3-Day Adventure at Sipi Falls and Mount Elgon Mini-Hike – Uganda
Have you heard of Mount Elgon National Park in Uganda? It’s a beautiful spot that often gets overlooked on safaris because it’s located in the east. Mount Elgon is an inactive shield volcano that reaches 4,321 meters high and is the 17th highest mountain in Africa. It’s also the oldest and biggest solitary volcano in East Africa and covers an area of around 3,500 km².
Back in 1896, Charles William Hobley was the first European to circle the mountain. Did you know that the mountain is named after the Elgeyo tribe, who once lived in large caves on the south side? The Maasai called it “Ol Doinyo Ilgoon” (Breast Mountain) and on the Ugandan side, the Bamasaba called it “Masaba.”
If you’re thinking of visiting, June to August and December to March are the best times to go since it’s dry then. You’ll be able to see lots of unique attractions like montane forests, bamboo, giant Lobelia, beautiful flowers, birds, antelope, wild cats, rock hyrax, hyenas, caves, craters, and gorges. And don’t forget to check out the stunning Sipi Falls too.
The area is home to the Bagisu and the Sabiny, who practice circumcision every year. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind destination that you won’t want to miss!
3-Day Mount Elgon Mini-Hike & Source of the Nile River-Jinja Safari in Uganda
Day 1: Discovering the Majestic Sipi Falls and the Hospitality of Sipi River Lodge
Your adventure begins as we collect you from your hotel and embark on a 5-hour scenic journey towards Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda. Our route takes us through the enchanting Mabira Forest, culminating in our arrival at the magnificent Sipi Falls. You’ll settle into the Sipi River Lodge for a two-night stay here. Although Sipi River Lodge is more affordable than some up-market lodges, it doesn’t compromise on quality. You’ll be enchanted by the serene surroundings and the culinary delights awaiting you. Each room is well-appointed with an en-suite bathroom.
For lunch, savor dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients from the Mount Elgon region. Even the refreshing coffee or tea is locally harvested. The lodge takes pride in its delectable cuisine, ensuring memorable meals throughout your stay.
Post-lunch, prepare to be captivated by the main attraction: the Sipi Falls. Contrary to its singular name, it comprises a series of four cascading waterfalls. Venture behind the primary falls to discover hidden caves and make your ascent to the summit, keeping an eye out for the rich birdlife, including the golden-winged and Tacazze Sunbirds, Turacos, and Hornbills. This rewarding trek, which offers panoramic vistas, can last up to 2½ hours or more, ensuring an exhilarating afternoon. The concealed caves behind the falls beckon for exploration.
As evening approaches, return to the lodge to unwind. Revel in a sumptuous dinner, surrounded by nature’s splendor.
Lodging: Sipi River Lodge Meal Plan: Lunch and Dinner.
Day 2 – Exploring the Wonders of Sipi Falls:
Begin your day with a sumptuous breakfast at the Sipi Falls lodge, setting the right tone for the adventures ahead. The day is replete with a myriad of activity options:
- Traverse the mountain trails on a mountain bike.
- Embark on hiking expeditions, whether inside or outside the park. Scale heights with guided rock climbing.
- Experience the thrill of abseiling.
- Engage in trout fishing, practicing catch and release.
- Delve into the mysteries of the caves.
Of course, these are just a handful of activities on offer. If a laid-back day is more your speed, take a serene walk, immerse yourself in a book, or simply revel in the tranquil ambiance of the lodge.
Lunch at the Sipi River Lodge.
Post-lunch, gear up for another invigorating activity. With a packed lunch in tow, we set off for a day of hiking and bird-watching on the slopes of Mount Elgon. Our journey commences with a brief drive to the Mount Elgon Exploration Center. From here, we tread along day trails enveloped by montane and bamboo forests, with breathtaking vistas of Mount Elgon and the sprawling valleys beneath. Our path is adorned with wildflower meadows, fluttering butterflies, and an array of avian species, including the black and white casqued Hornbill, Hartlaub’s Turaco, bar-tailed Trogon, grey-throated Barbet, Montane Oriole, Mountain Greenbull, and Black Collared Apalis, to name just a selection.
Savor a delightful picnic lunch amidst nature, and as the day winds down, we make our way back, returning to the comfort of our lodge as the evening envelopes the landscape.
Evening Retreat: Dinner and a Sunset
Return to your lodge to relish a sumptuous dinner, soak up the incredible views, and perhaps enjoy a beautiful sunset. A good night’s sleep will help you gear up for Day 2’s adventure!
Day 3:Jinja’s Charm: The Meeting of the White Nile and Lake Victoria
Start your day with a hearty breakfast before setting out for Jinja. Experience the awe-inspiring sight at the Source of the Nile River Park, where the mighty White Nile fuses with the expansive Lake Victoria. Relish a delectable lunch at the Sunset Hotel, boasting panoramic views of the Nile River.
Afterward, marvel at the mighty Itanda Falls, especially as the once-renowned Bujagali Falls have now been replaced due to dam construction. Itanda, however, continues to mesmerize with its undiminished vigor.
As the day winds down, we’ll return to Kampala, ensuring you’re comfortably settled in your hotel by early evening.
Concluding this 3-day Sipi Falls – Mount Elgon adventure, you’ve just scratched the surface of this relatively unexplored Ugandan gem. While we’ve covered a lot, there’s always more to explore in the Mount Elgon Park – Sipi Falls region. Whether you stick to the three-day plan or decide to extend, many activities and sights await your discovery.
Your safari includes transportation in a 4×4, park entrance fees, full-board accommodations, and much more. Personal expenses like drinks and tips are not included.