Introduction to Sipi Falls
Sipi Falls consists of three waterfalls, found in the village of Sipi, in the Kapchorwa district of eastern Uganda.
It’s just over a 4 hour drive from Kampala.
The climate is cooler than most of the country, and though the weather tends to be pleasant all year round, it’s recommended you visit during the dry seasons, June-August and December-March.
The glorious falls were named after the Sipi River, which in turn was named after a locally grown plant called ‘Sep’. The plant resembles a wild banana and is used for medicinal purposes as it’s believed to treat measles and fevers.
Hiking at Sipi Falls
Sipi Falls lies at an altitude of 1,775 metres. The hikes can be difficult and muddy, but they’re deserving of your energy.
When you stop to look at the staggering beauty of the falls, you’ll forget about your aching feet and mud-stained trousers.
To hike all three falls, it’ll take you roughly 3 hours.
For the majority of this hike, you follow a river, making it easy to stay on track. It’ll take you through farmlands, and local communities.
The second-highest of the waterfalls comes first. It plunges 85 metres and offers a spectacular splash.
The next fall is the smallest, plunging at 65 metres. When it’s dry, you should be able to stand under it. The fresh, cool natural shower is unbeatable. If it’s been raining, you can stand in the cave, and watch the water descend in front of you. It’s an immersive experience.
The last fall is the tallest at 100 metres. Make sure to pack a swimming costume, as the plunge at the bottom is large enough to swim in.
As well as Sipi Falls, there are numerous trails you can follow leading you to Mount Elgon.
Sipi Falls is known for the production of organic arabica coffee. Since 1999, the Sabiny and Bagishu people have farmed coffee on the slopes of Mount Elgon.
The beans will only grow at an altitude of between 1,600 and 1,900 metres.
If you’re interested in learning about how the coffee is made, we can organise a tour where you’ll join a household and experience everything from farming to roasting.
What else can I do at Sipi Falls?
Sipi Falls is captivating, and there’s plenty to get up to after you finish your hike.
For the thrill-seekers in the group, we recommend you try rock climbing or abseiling. Clambering down next to the roaring water is an unforgettable experience.
If you want to encounter ancient, cultural history, visit Nyero rock paintings, which you’ll find in the caves. The paintings are believed to date back to the year 1250 and are considered the most important rock art in Uganda.
For keen birdwatchers, there are over 275 species of birds.
Or, if you want to fish, you could catch some mountain trout with the help of a guide.
For the most authentic experience, wander down to the local village and meet the Sabiny people. Witness their way of life, dress codes, and traditional dances.
Where can I stay at Sipi Falls?
There’s a range of accommodation which varies in price, and most lodgings tend to look out onto the falls.
For a luxury experience, try Sipi River Lodge at the foothills of Mount Elgon. Stay at one of their waterfall cottages, which offers a secluded space with exclusive views.
If you’re looking for something more affordable, try The Crow’s Nest, you won’t be compromising on location!