Sipi Falls is located at the base of Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano in Eastern Uganda towering at 4,321 meters at its peak. A visit to the three falls in this mountain paradise is a delight for many a visitor.
Your hike starts early as you make your way through the local villages, through homesteads, and through banana and coffee plantations. The people in this area are very friendly and you will have children say hello through out your hike, some will hold your hand to accompany you on your hike. The walk to Sipi falls number 1 takes you about an hour. In the rainy season, the water levels are very high and the waterfalls create a huge explosion of steam that even standing 7o meters away from the falls will get you soaking wet. In the dry season, the water levels are lower so you can get close, even under the waterfall.
You will spend about 30 minutes at falls 1 before you descend to Sipi Falls 2. The walk to falls 2 takes about 30 minutes and you start at the top. You can soak your feet in the pool at the top and take group photos over the edge, the view is incredible from here. You will then descend into a cave that is placed right behind the waterfall, you will be literally in the waterfall at falls 2. Depending on the volume of water here, you can descend into the waterfall and get a cool shower here.
After falls 2, you will descend to falls 3. This part of your hike presents a steep challenge descending into the bottom of a valley and climbing back to the top. Many teams will usually hike number 1 and 2 and will get a good view of falls 3 from a view point at Lacam Lodge or some of the other facilities in the Sipi Falls area.
A visit to Sipi Falls is not complete without a coffee experience. This area grows some of the best Arabica coffee in the world and if you are a coffee lover, a traditional coffee experience is worth your time when at Sipi Falls.
The experience involves making your own coffee from scratch. You are given dry coffee beans which you pound in a wooden mortar to remove the husks. You will then winnow the beans on a tray lifting and blowing away at the husks to leave only the beans. You will repeat this process about twice before all the husks are out. By this time your guide has lit a wood fire and is ready for you to roast the beans in a steel pan. Roast the coffee to your desired level of roast ie; light, medium or dark.
Did you know that in coffee, the darker the roast the lesser the caffeine and the lighter the roast the greater the caffeine? Well now you know!
After roasting the coffee to your desire, you will place it back into the mortar and pound it to powder. By this time the guide has placed water into a pan and is ready for you to add the coffee powder to brew your coffee. Once its all heated up to your liking, you are ready for your traditional taste of Sipi Falls Arabica coffee.
In order to experience Sip Falls the best, you need to plan a full days visit or even stay a night or two at one of the lodges for a maximized experience.