Waterfalls are one of the treasures Uganda holds and offers to thousands of tourists on guided and self drive Uganda safari. One of such magnificent places you should never miss to explore within this beautiful country is the Sisiyi waterfalls, found in Eastern Uganda. It is found at the edge of Mount Elgon National Park within Buyaga sub-county in Bulambuli district, north-east of Mbale and Sironko and described in Bagishu dialect as “Mezi ge Lisus” meaning the smoky waters.
This waterfalls is an outstanding site nestled from a distance as you proceed through the highway from Mbale to the other eastern Uganda districts such as Bulambuli, Moroto, Sironko and Kapchorwa and the has a white patch flowing down the side of the rugged rock outshining a verdant green backdrop covering this side of the Elgon Mountains.
However even with its beauty, Sisiyi waters still remains one of the less explored and least documented attractions in the country yet it never dries or falls short of its beauty whether it’s a rainy or dry season. It is however said that the waterfalls were as huge and powerful as the Bujagali waterfalls in Jinja and even the surrounding areas were once part of the falls. The area is covered by the lush vegetation that also protects the spot from the strong rays of the sun.
Surrounding the waterfalls are the Bamasaba (Bagishu) who are primarily farming communities with their land blessed with rich volcanic soils and have for years earned a living from farming. They also use the waters from the waterfalls and nearby river to irrigate crops during the dry season.
The waterfalls sit on a ten acre private piece of land and anyone who has seen or visited the Sisiyi waterfalls (especially while traveling through the highway) before will agree that it looks like a white sheet dropped over the summit of the mountain. Even after having a glance of it from a distance, you will feel indebted to organizing a trip to the area to enjoy it more. The fresh freezing breeze here is unsurpassed and refreshing but most interestingly, you will be lost in admiration for the rich and beautiful Mother Nature.
There is also a planted Eucalyptus forest that offers a cooling canopy above and extensive trimmed lawns that are perfect for camping and picnics for up to 200 tourists. The site where the waterfalls are found also features the Sisiyi Falls Resort for tourists to spend overnights and accommodation goes for Shs 40,000 per night. Activities to enjoy within this site include bird watching, rock climbing and village walks.
How to Get to Sisiyi waterfalls
Sisiyi waterfalls are found at about 38 kilometers East of Mbale Town (three hours drive from Kampala and can be reached by public or private transport means to the Town of Mbale where you will then proceed to Buyaga Trading Center by a Boda-boda or special hire vehicle. The falls can be accessed through three big stones and trees along the way and are believed to date back to 500 years ago.
You will see several homesteads dotted along the route that comprised of mainly semi-permanent houses built from mud and wattle. When you reach towards the site, you will be welcomed by the vibrations of the roaring waterfall which becomes louder as you get closer to the point that you will have to shout when speaking to the person next to you.