This time, I travelled with Golfers from Uganda Golf Union and a team put together by Uganda Tourism Board. The tour was part of an ongoing initiative between the two bodies to promote sports (particularly golf) tourism in Uganda. We arrived in Mbale on Friday evening and after watching the golf games on Saturday morning, set off to explore Mbale. Our escapade begun with a scenic drive to the top of Wanale ridge in Mbale and concluded with a visit to the glorious Sipi Falls, located in Kapchorwa, about 50 kilometers northeast of Mbale.
Wanale Ridge is one of the ridges that form the Mountain Elgon range. Interestingly, around this time last year I climbed Wanale for the first time and I must say, the views and scenery along the way are definitely worth the climb. This time we took a longer (and equally scenic) route and drove to the top of the ridge. It felt like a different journey altogether as the views are different from those of the hike. At some point during the journey, we got off the bus and decided to climb. The winding roads to the top reminded me of Kisoro. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera on the bus during the walk. I would have loved to have captured the views.
After some huffing and puffing, we got back on the bus and drove the rest of the way to the top. We were welcomed by a drizzle and while we frolicked around, enjoying the view and taking pictures, it threatened to rain. That didn’t stop us though, the grey clouds and the cool air somehow created the perfect end to what had otherwise been a very active day, especially for the golfers.
Before we made our way back to Kampala on Sunday, we took a morning drive to Kapchorwa district to visit Sipi Falls. Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls commonly referred to as Sipi 1, Sipi 2 and Sipi 3. I’d visited Sipi 1 and 3 on previous trips to Mbale but never all three. Most of us underestimated the amount of hiking involved as by the time we got back on the bus, the entire team was ready to black out for the long journey back to Kampala.
We visited the falls in chronological order starting with Sipi 1.
After hiking to a point where we had the perfect view of the base of Sipi 1, we continued to ascend until we got to the perfect viewpoint of Sipi 2. We then proceeded downhill until we reached the base. The base was spectacular. It was here where we were able to stand directly under the waterfall and cool off or simply stand near it, surrounded by rocks and cave, watching the water cascade to the ground, taking in the cool air and feeling the droplets on our skin.
After quite the hike, we drove over to Casa Sipi Falls Lodge. The perfect spot to take in Sipi 3. While at Casa, we took what our guide referred to as “magic photos.” I managed to get shots of myself “washing my hands in the waterfall,” “drinking the waterfall” and even “puking the waterfall.”
At the lodge, it was all fun and games and the perfect end to our weekend Mbale tour.
Have you visited Mbale, Wanale ridge or Sipi Falls before? If you are a sports fanatic, do you usually tour the towns/villages where you go to play/watch the games? Drop a comment and let me know. Xx