Sipi Falls is a series of three water falls located in Eastern part of Uganda in the district of Kapchorwa, The waterfalls lie on the edge of Mount Elgon National Park near the Kenyan border. The breath taking Sipi River is named after a local plant that grows on the banks of the River known as” Sep” resembling a type of wild banana and its medicinal because it’s used to treat fever. The local guides will tell you a story of how the British went to visit the falls and found a young woman picking the” Sep” from the banks and when they asked for the name of the falls, the woman thinking they were asking for the name of the plant she happily replied Sep and that is how the Falls came to be known as Sipi Falls. The ‘Sep’
The Sipi Falls area is the starting point for many hikes up Mt. Elgon and particularly famous for locally grown Bugisu Arabica coffee. Coffee tours are organized through guides with knowledge of coffee farming, processing and roasting. Profits from this go towards community projects and the hikes around the falls offer stunning views of the Karamoja plains and the slopes of Mt. Elgon.
Activities that can be done when one visits the Sipi Falls
There are several activities that can be carried out when one visits the Sipi Falls and some of these activities have been listed below:
Abseiling is a sport of descending the slopes and rocks with a friction device that is attached to one’s harness and as you’re going remember to carry the helmet along. The sport is not for people with heart problems, the abseiling can be done at the Chebonet Falls with a climbing routes ranging from 10 meters to 35 meters. The Chebonet Falls have fifteen sporting climbing sports and I highly believe that this is one of the experiences you would not want to miss when you visit the Elgon region.
Sipi has well marked routes that can be used for mountain biking. This is mostly done by all those people who love to have a thrill either as a competition or freely and it is mostly done in the morning and evening hours, while on this activity you while get an opportunity see the different birds that can be spotted in the Mountain Elgon National park.
Sipi offers one of the best hiking routes in the country (Uganda). It has several hike routes up the Elgon Mountain and these hikes will take like fifteen minutes each and the beauty about the hiking is that it offers you cool weather around the fall, the incredible fauna; however you will take these hikes with an experienced tour guide.
There is variety of routes at Sipi falls that can use while on a nature walk and these are guided by the different experienced local tour guides. The nature walk will take you through the different communities and learn about the different cultures that are carried out by the locals that live around Sipi falls through their stories, dance and drama
A visit to the Arabica Coffee Plantations
The coffee plantations are found on the banks of the River and are found in the Bugisu region and these are a big attraction to the tourists. They are highly favored by the conducive weather and the fertile soils found in the area. You will be able to find out more about the Arabica coffee and how it is harvested with the help of local tour guides, the exporting process and if you want to can take part in the sorting and roasting process of one of the best coffees in the world, as you will also appreciate every cup of coffee you take and all this with just a visit to Sipi Falls.
Spot fishing can be done on both the River and the falls. This is much appreciated by those who love fishing. You will experience the different techniques used in fishing like the fly method and more others , if your blessed might also be able to catch a few different kinds of fish and it also provides a challenge of the rainbow trout and when you go spot fishing, remember to bring your own fishing equipment or you can buy from there.
There are varieties of bird species that can be encountered when you take a safari to the Sipi Falls and these can be found in the Mountain Elgon National Park and these bird species include the Tecazze sunbird, black collared Apalis, black shouldered kite, bush shrikes, African Blue flycatcher, Baglafetcht weaver, Jacksons Francolin, the Lammergeyer among others.
Cultural visit with the locals
Take a visit the local people who live around the Falls who are majorly the Bagisu and the Sebei and enjoy their sweet local food ( Malewa )also known as the bamboo shoots and the circumcision days which are used to initiate the boys into adulthood, the story tellers, traditional healer, dances and much more.