Sipi Falls. The climate in this area is cool since it’s a hilly area.   


The scenic views at Sipi

What you need to know:

No doubt, the Sipi Falls immerse guests in the region’s flora and fauna.

As the Sipi River snakes through the village of Sipi, you cannot miss the scenic views featuring a waterfall, a dense forest and the breathtaking landscape in Kapchorwa District.

No doubt, the Sipi Falls immerse guests in the region’s flora and fauna.
The excursion to Kapchorwa, from Karamoja region started in the dark of the night and the only prayer was there was a place to lay. After a long day that had started at 6 am, one surely needed to rest. 

As Felix Bashaija, the designated driver drove up the winding road, nausea became my friend and what a miserable journey that was. Resorting to closing my eyes, finally getting to the levelled ground was a gift I had anticipated.

However, the night’s abode almost eluded us because we did not know the name of the accommodation, save our contact’s phone number. 
Calling him (Sam Maina), I was glad I had called then, in a nick of time to catch the name we were about to drive by. Casa Safari Lodge, it was and despite the slight drizzle, he dutifully waited for us. 

The sight of a water heater was another joy having endured the coldness of Kapchorwa. After a warm bath and a small bite, it was time to sleep.
At 7 am, we met with our tour guide, Job Soyekwo of Mulima Mountain Adventures and the tour of Sipi began. Driving the winding terrain, we saw a cow in each household, which we learned is the pride of every Sebei home. 

“They believe that every brown short-horned cow is theirs,” he said.
Our first stop was at one of the Sipi Falls and it necessitated that we walk up to the falls. Stepping out of the car, we met locals selling passion fruits that tasted heavenly.  

The journey started with a descent that later turned into a climb on the somewhat soggy road leading to the falls. Amidst a lot of chatter and banter, we continued our journey and met with locals and tourists alike. 

Beautiful scenery
After a trek that almost gave me a muscle pull, we reached flat ground and all around were beautiful pink flowers.
However, the magnificent falls that cascaded down as though it were a white sheet took the trophy. Taking a couple of photos and continuing with the banter with other tourists leaving the grounds, was an amazing experience. 

Moving a little higher, we saw some of the biggest banana plants that we learned were wild and only thrive in well-watered places. Taking a few more photos, we soon began the descent back to the waiting car.

Our next stop was the Sipi Falls 2, a short drive from the first one. Armed with walking sticks, we endured yet another steep climb and the first quarter took us past a slow-flowing river and a few banana and coffee gardens. 

Choosing to rest was a wise idea because what lay ahead was a steep climb that left my muscles and lungs screaming. 

Just when I thought I would pass out, the climb turned to a descent to a cave plastered with names and the sight of the falls. While I detested getting closer to the foot of the falls, my colleagues quickly descended on the slippery rocks, making me feel envious. Throwing caution to the wind, I held onto vegetation as I made my descent. The splash of the water from the falls, lots of laughter and selfies made it all worthwhile. 

As one colleague edged closer to the fall pool, my bravado had reached its climax hence turning into a spectatator. Returning to the cave, Soyokwo shared that the cave was man-made and caves are special to the Kalenjin. 
 “Caves were our first homes but also served as naming places when we started building our own houses. These also work as camping sites where people can enjoy the falls while they sip coffee,” he says.

Adding, “While tourists are allowed to swim in the pool, the locals draw water from it as well as have their cattle drink from the same. The locals draw water early in the morning and late in the evening because, at this time, it is too cold for anyone to swim in it. Additionally, the water is clean again after the day’s activities. Moreover, we drink this water without boiling it.”

Sipi Falls in Kapchorwa. PHOTO/ COLLINS MUHWEZI

Heading back, the relaxed walk enabled me to appreciate the scenery that the steep walk had denied me, even the local coffee stall, where we made some purchases. One thing that would take away from this is that tourism is to be enjoyed not rushed. You never know what else I could have missed as I rushed to finish the climb.
However, one spectacle remained unventured though seen from afar. It was magnificent.

“Job, what is that up there? Is that another fall?” I asked as I pointed upwards. 
“No. However, it is right above the falls,” he said. Crestfallen, I asked, “Why didn’t you take us there?” “Because you did not say you wanted to? However, it is actually not a fall and we were here to see a fall” he said. 

“But how would I ask about it yet I did not know it exists,” I retorted. “Well, we can go back,” he smiled. Remembering the journey upwards, I resigned to the fact that I could see it from where I stood.
Driving off to Kapchorwa town, one cannot fail to notice rocks in the homesteads. 
“Job, are those rocks or concrete blocks at that building sight?” I asked, pointing to a construction site on one side of the road.

 “That is rock. Every home has a rock in their compound that they dig up when constructing a house, in place of brick,” he responded. 
Looking at the houses, I wished there was a way to get that rock back home rather than deal with bricks that seem costly.

Kapchorwa town is not as busy as Kampala. Looking from  1,800m above sea level, the undulating hills are beautiful. It was a wonderful way to crown the journey.