Sipi Falls

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Sipi Falls
Main falls at Sipi
LocationSipi, Uganda
Coordinates1°20′04″N 34°23′24″E / 1.33439°N 34.38998°E / 1.33439; 34.38998
Longest drop100m

Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls located on the north-western slopes of the eponymous extinct volcano, Mount Elgon,[1] in Uganda, with views over the Karamoja Plains.[2][3][4] The falls are situated to the northeast of Sironko and Mbale,[5] adjacent to Mount Elgon National Park, which is in close proximity to the Kenyan border.[6] The falls account for 10–20% of all tourist visits to Uganda every year.[7]

At its highest point, the largest and most frequented of the three waterfalls known as Sipi Falls stands at 95 meters high. The middle waterfall - known as Simba Falls, lies further upstream to the east. This waterfall has a drop of 74 meters. Further uphill is the third waterfall - Ngasire Falls, with a drop of approximately 85 meters.[8]


The falls are located two miles northeast of the town of Sipi and 170 miles northeast of the capital, Kampala. The falls were formed by the Sipi River flowing from the upper slopes of Mount Elgon. They terminate in the Lake Kyoga Basin.[9]

Name origin[edit]

The term 'Sipi' is thought to have its origins in the local word 'sep,' which denotes an indigenous plant resembling a wild banana. This plant is commonly found along riverbanks and is characterized by its translucent, green fronds featuring a crimson rib, giving it the appearance reminiscent of a wild banana.[6]


Tourism and agriculture, particularly coffee agriculture, are the main sources of income in the area surrounding the falls.


  1. ^ Briggs, Philip; Roberts, Andrew (2010). Uganda. Bradt Travel Guides (6 ed.). Chalfont St. Peter: Bradt Travel Guides Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84162-309-2.
  2. ^ Ham, Anthony; Atkinson, Brett; Bainbridge, James; Butler, Stuart; Carillet, Jean-Bernard; Clammer, Paul; Corne, Lucy; Filou, Emilie; Fitzpatrick, Mary; et al. (Lonely Planet, Michael Grosberg, Trent Holden, Jessica Lee, Nana Luckham, Vesna Maric, Tom Masters, Stephen Lioy, Virginia Maxwell, Helen Ranger, Brendan Sainsbury, Lorna Parkes, Caroline Sieg, Helena Smith, Regis St Louis, Paul Stiles) (2017). Lonely Planet Africa. Lonely Planet Global Limited. ISBN 9781787011472.
  3. ^ Barlas, Robert; Griffin, Brett; Yong, Jui Lin (2019). Uganda. Cavendish Square. p. 136. ISBN 9781502647412.
  4. ^ Schumann, A.; Muwanga, A.; Lehto, T.; Staudt, M.; Schlüter, T.; Kato, V.; Namboyera, A. (March 2015). "Ugandan geosites". Geology Today. 31 (2): 59–67. doi:10.1111/gto.12089. ISSN 0266-6979.
  5. ^ Williams, Lizzie (2014). Uganda Handbook. Footprint Handbooks. ISBN 9781910120002.
  6. ^ a b "Sipi Falls in Eastern Uganda - Landmarks - This is Uganda". 2021-11-19. Retrieved 2023-01-14.
  7. ^ Kilama Luwa, Justine; Majaliwa, Jackson-Gilbert Mwanjalolo; Bamutaze, Yazidhi; Kabenge, Isa; Pilesjo, Petter; Oriangi, George; Bagula Mukengere, Espoir (January 2021). "Variabilities and Trends of Rainfall, Temperature, and River Flow in Sipi Sub-Catchment on the Slopes of Mt. Elgon, Uganda". Water. 13 (13): 1834. doi:10.3390/w13131834. ISSN 2073-4441.
  8. ^ admin (2022-01-05). "Sipi Falls Uganda - Hiking, Abseiling, Touring & Entrance fee". Silverback Gorilla Tours. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  9. ^ Briggs, Philip (2020). Uganda: The Bradt Travel Guide. England: Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 285–286. ISBN 9781784776428.