Lake Bisina, nestled as the eastern extension of Lake Kyoga, is a hidden gem for avid birdwatchers. This tranquil haven in Uganda offers a unique opportunity to spot endemic bird species, including the elusive Fox’s weaver. While Lake Bisina lacks extensive tourist facilities, it holds the promise of unparalleled birding experiences for travelers venturing to or from eastern Uganda.
The journey to Lake Bisina is made more accessible via a well-maintained dirt road, branching northward from the Mbale-Soroti main road at Kapiri, approximately 20 kilometers southeast of Soroti Town. Following this scenic route, you’ll reach the shores of Lake Bisina, where local fishermen are ready to transport you to the northwestern side of the lake—a prime location for observing Fox’s weavers. These fascinating birds are most abundant during the rainy season, particularly in March and April, although they can be spotted throughout the year. The lake’s shallow waters adorned with lilies provide habitat for the lesser jacana and African Pygmy Goose, while the elusive shoebill occasionally graces the outskirts of the vast papyrus vegetation.
For bird enthusiasts seeking an extraordinary experience, the area surrounding the T-junction along Mbale Road, approximately 11 kilometers from town, is a renowned hotspot. Here, amidst dense thorn and savannah vegetation, you’ll encounter exceptional bird species, including the elegant silver bird, Jackson’s Hornbill, Brubru, Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird, Fawn-colored Lark, White-bellied Go-away Bird, African Grey Flycatcher, Pygmy Batis, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Mouse-colored Penduline Tit, and many more.
Continuing your journey southward from the junction for approximately 5 kilometers, you’ll have the opportunity to spot the Dark Chanting Goshawk, captivating Black-headed plovers, Yellow-necked Spur fowl, and the majestic Crested Bustard. Nearby, the Temminck’s Courser, D’Arnaud’s Barbets, and the Grey Wren Warbler often make appearances at the airstrip near town.
While birding can be enjoyed throughout the year at Lake Bisina, the prime birding season coincides with the rainy periods from March to May and October to November. During these months, you stand the best chance of spotting numerous Fox’s weavers, African Pygmy geese, and Lesser Jacana, among other avian treasures.
Nestled amid the heart of Uganda, the iconic Sipi Falls are a source of wonder and enchantment for both local and international tourists year-round. Renowned for their romantic charm and breathtaking scenery, these falls comprise a series of three prominent waterfalls, with the tallest plummeting an impressive 100 meters. The second waterfall cascades from a height of 75 meters before forming upper cascades, while the third, standing tall at 85 meters, exhibits a columnar appearance and a vigorous flow that creates mesmerizing mini rainbows when kissed by the sun’s rays.
Sipi Falls derive their life-giving waters from the slopes of Mountain Elgon, an imposing presence in Eastern Uganda, situated in Kapchorwa District to the northeast of Mbale and Sironko Districts. These enchanting falls are nestled on the cusp of Mountain Elgon National Park, near the Uganda-Kenya border. Beyond their scenic allure, Sipi Falls are renowned for their cool climate, icy-cold waters—which some consider to have healing properties—and the nearby Bagisu Arabica coffee plantations, thriving at altitudes of approximately 1,600 meters above sea level.
These mesmerizing waterfalls bear the name of the Sipi River, which, in turn, owes its name to the local plant “Sep” that grows along its banks. Resembling a wild banana with translucent green fronds, adorned with a crimson red bolt used for medicinal purposes, this plant played a role in the naming of the falls. According to local folklore, British visitors once inquired about the name of the falls, prompting a local lady to mistakenly believe they were asking about the plant, hence her response, “Sep.”
Sipi Falls offer a plethora of hiking opportunities, catering to various preferences. Whether you opt for a short 15-minute stroll or an arduous day-long hike, the cool breeze and spectacular scenery of Sipi Falls will provide a refreshing and rewarding experience.
The Sipi Arabica Coffee plantations beckon tourists to explore the intricate process behind this exquisite coffee variety. Set against the backdrop of fertile volcanic soils and cool weather, these plantations thrive in the Bugisu region. Visitors can interact with local farmers, processors, exporters, and roasters, gaining insight into the coffee production chain. You can even prepare and savor a cup of coffee straight from the source, appreciating the rich flavors and the global acclaim of Sipi Arabica Coffee.
For thrill-seekers, scaling the heights of Mountain Elgon promises an exhilarating experience. This majestic giant, rising to approximately 3,000 meters above sea level, stands imperiously over the landscape, offering hikers unparalleled vistas and the thrill of conquering a continental highpoint.
If you seek adventure, try abseiling at Chebonet Falls, part of Sipi Falls. Fifteen sport climbing routes, ranging from 10 to 35 meters in height, offer an exciting descent and a fun ascent for climbing enthusiasts. Safety gear, including climbing helmets, is essential for this thrilling activity.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Uganda’s wildlife by challenging yourself to spot as many bird species as possible. Bird watching is a soothing and enjoyable activity at Sipi Falls, with ample opportunities to observe the diverse avian population.
Delve into the art of fly fishing on the remote section of the Sipi River above the waterfall. Fly fishing requires different techniques from traditional fishing methods and adds an exciting dimension to your Sipi Falls experience.
Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve beckons wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers to explore its diverse countryside and seek out Uganda’s remarkable wildlife. This reserve is home to intriguing animals, including the largest birds on Earth—the Ostriches.
Thrill-seekers can embrace the wind in their hair while enjoying the scenic beauty of Sipi Falls through mountain biking. Speed through the picturesque landscapes and relish the experience of a lifetime.
A short two-hour drive from Sipi Falls brings you to the Nyero Rock Paintings in Kumi. These historical rock art sites hold immense cultural and historical significance, offering a glimpse into the lives and artistry of ancient peoples. Explore and marvel at the advanced artistic interpretations of life depicted in these ancient rock paintings.
Your adventure awaits in these captivating destinations. Whether you’re a birdwatching enthusiast, nature lover, or thrill-seeker, Lake Bisina, Sipi Falls, and Pian Upe Game Reserve promise unforgettable experiences in Uganda’s embrace of natural wonders. Contact Trek Africa Tours for tailored birding safaris on Lake Bisina, Uganda, and discover the richness of Uganda’s avian treasures.