Nancy & Tony's Little Break travel blog

The town of mbale

Our rustic wee home at Crows nest with Sipi falls view

The 3 Sipi falls in background, we walked to them all!!

Us at Sipi falls rest camp, where we ate and drank most...

Tony and Joseph at start of our long! but fantastic walk

Spot the farmers, no tractors here!

Sipi falls 1

Sipi falls 2

Trumpet flowers at falls 2, these smell beautiful

Some of the local kids in the villages we walked through

Sipi falls 3

View over villages

A scary but harmless beasty by our cabin

We loved it here. A really great rural retreat to relax in - with fantastic scenery, and it really felt like low season here. We only caught a glimpse of other travellers passing through.

We had an interesting ride up. A car/taxi with six other locals who needed a ride. Four across the back, and four across the front! Don't know how the driver changed gears! Went across the plains, and then straight up a big ridge/hill to one of the most beautiful places in Africa. Stayed at the Crow's Nest in a rustic cabin overlooking the valley way below on one side and the three Sipi Waterfalls the other way. The Falls are way below Mt.Elgon which was covered in cloud (as it normally is). The Mountain is somewhat in the distance, and the area around it forms a National Park on the Uganda/Kenya border. The three waterfalls come down on split levels from the mountainous area behind them, and are interspersed with terraced hillside gardens giving it a garden of Eden feel. The Crow's Nest is very aptly named and is tremendous value for that kind of view, even if it had lots of bugs, not much water, and we had to use gas lamps after dinner. The gas lamps were powered up during the day using the sun - tremendous. The first thing we did was to climb to the hill just above our cabin for awesome views over the plains of Uganda - east and north over Karamojaland.

Then we walked down to the much more posh Sipi Falls Rest Camp (only other place to stay around here, but still empty). This lodge sits right on the edge of the biggest drop in the valley, where Sipi Falls 1 drops over the edge. Amazing view, and great place to relax having a few beers in the late afternoon sun. Dinner at the Crow's Nest was not too bad at all. I tried Posho (Uganda's equivalent to Ugali or Sadsa) which went down well with a smoked beef stew.

Our 2nd day, we went for a very long, hard, but beautiful walk. We hired a guide from the Nest called Joseph. Went through valleys under the three waterfalls, through rural villages, homesteads, banana plantations and even into a cave full of bats where people lived 1,500 years ago. Joseph said that it was his Sabine ancestors who had lived here since these times, and that he had learned the area's oral history from his grandfather.

The walk was one of the best we have done in Africa, and got us really close to village and farm life. Scenery amazing, the fantastic drop offs to the plain, and the waterfalls. Main one is 97m high, the other two are 65m and 78m respectively. And we could even walk around the back of the first two.

Joseph was very knowledgeable about the local farming methods, plants and birds etc. We learned a lot about different bananas, sweet and the matoke which are sour cooking bananas. Also the growing of cassava for eating and for Waragi, the local 'strong' brew. All in all a great, but arduous hike, up and down hills - even needed an old rickety ladder to get up one part. And finished off with a three course lunch back at the Rest Camp. Had been very sunny, but lucky we hiked in the morning as recommended by the locals, as then a massive storm came in trapping us for several hours at the Rest Camp during the afternoon. Lots of amazing thunder and lightning over the mountains. Used to that now, but the setting for the lightshow was superb! When we got back to the Nest, our washing had been thrown to the four winds!

Woke up on our last morning to an exceptionally clear day, and were extremely lucky to get a rear viewing of Mt.Elgon in the distance looming over the waterfalls - meant we had to take some of our photos again! And on our way out, saw one of the weirdest creatures you could imagine. A large chameleon in the bush outside our room - see the photo. (we had also seen a baby one on the gorilla trek)

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