WATERFALLS IN UGANDA

August 26, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

THE 5 MOST ICONIC WATERFALLS OF UGANDA.

Sipi falls.

Sipi falls is located in the eastern part of Uganda in the district of Kapchorwa. It is one of the wonderful waterfalls in Uganda and it is just 4 hours and 30 minutes drive away from Kampala capital city. The falls are found on Sipi river which flows a good distance until it reaches a rock with a depression below it that helps form the falls. The name “Sipi” was derived from a plant that is locally grown known as Sep.

This plant looks like the wild bananas and has various medicinal purposes as it is used to cure some skin diseases such as measles. This plant usually grows around the falls and these are the grounds on which the local people named this waterfall Sipi.This mighty waterfall also gets its origin from one of the Hot Springs that flow on Sipi river all the way from Mount Elgon to a plunge pool just below the cliff that creates rapids that flow all the way to lake Kyoga.

Sipi falls offers a variety of activities the tourists can do well in the area and these include but are not limited to, abseiling, rock climbing, coffee tours, cultural encounters, bird watching, photography, hiking and many others. A good hike to the top of Sipi falls can be favorable from June to August and also in December up to the end of March. Sipi falls is an adventure for mostly the youth who love the activities that are done at the falls and also the elderly who are adventurous so it does not distinguish among the tourists who can visit it.

Murchison falls.

This is the world’s strongest waterfall and is located in western Uganda in the present day Murchison Falls National Park that was named after a British explorer called Murchison. The falls were previously called Kabalega who was a king of Bunyoro Kitara - the land in which the falls are. Murchison falls are on River Nile and it is at this point where the whole of River Nile forces itself into a 7-meter corridor after which it drops down up to 45 meters with a lot of energy from the water and thus forming a deep plunge pool just below the falls that actually makes the waterfall the world's most powerful. 

The pressure around this area always makes the ground shake. The falls are unique in their own way and that is why they have a full National Park named after them. These powerful waterfalls can be accessed by road which can take five to six hours and it is approximately 305 kilometers from Kampala to the National Park where the falls can be accessed.

To reach the falls, one has to take a boat cruise from where they can have the chance to see the waterfalls, take pictures and record videos. Various activities can be done at the waterfalls for example the hike to the top and bottom of the falls which tourists find so interesting because they get to view the waterfalls from each and every corner. The nearest town to the falls is Masindi which has various amenities that boost the comfort of the tourists to the waterfalls.

 Bird watching, sports fishing, hiking, mountaineering and many other activities can be done at the waterfalls. The waterfalls have several gates leading to it that help enhance its accessibility such as, Kichumbanyobo gate and Bugungu gate in the south, Wankar, Tangi and Chobe in the north depending on which side the tourist is coming from. 

Nyakasura waterfalls.

These wonderful waterfalls are located in Fort portal in southwest Uganda in the amabere caves. They are just a 5 hours and 15 minutes drive away from Kampala city and approximately 9 kilometers from Fort Portal tourism city. These waterfalls are different from others according to the folklore about them and also the fact that they have stalactites and stalagmites around them which makes them so unique. A legend has it that the Toro Kingdom monarch had a very pretty daughter called Nyina Mwiru that he had her breasts cut off to make her look less attractive to the men so that they could not marry her. 

However, this move did not make her look less attractive to the men and so one of the Batembuzi King - Isaza who she loved so much and got her pregnant and due to her inability to breastfeed since she did not have breasts, it is believed that the son used to take the milk like substances from the breast like structures in the caves.

Various other tourist attractions are found near the waterfalls for example the Amabere caves, the beautiful crater lakes around, the hills, forest cover and the greenery formed by the beautiful vegetation. A lot of activities can also be done here such as swimming, sports fishing, hiking, community encounters with the Batooro people, canoeing on the crater lakes, photography due to the beautiful sceneries around, camping, and so many others. 

Aruu falls.

They are located in Pader district in northern Uganda along the Gulu -  Kitgum highway. The falls are just a 50 minutes drive away from Gulu town. Aruu falls are unique in their own way due to the various streams that form the waterfall alongside a strong roaring sound that one can hear from kilometers away, water falls from various rocks which include; Akweyo, Wang Okiye, Okello gem, Lanya kweyo, and Lacee.

 The source of the waterfall is believed to be in the present day Timu forest in Kaabong district. The jo p'kongo are said to be the earliest inhabitants of the area which they migrated to in search for water and greener pastures for their animals since they were pastoralists.

They migrated from Otwa areas and made settlements in the villages of Lapaya. Various activities are done at the Aruu falls which include; Camping since there is a camping site and actually the place is also known as Aruu falls campsite, bird watching due to the various species of birds that flock the area to drink water and some stay in the various rocks and forests around the area, hiking to the top and bottom of the waterfalls, cultural dances by people in the local areas who love to tell about their culture, waterfall viewing, picnics, rock climbing, nature and community walks, swimming, photography due to the beautiful scenery and so forth.

Busowoko falls.

This is yet another wonderful waterfall one should visit while in Uganda. It is located in Jinja district just to the east of Kampala city and it’s just 81 kilometers away from the city center. This area was an abandoned one until like five years ago when it was turned into a tourism site. However, it was known by the locals as an area of the ghosts. This is because it was in the forest and it would be hardly accessed by any people until the travelers and wanderers discovered it and created a lot of activities to be done around there. Abdalla Sutta, a leader in the area further called it the “home of spirits”. 

This waterfall roars majestically in the remote areas of Jinja but is a gem that is flooded by tourists due to the unforgettable experiences associated with it and has since been dubbed the fastest booming weekend hideout for city dwellers. The falls are a highlight of the River Nile water rafting activities. Various other activities are done while at the falls which include; Tubing River Nile, excursions to jinja city, 4WD tours, water massaging which masses enjoy, guided swimming, camping and so many others.

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