Things to do
Things to do
Why Eastern Uganda?
Eastern Uganda is one of Uganda’s most overlooked regions yet it is also one of the most diverse and naturally beautiful regions. The iconic Mt. Elgon provides a variety of tourism experiences: hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking in addition to numerous opportunities to take advantage of the abundant wildlife. Mbale, one of the country’s most charming towns, is home to one of Uganda’s most fascinating and unique traditions and cultures whilst having an excellent hotel going by the names of Wash and Wills Hotel. Whilst trips include and showcase many activities, here you are introduced to the community initiatives supporting the local people and matching the desires of travelers.
Based on the global travel trends,
- People in the larger, more established source markets are increasingly seeing themselves as ‘travelers’ rather than ‘tourists’. They are looking for immersion in a culture, an understanding of the destination’s human and physical environment, and personal fulfillment from their holiday experience.
- Tourism is experiential. The total experience of the holiday has become larger than the sum of its individual parts and travelers are looking for new sensations and unique experiences, even at established traditional destinations.
- Tourism is experimental. Holidaymakers seek out adventure and freedom from the limits imposed by things familiar and owned.
- Tourism is existential. Travelers are striving for purpose and self-realization, whether indulging in sporting challenges, learning a new skill, participating in an exciting new activity, or just searching for personal space in natural surroundings and an emotional reconnection with their own soul or with their partner.
- People are increasingly focusing on the personally regenerating fulfilling power of a holiday, and on the opportunity to reconnect with a partner and sometimes with the family.
- People are increasingly seeking escape, authenticity, emotional recharge and exploration rather than passive sightseeing or just relaxing on the beach.
The largest Mountain Caldera in the world sits atop Mt. Elgon (previously called Mt. Masaba) in the Eastern Ugandan town of Mbale.
Besides walking by the Caldera's brim to view the steep escarpment and crater lakes at the bottom, following the numerous birds' calls (over 500 species) amidst thick rain forest vegetation, the zeal to touch the summit remains the strongest drive for many climbers to succumb the various challenges. Mt Elgon's highest peak is "Wagagai" (4,321m ASL) named after Khakhai, the wife to the Gishus ancestoral forefather Masaba who is believed to have lived nearby. Compared to the Rwenzori's highest peak (5,109m ASL) it seems less challenging, although with her "wall of death" Mt Elgon offers a unique hiking experience that will inspire even less experienced explorers to yearn for more heights since the heavier you fall, the heavier your heart and the heavier your heart the stronger your resolve hence the higher you climb...... Remember though that much as the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory.
The Forest Exploration Centre at Kapkwai, 13km from Sipi town, doubles as an educational centre for schools and the trailhead for climbers using the Sipi trail to the world’s largest mountain caldera. Three circuits of between 3-7km run through the surrounding regenerating forest, where visitors can see caves, waterfalls, escarpments and viewpoints; and observe birds and primates. Bird species encountered here include Hartlaub's Turaco, Eastern Bronze-napped Pigeon, Lemon Dove, Dusky-Turtle Dove, African Hill Babbler, Alpine Chat, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Thick-billed Honey guide, Grey Cuckoo-Shrike. Traditional lunch prepared by the local women of the community including local delicacy, Malewa (bamboo shoots).
Sipi Falls – Hikes, Abseiling, Rock Climbing & Coffee Experiences
The northern and western sides of Mount Elgon rise in a series of massive basalt cliffs, often several kilometres in length, over which the mountain’s rivers plunge as beautiful waterfalls. The best known are the three waterfalls at Sipi on the Kapchorwa road, just outside the park. The lowest of these falls is the most spectacular as it cascades over a 100m cliff. The second, known as Simba, plunges 69m over the entrance to a cave. Visitors can stand in the cave and enjoy a view of the back of the falls. The third waterfall, also known as Ngasire, gushes over an 87m high ridge. Sipi Falls is less than an hour’s drive from Mbale on a paved road. Optional activity of abseiling and rock climbing may also be done at the Sipi Falls
Easily accessible waterfalls are also found at Sisiyi, Bulago, Chebonet and Wanale and many more are scattered across the mountain, offering spectacular views.
An exciting experience watching bulls fighting which is a community pass time which gives a sense of validation to winning bull owners.Depart for Namasho village in Bududa to watch the exciting regional spectacle of bull fighting.
Mount Elgon Culture and History Museum.
Mt. Elgon Culture and History Museum is set up as a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary community Museum in the Municipality of Mbale. Its mission is to research, collect, preserve, display and promote the diverse cultures and heritage and the human and natural history of Mt. Elgon Region of Eastern Uganda in particular and the rest of Uganda in order to save from oblivion the early history of the country.
Semei Kakungulu Heritage site
Semei Kakungulu was a great Ugandan statesman whose gallant contribution in collaboration with the British colonial government is widely celebrated for shaping the civilization that is Uganda today. A tour of his century old house, his parade area, his graveyard and the view of Mbale from atop Gangama hill is breathtaking to say the least. Thereafter a visit to the abayudaya community serves to fill in the Semei Kakungulu story line as the founder of the jewish faith in Uganda.
Nyero Rock Paintings
The 1,000+ old paintings represent quite a rich and interesting heritage to visitors and are located in the District of Kumi in Ngora.