7 Fun Things To Do In Sipi Falls

Things to do in Sipi Falls: The triple waterfall. Arguably the most beautiful waterfalls in Uganda sit at the foothills of Mountain Elgon and are often a starting point for hikers of the Mountain. The upper two falls drop from 85 meters and 75 meters, and the most captivating one at more than 100 metres which is the star attraction of this area.

The mini rainbow that forms when they are hit by the morning sun is something for everyone to look forward to. Besides these 3 powerful falls, the entire landscape is dotted with more than 300 other ‘smaller’ waterfalls.

The falls are located in Eastern Uganda Kaphorwa district approximately 280 kilometres from Kampala. The drive will take you about 4 to 5 hours. The falls lie on the edge of Mount Elgon National Park near the Kenyan Border. The name Sipi was derived from the traditional plant called ‘Sep’ that used to grow on the banks of the falls and which the locals used to treat fevers and measles among themselves.

The Sipi Falls have recently become a huge head-turner for both foreign and local tourists. The misty fog created as the water drops with great strength and deep rumbling, the suspenseful hike to the top of the falls and the view it provides of the coffee plantations and surrounding Kapchorwa plains, and not forgetting the endless photo-worthy spots are some of the reasons why. If you are planning to visit the falls, here’s what you could expect to do and see.

1. Abseiling

This is one of the most adventurous sports you will engage in on your trip. If you are an adrenaline junkie (in a good way), this is the activity for you. It is a sport where you descend the slopes of the steep rocks with a friction device and rope. This is also called ‘rappelling’.

Be sure to carry a helmet and comfortable Converse shoes for this exercise. This is found at the Chebonet Falls – elevated at 1272 meters above sea level. Chebonet Falls is just close by but not one of the three Sipi Falls, so basically an added marvel to your original expectation.

While abseiling, you are adjacent to Chebonet Falls and below lies the bank of the falls. It is quite an adventure to have the mist from the fall embrace you as you descend with the water to the lowest point.  This surreal experience is one of those activities that will excite all your senses.

2. Hiking

You are provided walking sticks to provide support on this hike. It takes you about 3 hours to hike all the three Sipi Falls. why come all the way and just hike one? For a full-blown experience, allocate three hours on your itinerary to see them all.

The paths to the falls are approximately 7 to 8 kilometres with each hike a different adventure and discoveries. You will be guided by a professional tour guide who knows the ins and outs of the place as well as the best spots with the best panoramic view of the valley!

3. Agro-tours

On this tour, you will get to experience the life of a coffee grower. The main type of coffee grown in this region is the Arabica coffee which grows at 1900 meters above sea level.

A lot of people in this area are coffee growers who have been doing this for generations. Most of the lower Mount Elgon plains are clothed in coffee-growing at all stages, you will learn the entire process from planting, maintaining, processing to selling.

You will be walked through the process of picking coffee berries, shelling them, grinding them in a traditional mortar and pestle, roasting them on fire and to top it off, a fresh cup of coffee for all your hard work. This is the opportunity to be a part of the community hustle and a portion of the profits from such a tour contribute to the community development and development of the region in general. Plus you get to make and taste your cup of Elgon Coffee.

4. Mountain Biking

Visiting a rocky and hilly place like the Sipi Falls and not biking should be a crime. But it isn’t. Because not everyone likes biking.

There are lots of trails set up around this area specifically for biking around Sipi River Lodge. Tracks range from hard-core technical rocky climbs to easier downhill routes.

The tracks provide more than a biking opportunity, you have a chance to bike the lower sides of Mount Elgon and have great views of the coffee plantations, the three Sipi Falls and Sipi River and the Kapchorwa plains. You can also bike through the community and check out how the local people live.

5. Mount Elgon National Park

The park is only 34 kilometres from Sipi Falls. There is a lot to see in the park, wildlife like leopards, Bush pigs, bushbucks, forest hogs, elephants, buffalos, Defassa waterbucks, spotted hyenas, black and white colobus, baboons, Vervet monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys among others.

You will be guided by skilled personnel to help you easily spot these animals in the park. Mount Elgon National Park is among the least explored protected areas – and this means that you get the best authentic experiences of nature. Here are the things you can do in Mt. Elgon

6. Bird Watching

The Mountain is home to over 300 birds including Afrotropical highland biome species most especially the Moorland Francolin, Alpine Chat and Moustached Green Tinkerbird. Be sure to see some Black-collared Apalis and Jackson’s Francolin which are only found in Mount Elgon region, Black-shouldered kite, Tacazze Sunbird that can only be found in Eastern Uganda as well as the endangered Lammergeyer. Quite a place for rare and unique birds.

7. Community Visits

For those of you deeply interested in the African and Ugandan Cultures, this is one thing you should do while on the trip. The people in this region are called Bagisu and are one of the immensely cultural tribes in Uganda who still practice some of their old traditions like the infamous ‘Imbalu Circumcision’ of all male members of the community who have come of age.

You can be part of this colourful event of song and dance if you visit in August and December although you will not be allowed to take any pictures.  Use this opportunity to learn everything ‘Gisu’ from the dressing, and social dynamics, try local foods and be a part of the community, it will be a refreshing feeling from what you are used to and something you will talk about forever.


Packing for Sipi should depend on what activities you plan on taking part in and how long you are spending there. Our Safari expert will give you the most relevant advice depending on what you choose to do.

For example, you might need binoculars if you want to see birds but they are otherwise extra weight if you want to do mountain biking. Here are some items that generally apply to most activities.

  • Hiking shoes that are comfortable for you to walk in for a few hours.
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, wide-brimmed hat for the sun.
  • Light Poncho/Rain jacket because it could rain at any moment.
  • Photography equipment such as cameras, batteries and extra memory cards.
  • Water bottle because the climb will leave you breathless and in need of rehydration.

Talk to us about organising for you a Ugandan Safari tour program that is based on your interests, schedule and budget. Just use this safari inquiry form, or send us a direct email at info@exclusiveafricansafaris.com. All you have to do is tell us what you want and we’ll work with you to figure out the rest.

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