Got a private jet? Take the scenic flight to Sipi falls, taking in all the impressive aerial views of the falls and the surroundings ... but wait a minute, you will certainly miss out on quite a lot - let alone not finding parking space for the jet for you to explore this place further ...
Take the road trip - It's well worth it!
If you are doing your trips to the national parks in Uganda, then you could be on your way to the Mountain Elgon National park in the east. Slot in a few more days - 2/3 days will do to explore the Sipi falls. If you are doing the Elgon Hike, best is, to do the falls tour after the hike.
Photo by; Dave Lonsdale
Reason is; the falls will give you that relaxing environment you will be yearning for. Once you get to Sipi - a little village trading centre, walk to the falls as you take in and admire the stunning views of the Karamoja plains, lake Kyoga in the distance and the Mt Elgon slopes.
Exploring the three tiers of the waterfall that make up the Sipi falls will take you quite a few hours ...
... But even after the trekking and walk-abouts, this place has got quite some impressive places to relax - at least to grab a drink as you wind-down, running through the memories of your vacation.
Is your adrenaline rush well in control? you could do some abseiling along the side of the 90m falls and / or try climbing on the bolted sport routes - quite a challenge, only for the strong hearted!
Assumptions first; the easiest is when you have your own car. From Kampala, drive east towards Jinja (lovely place to spend a day/night), proceed to Mbale town. You could choose to take in a bit of Mbale ... (Kampala to Mbale is just over 3 hours drive). You will then do another close to 50km on a paved road via the Mbale- Moroto road - which should take you just short of an hour to get to your final destination. Once you get to Sipi - a small village centre, then you have hit the jackpot!
Photo by; butforthesky.com
Best is, if you are doing the trip with a group of friends, you could consider sharing the cost of hiring a car. Otherwise you will be glad to know that you can also get to Sipi using public transport.
From Kampala, take a taxi (commuter van) to Mbale. The challenge will be from Mbale to Sipi - the public transport here is not quite reliable as you will soon realise that any means that comes along especially on your way back will be much appreciated. You could do with a bit of hitchhiking!
If you are the kind that is not afraid to adventure, then try the public transport! Be cautious though at the extortionist prices you might find along the way - think before you pay, 'is it worth it?' - particularly with the hired transport and finding a guide.
And if you are spending a night in Sipi or Mbale before you get on with the tour, talking to the management at the lodging or camping site to help with finding the right guides and transport would be my best bet.
Photo by; butforthesky.com
But also organising the tour through the Uganda Wildlife Authority would save you all the hassle and worry! Might come in a little pricy, but well worth it! You will be in safe hands. See the fees here.
Someone once asked me, 'what do I need to bring with me for the Sipi trip?' ... believe you, me, I have heard quite a few turn up with flip-flops! My advice is, have all the basics you need for mountain hiking.
This should be the least of your worries - this place has quite a collection of lodging facilities, backpackers and camping sites that offer a range that cuts across all budgets. If you are planning to camp, best is, to have your own equipment - saves you a few £$Shs. Otherwise, you can hire tents.
Did you know that;
The Sipi falls is named after the Sipi river that is named after an indigenous plant found on the river banks called 'sep'! ... did I lose you in translation? Just keep with me for a second; Apparently, 'sep' is a medicinal plant to the locals used in the treatment of fever and measles.
This region is undoubtedly one of the producers of the finest Uganda Arabica Coffee. Do you know what it take to make a cup of coffee? forget the machines ... you will have chance to make yourself one from scratch!
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