipi, and the rugged landscape, and get a glimpse of the Karamoja plains in the distance.

Explore the first waterfall, which is beautiful, flowing over a long, winding cliff. Lush vegetation surrounds it, making it look even more spectacular. Enjoy the glorious views and take amazing photos, the falls offering a great backdrop for them.

The trek to the second/middle Sipi Falls is amazing because it takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of Sipi. Follow the Sipi River as it flows over the rolling landscape. The water flows smoothly, rushing over rocks at other points. Explore the middle falls before proceeding to the major falls, which is the longest, dropping over 100m.

After the Sipi hike, you’ll go on a cave adventure for an hour. Sipi has a number of beautiful caves with interesting histories. These caves mean a lot to the people of Sipi as historical sites. Find out how the locals have utilized the caves and the features around them over the years. The caves are pretty cool and you can take interesting photos of them.

After that, have a lunch break and relax before abseiling. Abseiling is one of the most fun activities to do in Sipi. Release pent-up tension and stress as you throw yourself over the 100 metre drop, near the thunderous sound of flowing water. You’re free to scream your head off or lose yourself in the moment.

After landing at the bottom, a guide will escort you back to your lodging facilities. When you abseil, you get the chance to explore more of Sipi that you wouldn’t see otherwise. The climb up the hill will be another adventure. Later, you’ll relax and enjoy dinner at your convenience.

Day 3

If you did not do the Sipi Falls coffee tour on your first day, you’ll do it on this day. Since day 2 of this Sipi Falls package is quite hectic, the coffee tour will be a perfect adventure for you. Relax as you make yourself a cup of aromatic coffee while enjoying the cool environment of Sipi.

If you did the coffee tour, you can do an early morning hike at the Chebonet Waterfalls, before departing back to Kampala or yuor next destination. We can provide transportation services at a cost if you’d like.

The three-day Sipi Falls tour is amazing and gives you an opportunity to explore more of Sipi than you would with the other packages. There’s so much to enjoy in Sipi. Even three days may not be enough, but will give you something. Besides, you can always come back again.

3 DAYS SIPI FALLS AND PIAN UPE WILDLIFE SAFARI PACKAGE

This trip is for three days. It involves touring Sipi Falls and Pian Upe game reserve in Karamoja. Explore the Sipi Falls and later visit the game reserve to see some animals. These two places are very different from each other, hence offering unique views.

Tour the mountainous landscape of Sipi and later enjoy the scenic plains of the Karamoja region. In Sipi Falls, you’ll be enchanted by the idyllic landscape, rugged mountains, and the three mesmerizing waterfalls.

On the other hand, Pian Upe is a large protected game reserve in Nakapiripirit district, 105 km away from Sipi. The Pian Upe reserve houses a range of African animals, including hyenas, giraffes, jackals, cheetahs and leopards. It has a rich history, and beautiful flora and fauna.

Combining these two vastly different but interesting locations will give you a trip to remember. This Sipi Falls package includes 2 nights accommodation in Sipi.

Day 1

After arriving in Sipi, you can go for a coffee tour or a sunset walk. This is optional, so if you feel exhausted, you may not do it on that day. We recommend traveling as early as possible so you reach Sipi in time for these activities. But do not fret, you can still do the coffee tour on your last day before you leave.

The Sunset Walk involves walking to King’s Point, the sunset viewpoint in Sipi. Get to know Sipi as you take a relaxing walk through the community toward the viewpoint. The viewpoint presents an endless view of the distinct landscape types around the Sipi Falls.

From cliffs and ridges to faraway plains, immerse yourself in wonderful nature. The quietness in this location is a bonus and will calm you down, helping you release stress and tension.

Watch the sunset in an array of beautiful colors, slowly disappearing below the horizon. The view from this point is spectacular and you can even take amazing pictures. When the sun disappears and darkness takes over, we shall escort you back to your lodging facility.

Day 2

Wake up early the next morning for the drive to Pian Upe for a morning game tour. It’s good to visit Pian Upe in the morning because this gives you an opportunity to see more animals in the reserve.

Observe the cool view of the savannah vegetation, rocky ridges, plateau, and hills, among other interesting features. You’ll be able to see a variety of birds and animals as you drive through the reserve.

Enjoy a typical African safari ride at a very affordable rate in Pian Upe. As you feast your eyes on the stunning sights, learn the fascinating history of the game reserve and the surrounding area. You can also take amazing pictures of yourself and the surrounding wilderness. If you love animals, nature, photography, and bird watching, Pian Upe is the perfect destination for you.

After the tour, you’ll return to Sipi for lunch, relax a bit, and go for the Sipi hike afterward.

Your day will get even more adventurous as you hike up the Elgon landscape and explore the beauty of the famous Sipi Falls.

Day 3

If you did not do the coffee tour on the first day, you’ll do it on the third day before leaving Sipi. The coffee tour is the perfect chance to get to know Sipi beyond the falls and other physical features.

As you walk through the various coffee farms, you’ll find out how coffee farmers in Sipi grow and harvest it. You’ll see what coffee looks like before it turns into an aromatic beverage.

Since the coffee tour has to end with you enjoying your own homemade cup of coffee, we’ll take you through the local processing methods. As a result, you’ll be able to turn coffee beans into instant coffee within a few minutes.

The Sipi Falls coffee tour is fun, relaxing, and educative, which is why it’s included in our package.

Please note that there are various types of accommodation facilities in Sipi and we can help you check in the one of your choice. Check out our accommodation page or contact us to find out which one works best for you.

Want to take the three-day Sipi Falls and Pian Upe Wild Life Safari? Get in touch with our team to book your slot.

Contact us

NOTE: Sometimes I am getting a lot of spam that causes emails to get lost. In case you do not receive any response to your email from me, please contact me on Whatsapp, or send a second email.

About Sam and Sipi Falls Tours

 

I am Sam, your tour guide at the Sipi Falls in East Uganda. Sipi is well known by many visitors, especially hikers and nature enthusiasts. The Sipi Falls is a true gem, which is worth visiting when you are traveling in eastern Africa.

I am specialized in guiding our guests to the famous Sipi Falls and many other activities in Sipi, those who visit Sipi fully engage in the community, showing the best places off the beaten tracks.

Hiking to the Sipi Falls with me is a unique experience you won’t forget easily. You will experience the best views and spots of our magical region.

You will enjoy the roaring waterfalls, plantations, local farms, forests, and magnificent views. Most of our guests are surprised beyond expectations by the beauty they experience at this amazing spot on the edge of Mount Elgon.

What others say about us on Tripadvisor

Excellent
Based on 65 reviews
Jordan B
Jordan B
2024-05-16
Verified
I've done 3 tours with Sipi Falls Tours and each time has been amazing I've done 3 Sipi Falls tours with Sam at this point, and each time has been amazing. The must-dos for me are the coffee and hiking tours. Abseiling is also absolutely exhilarating if you are not afraid of heights. Another highlight is honestly just sitting at the Endiro coffee shop up there with some amazing views. All the guides on Sam's team are so informative and accommodating to tourists. Seriously, don't go with any other tour groups - this is the best one!
Lova S
Lova S
2024-04-06
Verified
Incredible views at Sipi Falls!! All the views were amazing!! WOW WOW WOW!! We went with Sam (+256 781 827 693 ) from Sipi Falls Tours. He was very friendly, knew the area very well, and could answer all of our questions!! Highly recommend!
Sonia M
Sonia M
2024-03-11
Verified
Gorgeous hike to Chebonet falls Sam took us on a hike to Chebonet falls, and it was amazing! We hiked all along the edge of the plateau of Sipi falls, so the views were spectacular. Sam was a lovely guide, and very knowledgeable about all the local flora!
Daniel M
Daniel M
2024-02-07
Verified
The best team ever for Sipi Falls experiences! We can’t recommend Sipi falls tours enough, this guys are incredibly knowledgeable enough. For Sipi falls hikes, coffee tours and abseiling experience, contact Sam and you will not regret. They went beyond and offered us the best experiences at the back drop of Sipi Falls. We are already planning on going back.
Deborah R
Deborah R
2024-02-05
Verified
Beautiful nature and helpful Guide! We had a great time hiking through the beautiful nature in Sipi. Our guide Sam was great and took us to all the beautiful places and even picked us up and helped us when our car broke down on our way there! He was very helpful! Also Sipi is the most beautiful place! We were only there for the day and that was too short! I recommend you at least stay there for one night!!
anan e
anan e
2024-02-03
Verified
The great guide for Sipi Falls hike! Sam is a great source of information about sipi falls, he took us on a magical hike and answered beyond our questions. I highly recommend him to everyone planning a visit to this spectacular waterfalls in East Africa.
Jack L
Jack L
2024-01-31
Verified
Great day in Sipi Had a great tour of the upper loop of the 3 waterfalls with Sam our terrific and very knowledgeable guide. Who also pointed out many chameleons along the way which we would have never spotted ourselves. Also did the coffee tour which was very interesting to learn the process from start to finish. Would highly recommend :-).
Camper33266794802
Camper33266794802
2024-01-21
Verified
The best experience ever Sam and Sipi falls tours are both incredibly awesome when it comes to hospitality. They showed us the most beautiful water falls. The coffee tour was our highlight. Not forgetting, Sam is so great with kids and old people we really appreciate his kindness and knowledge. We highly recommend Sam! And we are coming back soon again with our friends!
Vivian A
Vivian A
2023-12-20
Verified
Exceptional experience with Sipi Falls Tours! The BEST way to experience Sipi is with Sam and his team at Sipi Falls Tours! His professionalism is top tier from beginning to end and he is great with kids. As my friend put it, "he saw a need and met it immediately." I will recommend Sipi Falls Tours over and over again.
Bruce G
Bruce G
2023-12-18
Verified
10/10 Whenever you find yourself in kaporchowa sipi falls, think of sam, i rate him a trillion times more and they have also a professional team that cares about your safety and ensure you have the best experiences that are worthy every coin. Keep up the great work ! With love from tipstravel

All You Need To Know About Sipi Falls Before You Go

Sipi Falls Uganda – a destination where beauty and serenity slay together!

 

And it’s until you visit Sipi Falls that you don’t really realize the importance of visiting and staying in such a beautiful place like Sipi. By the time you pack your stuff and travel to Sipi Falls, you will understand the different beauty it beholds from other tourist destination landmarks in Uganda, the pearl of Africa!

 

Below we have answered all questions frequently asked by our guests!

Where is Sipi Falls found or located?

The famous Sipi Falls is believed to be one of the most romantic waterfalls in the country and it lies on the edge of Mount Elgon.

It takes you only a 1-hour drive to arrive at your destination (Sipi Falls) following the Mbale-Muyambe- Kapchorwa road for about 50km. Sipi is located on the slopes of Mount Elgon at an elevation of around 1,750m above sea level.

The Weather at Sipi Falls

Before you arrive at Sipi falls, we believe it’s good to know how the weather is here. Sipi is near Mount Elgon National Park(forest)meaning we encounter rain most of the time and statistics say on average, it rains 300 days a year with a precipitation of 2.205mm.

The residents also believe that the coldest months are June and July with 15.2’c average temperatures and the months with more sunshine are January and February extending to March. In those dryer months, our beloved Sipi Falls tends to reduce its water levels but still remains beautiful.

Now you have some basic knowledge of what to pack before you come. Remember to pack your rain jacket.

Some of the best tours in Sipi Falls
  • The magical “Sipi falls hike” which leads you to the three major waterfalls in the region. The Sipi Falls hike is the most popular outdoor activity in Sipi falls and for you to enjoy it also not be over-charged for entrance fees. We recommend you book a trained guide. We at sipifallstours are happy to help you.

 

  • Are you a coffee lover or want to know everything about coffee? Then a Sipi coffee tour is just for you. This tour enables you to learn all the 10 stages of coffee processing before it reaches your final cup!

 

  • For some bit of a rush adrenaline experience, the Sipi Falls abseiling is highly recommended. Abseiling is done at the tops of the Sipi falls with a height of 100m beside the falls.

 

  • The Sipi sunset and sunrise walk is a great one for romantic moments. This activity brings you to a Sipi plateau or the “kings point” where you are able to watch the sun going down and also when it rises with impressive paintings in the sky.
How much are Sipi Falls entrance fees?

Actually hiking the three Sipi waterfalls is UGX35,000 for local tourists and foreigners is US15 per person, this fee includes entrance fees to all the falls, guide allowance, ladder maintenance, and community levy.

How much is Abseiling in Sipi Falls?

The price for abseiling the Sipi Falls in Uganda is just 50 USD per person and the entire trip is about 1 and a half hours together, including the hike up.

Where can I go or do Abseiling?

Abseiling is majorly popular or done in Sipi Falls, the eastern region of Uganda. It’s the only best abseiling area in East Africa.

Beginner abseiling is also done in Kampala and for more information go to their website mountain climbers Uganda(MCU).

But for real action read here on our website.

What is the best time or period to visit Sipi Falls?

As you know the four common seasons-summer. Spring, winter, and autumn, Uganda has got a tropical climate of only two seasons and these are the two rainy seasons and a wet season. We will say Sipi falls is a must-do throughout the year because temperatures are rather consistent and also warmer!

But travelers seeking a taste of the region’s cool climate and outstanding sunsets are welcomed on dyer season.

The dry season is the best time to visit because the trail’s coming to the falls are dry and not slippery. However, on days during the wet season, you will see the roaring and the magic of these cascading waterfalls. At this time the falls are so powerful and larger waiting to visit by you.

 

During the rainy period, we shall give you some walking sticks to help you not to fall down because the waterfalls are at their full force and we don’t want you to miss these. The landscape is so green too!

What is the altitude of Sipi Falls?

The Sipi Falls is found or lies at an altitude of 1,800m above sea level and it’s so favorable for hikes but a bit muddy in the rainfall season.

Which is the best accommodation in Sipi Falls?

Of course here is all about how you are going to break your wallet.

⁃          LACAM LODGE with a spectacular view of the Sipi gorge and it’s near the top of the main Sipi Falls is a mid-range lodge serving Endiro coffee taste meals.

⁃          RAFIKI LODGE is found on the cliff with a great view of the major waterfalls. Mid-range lodge.

⁃          HOME OF FRIENDS GUEST HOUSE is located in Kapchorwa town just 25 minutes drive from Sipi falls. This is for you if you are looking for value for your money!

⁃          SIPI HERITAGE LODGE the former SIPI RIVER LODGE just on the Sipi river banks with the highest price in the region.

⁃          SIPI VALLEY RESORT is one of the new lodges around Sipi falls with manageable prices and a big compound with a view of the gorge from the other side.

⁃          SIPI FALLS LODGE the former SIPI FALLS RESORT with some straight commanding views of the main Sipi Falls.

Where can one have the best Arabica coffee Sipi Falls?

First, Sipi Falls is a famous coffee arabica region on the edge of Mount Elgon every household has a small coffee farm and they mainly produce their coffee and sell it to kawacom or kyagulanyi coffee buyers and exporters in the whole country. I know every coffee lover is waiting for the good news, and the good news is going to grab your fresh cup of coffee,

 

> Sipi coffee shop (Sipi cafe, cup of Joe) just along the main road in Sipi center.

 

> Endiro coffee shop at Lacam for cappuccinos, Americana and lattes.

 

> Zukuka Bora is also along the main road in Sipi center.

How far are the Sipi Falls from Kampala?

According to our experience, A drive from Kampala to Sipi falls is between 5 to 6 hours depending on the traffic jams. Around midway, it is recommended to stop over at CAFE JAVAS in Jinja and have a coffee or snack, before continuing to Sipi.

From Jinja to Sipi it takes roughly 3 hours.

How much is from Mbale to Sipi Falls?

It’s between 10000UGX and 15000UGX from Mbale to Sipi Falls and you can find taxis coming to Kapchorwa on Kumi Road.

Most of the taxis proceed up to Kapchorwa town so make sure to tell the driver to drop you off at Sipi trading center near Sipi coffee shop and try to avoid street guides.

Who are the native people of Sipi Falls?

The indigenous people of Sipi Falls comprise a cocktail of the Sebei and the Bagisu tribes who live on Mount Elgon a mountain that gives Uganda beautiful scenery. And below the main valley is occupied with some Itesots, the Basoga, and the Bagwere tribes which are all a big source of tourism in the hidden treasure of the east.

The history of Sipi Falls

The Sipi Falls derives its name from a local Sabiny word “sep” meaning falls.

They found a lady who was collecting local plants and they asked her what is the name of the falls. And she quickly replied Sep thinking they were the name of the plant, the language barrier was the problem.

What other activities can I do at Sipi Falls?

The area around the famous Sipi falls is rich with a lot of things to do and it cannot be explored or even enjoyed in one day. Besides some of the major activities like the Sipi Falls hike, Abseiling, or coffee tours, Our visitors can choose to part take in other activities like,

 

Hiking Mount Elgon: Did you know that Sipi falls is one of the major areas for people interested in some more extra hiking challenges? Mount Elgon is the fourth-highest peak in East Africa and is an extinct-standing volcano. The highest point is called Wagagai 4321m above sea level and is the world’s volcanic mountain with the largest surface area (Caldera) and is shared by Uganda and Kenya, the largest portion and the peak is in Uganda. Of course, the factors mentioned above make climbing the mountain a great achievement for hikers around the globe. You need between 4 to 6 days to reach the top but this depends on your general fitness and experience. The fast hikers do it in 3 days.

 

Visit the Nyero Rock paintings: To see some real old paintings on walls, we welcome you to the Kumi district about a 2-hour drive from Sipi Falls where these paintings are found. This site has different sections with different drawings on the walls with some rich history behind them, these rocks have so far attracted many visitors around the world, and it gives a glimpse of how the ancestors lived many years ago.  Up to now, the local community around this area considers the place sacred and believes the local gods still live here.

 

Pian Upe wildlife reserve: For wildlife lovers, Pian Upe game reserve will give a taste of some of Uganda’s wild animals like the Roan antelope which is only seen in the whole country, kudus, cheetahs, ostriches, and gazelles plus many more. It’s only 1 and half hour’s drive to this reserve from Sipi Falls.

 

Kapkwai Forest Exploration Center: This is a great opportunity for hikers with limited time or for those who can not manage to hike for several days to reach the top but want to taste a small hike at the base of Mount Elgon or say I hiked Mount Elgon.

Kapkwai has different options for day nature walks inside the park. Mount Elgon is a birding paradise with over 300 species including 40 restricted for only this region and 56 of the 87 Afrotropical highland biome species live here like the Mustache green Tinkerbird, Moorland Francolin, and the Alpine chat. If you are a bird lover, this might be very interesting for you.

The center is good for school students who are learning about forest conservation it’s just 12km from Sipi falls and the drive up here is a no-go during heavy rainy days.

 

The Wannale waterfalls hike: is one of the most beautiful hikes around Mbale city. The falls cascade down on a sheer wall to the valley below with some spectacular breathtaking views of the entire city, Teso region, Tororo rock, and of course the famous Mount Elgon and its surroundings.

Sipi Falls Waterfall the hikers vacation destination for amazing photo hikes
Sipi on Mount Elgon
Sunset on Mount Elgon
Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve

About Kapchorwa, Mount Elgon, and Sipi Falls in Uganda

Actually, Sipi Falls is located in a district called Kapchorwa about a 6-7 hour drive by taxi or bus depending on the traffic around Mukono and Seeta, by self-driving, it can take 4-6 too depending.

This journey brings you to the hidden treasure of the east in Mount Elgon at the border of Uganda/Oeganda and Kenya through the Mabira forest. Passing Jinja, where the river Nile starts its journey as the longest river in the world.
Mbale city welcomes you with some beautiful slopes of Mt Elgon behind it as you embark on your journey to the mighty little hiker’s paradise in Sipi Falls for about an hour’s time from Mbale city.

Kapchorwa is a district on Mount Elgon, and the word Kapchorwa means home of friends in the local language.

The people staying up in this mountain are only two tribes and the dominants here are the Sabiny with a very small percentage of Bamasaba/Bagisu in Mbale city both famous for their finest Arabica coffee in the world market!

The Sabiny people extend up to the Kween and Bukwo districts and they speak a language called Kupsabiny if you don’t want to forget it you say (cook some beans).

Even the bottled water you drink in some lodges or hotels in Uganda has the word Aqua Sipi and it has a meaning in our local language, The word Aqua Sipi means, ”come to Sipi” in Kupsabiny language.

Kapchorwa got their district in February 1962 before Uganda’s Independence Day 9th October 1962. The population of Kapchorwa at the time of independence was 48,700 compared to now around 123,800.

Also in 1952, Sir Andrew Cohen who was the governor in Uganda up to 1957 was invited to Mbale by Semei Kakungulu a Ugandan statesman and a founder of the Abayudaya community in Uganda in 1917. Semei Kakungulu studied and meditated on the Old Testament and adopted all of Moses’s commandments including circumcision and suggested all this observance to all his followers.

The visit of Sir Andrew Cohen in Mbale also ended in Kapchorwa Sipi Falls where he fell in love with the falls, weather, and the landscape he did not stop just admiring, he went back and later returned and requested the community for a small piece of land at the main Sipi falls viewpoint now called Sipi falls lodge, he was given the land and he started to build a small house with 2 bedrooms, sitting room with a fireplace inside the house, self-contained and named it Sipi Rest Camp because his intention was to rest from here after his work.

He later started writing letters to his family friends and other people encouraging them to visit Sipi Falls of course, after staying and eating they had to pay some money and this was given to the community after his contract in Uganda got finished, he advised the local community to put more cottage’s because he saw some increase in tourists coming and later the community started renting this whole camp to different people for a small period of time and up to now you can also rent it and enjoy a great time in Sipi.

Kapchorwa is also a home district for one of the long-distance runners known as Stephen Kaprotich a marathon gold medalist for men in the Olympic Games in London 2012.

Since the Sabiny people were cattle keepers before the nearby Karamojong raided their cattle, they called it in 2020 summer Olympics when they sent their beloved son Joshua Cheptegei to Tokyo for the 5000m that he has gone to bring back our cows because the word Tokyo in our language also means our cows.

Inside Sipi, there is a small center called Kapkwirok but nowadays everyone calls it Sipi because it’s easy to remember, the word Kapkwirok means a place where people in the community come together and have meetings and the next village is Chema where you find a factory Kawacom Sipi falls wet mill for coffee. And Chema in our local language means fire and it’s believed that fire started from here because if you go back in the days, you will find that the man who called himself Kintu a mythological figure who appears in a creation myth of the Ugandan people of Buganda, Uganda.

According to these legends, Kintu was the first person on earth and the first person to wander the nature of Uganda alone imagine that. And if you go deeper in history it’s possibly believed that this first Muganda (Kintu) must have originated from Mount Elgon and the local people think this fire 🔥 remains they found in Chema must be related to Kintu.

Naming in this region of Kapchorwa, Sipi Falls.
Names were given depending on the location, time, season, Christmas, and sometimes if there is an event.

Names.
1 Sammy >means born in the bush.
2 Cheptegei >born on the Veranda.
3 Sukuku >born on Christmas.
4 Cherop >when it’s raining.
5 Chebet >born in the daytime.
6 Chelangat >born in the evening.
7 Cheptoek >when visitors are at that home.
8 Chelimo >when they are bringing cows back home from the bush.
9 Cherubet >born when there is famine.
10 Cherotin > was born on a banana plantation.
11 Amwanyi > Born on a coffee plantation.
12 Chesakit > given to a person whose mother only took local herbs to conceive him/her.

Nicknames in Kapchorwa, Kween, and Bukwo.
1. Ndeetee> means a person who eats a lot of Matoke.
2. Mawe > A person who is so hard to realize something.
3. Wakabe > A person who is so hard working.
4. Kaswayik> A person who is a womanizer, Kaswayik is a bird with a long tail called pine tail whydah and this bird is also a womanizer and I believe birders know this!
5. Sundet > A person who eats only fatty meat.

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