Mount Elgon National Park is a national park 140km (87mi) north of Lake Victoria. The park spans the border between Uganda and Kenya in Western Uganda. The Ugandan portion covers 1,110km2 and is home to the famous Sipi Falls.
Sitting in the foothills of Mt Elgon and overlooking a vast plain, Sipi Falls is arguably the most beautiful chain of waterfalls in all of Uganda. There are three levels, and though the smaller two are beautiful, it is the 95m main drop that attracts visitors to this area, and most of Sipi’s lodging looks out over it. It is well worth spending a night or two in this spectacular yet peaceful place whether it is a part of your Uganda tour or in connection with a climb of the nearby volcano.
Activities in Mountain Elgon National Park;
Climbing Mt Elgon (5 – 6 days)
Lying on the border between Kenya and Uganda, Mount Elgon is the extinct volcano with the largest surface area in the world. The highest peak is Wagagai, at 4,321m. The full trekking circuit to the peaks takes five days to complete, following either Sasa or Sipi trails. Matoke Tours can organise your trip departing and returning to Sipi Falls with all equipment included.
Sipi Falls Hike: This is the most popular activity in Mountain Elgon National Park. Take a guided hike through the series of three waterfalls known and Sipi Falls. The landscape is stunning – expect beautiful views across the valley from the side of Mountain Elgon, as well as a trip behind the rushing falls.
Walks to the Falls
A network of well-maintained (though often muddy) local trails give you beautiful views of the area and on your way to the bottom of each of the three levels of waterfalls. It is possible to walk off on your own, but we recommend taking a local guide who can explain the flora and fauna and also negotiate the passage through private property.
Village and forest walks are also possible at Mt Elgon National Park’s Forest Exploration Centre nearby, though you will incur the national park fees to hike there.
Sipi Falls Abseiling:
For those who are more brave, strap yourself in and abseil 100m down from the tallest of the sipi falls. An amazing way to experience the falls up close, and is sure to get your adrenaline pumping!
Mountain Elgon Coffee Tour: Experience firsthand how coffee has been made for generations on the slopes of Mountain Elgon. This will include roasting the beans over a village kitchen fire and grinding them using a traditional “omusekuzo” and “ekinu” (a large version of a mortar and pestle). At the end you’ll get to try the coffee you’ve made!
Aside from the falls themselves, a highlight to visiting Sipi is a tour that takes you through the entire coffee process at a nearby family farm. You will pick the coffee berries, to deshell and grind them with a traditional mortar and pestle, and roast them on an open fire, before – the best part – finishing with a fine cup of strong Arabica coffee.