Friday, 21 September 2018

UGANDA: Visit Sisiyi Falls In Bulambuli District

Sisiyi Falls is found in eastern Uganda in Bulambuli District, northeast of Sironko and Mbale. The waterfall lies on the edge of Mt Elgon National Park that straddles the Uganda-Kenya border.

For those who love waterfalls, it is no joke that the concept of a cascade of water falling through above proves, again and again to be one of Earth’s most captivating natural wonders.

Although the hunt for the perfect waterfall visit can prove quite a trek, the spectacular feeling of fresh falling mist on the face and a gaze at the pure majesty of the natural world is a worthwhile way to spend a day, period.

Travelling through Sironko to Bulambuli districts, one will have the privilege of visiting Sisiyi falls and have a feel of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mt Elgon.

Sisiyi falls encompass a unique splendour, the falling masses of water really accentuate Mt Elgon sub-region landscape and are incredible to capture.

Many visitors to this site confess that they discovered it while travelling on the Sironko-Bulambuli route and after seeing it from a distance, over time, you feel indebted to arrange a visit there.

Sisiyi falls is 40km east of Mbale town. The transport fare for the 40km journey to Buyaga trading centre is only Uganda shillings 4, 000 from Mbale town then you board a boda boda cyclist to Sisiyi Falls with Shs 2000.

The flat terrain at Buyaga trading centre promotes good visibility. Sisiyi falls is covered by the green vegetation of trees that shades the tourist spot from the sun.

With this, tourists are kept cool as they try to climb the waterfall and with relative ease, tourists can hike the falls in a hand-holding human chain formation which is usually led by a guide.

The falls is described by the Bagisu ethnic tribe living in the area as Mezi ge lisusi meaning - Smoky waters. Today in Mt Elgon sub-region Sisiyi falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the area.

The site sits on a 13-acre private piece of land. It is magnificent. The fresh freezing breeze is pleasant.

The artificial forest of eucalyptus trees, offered a cooling canopy above and expansive trimmed lawns suitable for picnics and camping for over 200 people. The space looks sufficient for relaxing outdoor activities and energetic games.

What welcomes you at Sisiyi falls resort is the adjacent Butandiga ridge, with shimmering stony hills, and the water falls like a white sheet about 110 metres, probably the highest water fall in Bugisu - Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Bulambuli, Namisindwa and Bududa districts.

Sisiyi falls can be accessed through three big stones and trees that stand along the way; these stones and trees could be about 500 years old according Mrs Margret Maleza, 63 a caretaker at the place.

When I was a little girl, these falls were huge but due to cutting down of trees, it has reduced and the increased human habitation on the slopes of the Elgon Mountains will gradually cause the volume of the water to dwindle further, Maleza says.

Water rolls off about a 110 metre cliff. It comes down splashing, falling waterfall toppling off the fall, gushing over rocks and attacking everything in sight then it tumbles down the Sisiyi hill in a series of mini-waterfalls.

As you near closer to the fall, it cascades down the rocks creating a tremendous splash.

At the bottom of the cliff, there is a crater lake formed. And here the rocks are very slippery making walking through the waters across the rock very difficult.

The towering eucalyptus trees on the edge of the lawn obstructs the falls. The falls generate loud roars.

As the water drifts down the granite rock, clouds of spray form and thicken as it splatters against the shallow bed rock, then glide over innumerable rocks.

This degenerated into gaggling noises, which died as soon as the water touches the two huge rocks at the bottom and turn to a stream.

To most local people, Sisiyi has been a source of clean and safe water. There is no cultural religious attachment to Sisiyi falls.

Maleza said though many of the Asians who visit the site believe the Sisiyi waterfalls are capable of curing emotional ailments, like mending broken marriages, the Bagisu have nothing they talk about.

Some consider the shallow bottom of the falls a place for abolition that cleanses them off misfortune as well as delivering a vision for the future,Dr Patrick Lodoi Mutono, the former MP for Butebo is owner of the place

Dr Mutono says the water at the lower end of the falls is ice-cold, close to freezing point adding that the falls offer commanding views of the down rush over an impressively lush Mt Elgon landscape.

With a cool climate than most of the country, Sisiyi Falls is a nice place to unwind, relax and literally chill out away from the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities.

Sisiyi offers bird watching, trekking to the mainstream river fall, climbing along the rock to the top of about 110 metre high fall, hiking around the local area and visiting other smaller local waterfalls within Bugisu.

Tourism Observer

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