It takes only one hour and seven minutes to go from the city of Kapchorwa to the city of Mbale, in east Uganda. The place is not far from the border line with Kenya. For the African standard this is a very short distance. And it seems nothing is worth the visit in such a short part of the territory. But this is not true. This corner of Uganda is so beautiful and unique it is a real pity that not all tourists know of its existence. In the middle, between Kapchorwa and Mbale there is the small town of Sipi. And its wonderful water falls.

Sipi Water Falls

Sipi Water Falls form as the Sipi River comes down from Mount Elgon entering the Kyoga Basin. There are many “jumps” (difference in levels) along its way and the most spectacular is, in fact, the Sipi falls. The water falls from 99 meter height and of course they are the most important tourist attraction of the region. Around the falls, you can explore beautiful caves and rocky paths climbing and descending, among banana and coffee plantations. Coffee is the most important product of Sipi region, but also the typical local bananas – here used as a medicine – are precious.

FALLS 002 mbale resort
photo by Mbale Resort web site

Sipi and the towns around

Visiting coffee plantations is one of the activities tourists can do, here. But there is a lot more to do and visit, if you stay in this area. Mount Elgon National Park, for example; or hiking and birdwatching along the Karamoja plains; visiting Lake Kyoga; meeting Bagisu and Sabiny tribes people.

South-west of Sipi, in less than 40-minute drive you can get to Mbale, a lovely town famous for its churches, temples and other religious buildings. Up north, instead, in 20 minutes by car you get to Kapchorwa, the district capital and a very large town. You can visit even museums and cultural centers here.

The best resorts in Sipi-Mbale-Kapchorwa area

The best places where to book your stay, in this area, are Mbale Resort, Rafiki Lodge Sipi and Sipi Valley Resort.

Mbale Resort is a very elegant, modern building with western style architecture. It offers 93 rooms over two wings. All rooms have large windows, large balconies and stunning views (over the slopes of Mt Elgon and over the hotel’s pool). You find all comforts at Mbale Resorts, including sauna, gym, room service, wi-fi connection. Book at +256-758210121 or on the web site’s page (link here).

Rafiki Lodge in Sipi is a lovely “spread” hotel, surrounded by beautiful green forest and hills. You will stay in little houses built in African style, reminding a typical hut, especially inside. All comforts will be offered to tourists, including the organization of activities and trips. Book at their page (link here) .

Sipi Valley Resort is a very small hotel, modern building with a few rooms. It offers many services and comforts, anyway. European tourists shall get used to it, but they will find all they need by just asking. If you want you can also have your room in a typical hut, or in a tent. The contact is telephone +256 – 6781674387.

sipi resort photo by BISAGATI TIMOTHY