Uganda’s attractive waterfalls
Uganda’s attractive waterfalls : Aruu falls is situated in Pader district in Angagura sub-county, 55km northeast of Gulu along Gulu-Kitgum High way. Aruu falls in an impressive and pavilion cascade waterfall, 250m wide comprising of five different streams that flow westwards down a series of moss-covered rocks on a tributary of the Aswa River and the major source of water for the Aruu falls is River Agogo. The fall is rarely visited but however it is a hidden treasure of Uganda. The water of Aruu falls pours into seven enclaves namely; Ryanga, Lanya Kweyo, Wange Okiye, Awilo Yaa, Lacee, Okello Gem, and Akweyo. Historically, it is believed that the enclave around the falls have been occupied by a certain group of people who came from Otwa in search for pasture.
What to do at Aruu falls
Many bird species are viewed at the falls such as weaver birds, Egyptian goose, hornbills, African wagtail, eastern grey plantain eater, and much more.
This activity is the most interesting during the dry seasons when the falls are not very strong. However still, swimming at the falls is at your own risk. Others opt to bath at the falls for the relaxation of their minds and also get memories and stories to tell.
This is a stunning activity where the tourists walk around the falls and the surrounding communities in the area. This is a golden opportunity where you get to meet and interact with the community and local tribes like the Langi and Acholi. During this activity you learn more about their dances, customs, culture and their lifestyle.
Visiting the local markets
The local market has it all for you, fresh fruits like oranges, watermelon, mangoes, passion fruits and more at affordable prices that suit every pocket. There are also crafts in the market which make it a must visit place.
Enjoy your safari by climbing to the top of the falls and explore the cool breeze at Aruu falls and Uganda at large. However this is also at your own risk since the rocks are slippery to climb. The falls are forested therefore you may stand a chance of sighting the Vervet monkeys.
How to get to Aruu falls
To reach Aruu Falls, follow Kitgum road out of Gulu, crossing the Aswa river bridge after 40km, then continuing for another 7km further to Angagura trading centre. Pass Aruu falls Primary School to where Agogo River blocks the road. Walk west along the north bank of the fast-flowing river for about 300m and then you reach the top of the waterfall.
The waterfall which lies on Ssezibwa River and was a favorite spot of Kabaka Mwanga and Kabaka Muteesa II both of whom planted their trees and they still flourish. According to the legend, Ssezibwa was a progeny of a woman called Nakangu who was expected to give birth to twin children but instead what poured from her womb was a twin river.
What to expect during your visit at Ssezibwa falls
Birding watching is among the most fantastic and popular activity at Ssezibwa and there over 200 bird species as short listed; kingfishers, black and white hornbills, snake birds, cormorants, red chested cuckoo, red eyed dove, warblers, olive birds, parrots among others. Primates are also residents in the area such as the white and black colobus, red tailed monkeys and much more.
Hiking through the rocks is the interesting and someone to engage in the activity has to be physically fit and those with health hazards you’re restricted from hiking because it’s very tiresome through thrilling and interesting on the other hand.
At Ssezibwa, there are various tree species in the area that are used by traditionalists for medical purposes of healing different diseases that exist in Uganda. The python is also another benevolent creature at Ssezibwa falls, once you visit this python you have to leave eggs or a cock for its feline counterpart. Communal ceremonies in which nine pieces of meat are sacrificed at the appropriate spirit’s shrine are also held at the waterfall. Tourists are welcome on such occasions but their time is difficult and unpredictable.
Some travelers carryout abseiling on the steep slopes next to the waterfall, however swimming around the area is not allowed because the fall is 40feet deep and due to the force of the water someone can easily be derived to the deep end which may result into death.
Community visits can be done to encounter different cultures in Uganda and around the area. Visiting Ssezibwa is not seasonal since the falls can be visited all year round according to someone’s program.
Murchison Falls is the most electrifying sight of its type in East Africa, with the fast-flowing but wide Nile being transformed into an explosive froth of thunderous white water and its funnels through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley Escarpment. Murchison falls is located in the southern part of Murchison Falls National Park. Back in the days during the reign of Idi Amin in 1970s, he named the falls after the king of Bunyoro “Kabalega”, however this was not legally promoted. Following his demise that led to the rise of Obote, the name was reverted to Murchison Falls hence lending the name to the surrounding Murchison Falls National Park. The Nile at the top of Murchison Falls forces its way through the gap in the rocks before flowing westwards into Lake Albert and tourists can appreciate the staggering power with which the Nile crashes through the narrow gap in the escarpment not forgetting the deafening roar and voluminous spray it generates. The fall was named after the president of the geologist’s society Roderick Murchison. Baker’s view on a ridge looks directly towards Murchison Falls as well as its broader of Uhuru Falls which is hundred metres to the north. There is no much wildlife in the vicinity of the falls and it is considered safe to walk with no protection though you may view black and white colobus and troops of Baboons.
The fall is Elgon’s main tourist focus which lies at an altitude of 1,775m on the mountain foot slopes. Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls all flowing at different altitudes. The falls are located in Eastern Uganda in the district of Kapchorwa, northeast of Sironko and Mbale and also strategically located at the base of Mount Elgon which lies between the boarder of Uganda and Kenya. The first waterfall is 100meters long, the second with drops of 85 metres and the third one with 75metres. The Sipi Falls was named after an indigenous plant called “Sep” found at the banks of the river looking alike with a type of wild banana. Sipi falls is a very peaceful and pretty spot which makes it the most agreeable base for gentle day walks around the hills which offer spectacular views on the lowlands and the surrounding communities.
What to see and do at Sipi Falls
The Sipi Falls area is the starting point for many hikes up Mt. Elgon. The most popular route starts in Budadiri and follows the Sasa trail to the summit and then descends down the Sipi trail back to the Sipi Falls. Hikes around the falls offer stunning view of the Karamoja plains, Lake Kyoga, and the slopes of Mt. Elgon. It is advisable for the tourists to have a walking stick for support when moving through the steep and slippery areas.
Coffee is another interesting option whereby coffee gardens are found in the low laying areas of Mt. Elgon and it’s mainly Arabica coffee. Tourists visit the local subsistence farms where you can learn about the farming process from harvesting, drying, roasting and grinding them in the traditional mortar and pestle for consumption. Coffee is the main cash crop for the Bagisu and Sabiny who live in the area.
Abseiling at Sipi is done at Chebonet falls and Rob’s rock. This is the most adventurous and interesting activity that tourists have to spot as it makes one to associate with birds in air.
When here, you are free to join the fishermen and discover different techniques used to spot fish. The activity is carried out on the fresh waters of Sipi falls and all you have to do is to have your fishing gargets with you. The activity is best done in the early morning when the water is still calm and cool.
There are various number of bird species of which some are found at Sipi Falls and Mt. Elgon. These include African blue flycatcher, weaver birds, sunbirds, sunbirds, black throated wattle eye, alpine chat, African hill babbler, mountain yellow warbler and much more.