10 Things to do at Sipi falls in Kapchorwa near Mount Elgon

10-things-to-do-at-sipi-falls-in-kapchorwa-near-mount-elgonSipi Falls are three scenic water falls that spread out over the slopes of the massive extinct Elgon volcano just outside the boundaries of Mount Elgon National Park in Kapchorwa after Jinja tourism city. Although  Mount Elgon National Park is a great place to spot various flora and fauna, it is more popular for its exciting hikes. Sipi falls are arguably the most beautiful water falls in Uganda and are one of the most visited tourism sites by both domestic and international visitors. A tour to Sipi Falls can be for a day, 2 days or more.

Even though the Sipi Falls area suites for a peaceful and perfect spot to unwind from the routine Uganda Safari, it is a destination of its own offering numerous tourist activities like hiking/nature walks, abseiling, coffee tour, rock climbing, cave adventure, cultural tours, cycling, Village walks, birding watching, visiting other falls in the area, among others.

10 things to do at Sipi Falls in Kapchorwa near Mount Elgon

  • Hiking the Sipi falls

Hiking the Sipi falls tops the list of the things to do on a Tour to Sipi Falls. Hikes and nature walks to the falls are conducted by the local guides and they take between 2, 3 – 4 hours. The trail to the waterfalls takes through villages and farm lands which presents a great opportunity to freely interact with friendly locals.

Besides that, walking through short grasses on a plateau enhances sights to distant places. These can be as far as the Kenya-Uganda border, Karamoja region, refugee settlement camps, Kidepo Valley National Park, Pian Upe Game Reserve and other scenic features. The moist-blowing wind keeps  the day chilly which helps to cool off the heat every single minute. When visited in the wet months, the trails/paths tend to be slippery so you will have to go with walking sticks to hold you up as you  descend/ascend some steep walk ways. The hike to the waterfalls is the only activity for the 1 day sipi falls tour.

  • Coffee tour – 10 Things to do at Sipi falls in Kapchorwa near Mount Elgon

A coffee tour at Sipi falls is often termed as the ‘Life of a coffee tree’ and it involves planting, harvesting, drying the beans, roasting  and grinding in to powder.  You are taken out to the coffee plantations with in the villages to plant coffee seedlings before picking/harvesting the ripe coffee berries. The picked coffee is pulped, washed and sun dried for some 4 or 5 days on a neat drying shed. When the beans get dry, they are roasted and pounded into powder using the local mortar and a pestle. With a cup of some coffee, you will get a taste of what you will have made while have some packed for you to take home.

Apart from learning about the local and traditional skills of making the coffee powder, you will get to know about the origin of coffee, local people’s ways of life and much more.  Sipi falls and Mount Elgon region is probably Uganda’s main Arabica Coffee production area. Let us know if we can include the coffee experience to your Sipi falls tour.

  • Abseiling at Sipi falls

Abseiling is one exciting and hair raising adventure offered at Sipi falls. It involves descending down the waterfalls using a rope and a harness. It is done at the main waterfalls by trained guides who ensure your safety and enjoyment as you get the best view of the waterfalls and the splash of the water. Although open to all ages, it’s mostly done by people between the ages of 18 and 35. If nervous and can’t abseil alone, you can be joined by a guide or do it with a travel mate.

  • Rock climbing

There are many rocks in the area and this has promoted the rock climbing sport and adventure. However, there is only one rock which was identified to be suitable and safe for the activity as the rest are too rough and very slippery. Depending on one’s physical strength or experience, it is usually a one hour activity. It’s tricky to learners though they can still do it with the guidance of trained staff. The climbing gear hire is included in the rock climbing package.

  • Cave adventure

There is a man made and a natural cave in this area. The man made cave was a result of the animals which used to leak the salty rock hence forming a cave down. The natural cave used to be the ancestral home for the Sebei people. There are many caves to be explored in this area with the  local guides who passionately share the lives of their fore fathers.

  • Community/cultural tours

Community and Cultural tours around Sipi Falls involve walking into the villages to experience a part of the local people’s ways of life and the cultural history. This place is dominated by the Sabiny people who are known to circumcise both women and men, a ritual performed to initiate them into adulthood. In times gone by, uncircumcised men and women would not be allowed to marry or gain community recognition. With the human rights bodies’ intervention, the circumcision of women was banned. The male circumcision ritual is also performed by the Bagishu and is commonly known as ‘Imbalu’. Other cultural encounters could be for visiting the local homesteads to see how people carry on with their daily lives, traditional dances and music, among others.

  • Visit Chebonet clear water falls

Chebonet water falls are among the over 1000 less known water falls on the Mount Elgon slopes. They are located a few kilometers away from Sipi falls area and are as high as 90metres. Just like Sipi falls, they also emerge from Mount Elgon and have very clear waters hence the name Chebonet meaning clear water. Some of the other falls are Wanale, Bulago, Sisiyi. Others are located high up in the mountains and are unreachable.

  • Forest exploration at the Mount Elgon slopes

You will leave Sipi Falls area and drive to the nearby Mount Elgon National Park gate for a day walk/hike in the park forest. Depending on the hiking experience, there is choice between a 5 and 11 kilometer trail. The 11km trail will lead you to the Tutum Cave which used to be visited by animals that were attracted by the salty rock. Due to poaching, the Karamajong rustlers and the civil wars in Uganda in the 70s, many animals were killed as others were scared by the gun shots and hence migrated to Kenya. You are only able to see some monkeys during this walk. You will also have great views of the falls in the area. Mount Elgon National Park is a home of a thousand water falls.

  • Sunset walks

To view the sunset and have very clear nice photos, reach out to a place where the Sebei King used to live. It is called the King’s point, a very big hill commanding a view of all the 3 waterfalls at a close range. Also it commands a very extravagant view of all the home steads in Sipi. In the old days, it was a strategic point that enabled the Sabiny to see the Karamajong rustlers from a far distance and prepare themselves for any attacks from them. It is at 360 degrees and on a clear day, you can view the second highest peak of Mount Elgon. At the same point still, you can have a clear view of the Karamajong and Teso plains, Lake Kyoga, Lake Opeta, Pian upe Game Reserve and Mount Kadam, among others.

  • Mountain biking/cycling

Mountain biking and cycling expeditions are another great way to explore the Sipi falls region. They are arranged to start from Sipi to the entrance of Mount Elgon National Park up to the boundaries of the waterfalls. The ride goes through villages where you will see the locals tending to their gardens, have nice views of the homesteads and the adjacent plains.

Experienced riders that can take longer treks to high altitude areas are able to see Teryet Training Stadium. This is a new high altitude Training center for our country’s sports/athletes giants. Kapchorwa is home to some of the renown world’s Racing Champions. Some of these Champions are Kiprotich, Cheptegei and Kipsro. They have won many medals in the world Olympics and Common Wealth Games. You can even find some of these champions in their training sessions on your cycling trip.

Other outstanding waterfalls in Uganda

Tours to Sipi Falls


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