Dora Bitsi

Dora Bitsi

Sep 29 2014

The Source of the Nile & the Sipi Falls

Having crossed very proudly the Equator, we headed towards Kampala,the big and noisy Ugandan Capital. From there, it is very easy to visit the place where Ugandans pride to be the source of the Nile, Jinja.

Jinja is a famous touristic spot just 3 hours east of Kampala. Its touristic appeal attracts mainly kayak lovers who come to fight with the wild waters of the White Nile but also those who want to spend some time exploring the very start of this iconic African river.

The Source of the Nile

The roads of Jinja

The city of Jinja is attractive, with wide roads in between the green neighbourhoods and its more relaxed style is a relief after the chaos and dust of Kampala.You can stroll up and down the main commercial center and do a bit of souvenir shopping, and also visit the Source of the Nile site (there is an entrance fee). For some of the best coffee and free wifi, we recommend the Source of the Nile Cafe.

The place to stay is River Nile Explorers (NRE). They have actually a second backpackers which is situated a bit further away from the city, in the area of the Bujagali Falls. The good thing is that they organize a shuttle that can get you from one backpackers to another through the muddy tarmac road.

This side of the area provides a totally different experience focused on the activities that you can do in the river. Having no budget that could allow us to take part in activities, like boat rides and canoe, we found it spectacular to just watch the nature again as the weather changed so often.

Rain..

.As we understood, the equatorial climate is rather wet than dry and rain was expected every afternoon in the form of storms with thunders and even hailstones! The force of the nature was impressive and the sight of the rain dropping on the trees and in the river was amazing.
The backpackers was built on the sloppy banks of the river allowing the visitors a wide view of it and of the vegetation surrounding it.

On our very last day there,our tent succumbed to the hard rain and eventually broke. Everything was wet yet we managed to save both the microphone and the camera charger that were left inside. It took us long time to pack everything and try to dry them due to the rain.That night we stayed at a dorm and the next day we were lucky enough to be able to leave in time before the rain.

soaked and broken :(

Our next destination was the village of Sipi which hosts the famous Sipi Falls.
The small village of Sipi stands at the base of Mount Elgon. Famous due to the beauty of the scenery, it caters for the tourists who visit the area to hike the magnificent Sipi Falls.

Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls that form as the mountain’s rivers plunge from massive cliffs often several kilometres in length.

We stayed in the inexpensive Crow’s Nest lodge, in a banda that offered amazing view to 2 of the 3 falls right from our window!

View of the waterfall in the right!!

There are two options so that you can see the waterfalls from up close:

1)You can walk on Kapchorwa main road until sipi river resort,pay the 3000 Ush day visit fee and follow the ascending paths to falls no2 &3 on your own.
OR
2)If you feel like taking the full tour you can pass by the official tour guide office and arrange a tour with the guide. Price is around 25000Ush but you can always negotiate!
Well, we decided to do the second because we wanted to make sure that we filmed it properly.

The experience? Simply unforgettable. The hike takes you through muddy banana fields,houses and exotic plantation until the highest fall from which you start the descent.

View of the valley from the top!

The lowest of these falls is the most spectacular as it drops over a 100m cliff. The second, known as Simba, plunges 69m over the entrance to a cave. Visitors can stand in the big cave and enjoy a view of the back of the falls. The third waterfall, also known as Ngasire, gushes over an 87m high ridge.The locals call them “cold showers” and you see this when you become soaking wet by standing near the water!

The third waterfall,Simba!
The second waterfall, viewed from within the cave!
The first and main 100m waterfall! 

The daily rain is everpresent but this should not dissuade you from experiencing this once in a lifetime sight!
Uganda was so beautiful!!

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