Kisiizi Falls: A New Symbol of Hope

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Uganda is bestowed with various beautiful landscapes and scenery that will leave you in awe. Some of these beautiful sites are not even known to many people, yet they carry a lot of significance to the people of Uganda. The beautiful Kisiizi Falls is one of these sites. Kisiizi Falls lie on the Kyabamba River a few meters from Kisiizi Hospital in Rukungiri district, which borders Kabale district in the southwestern part of Uganda. These falls are about 27 meters high, dropping water into a gorge and continuing the flow of the Rushoma River that pours its water into Lake Edward.

Kisiizi is occupied by the Bakiga tribe of Uganda. Visitors to the Kisiizi Falls are met by mist from the falls at least 100 meters away, indicating that you are approaching the beautiful sight.

Historically, the falls are known as a tragic place where unmarried pregnant Bakiga girls would be thrown off the cliff to die for the shame they brought upon their families and the community. When a girl got pregnant out of wedlock, her father and brother would escort her to the top of these falls, where she would meet her death. It is alleged that what brought this practice to an end was an incident where a young lady pregnant before marriage was brought to the top of the cliff to be pushed down the waterfalls, but when her brother and father pushed her as was the practice, she held onto them and the three fell to their deaths. Over time, this practice was stopped, and it became a place of hope, restoration, and healing when the Church of Uganda established Kisiizi Hospital in 1958, as well as schools and a nursing institution, to provide health care and educational opportunities to the surrounding community.

Geographically, the falls are in a forested area and gorge famous for bird life, including species like the crowned crested crane, the Ross Turaco, the double-toothed barbet, the cinnamon bee-eater, and the rare shoebill stork. Kisiizi area also links the Virunga ranges, famed for the Mountain Gorilla attraction, and the Ishasha sector of the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Kisiizi Falls is known for its beautiful natural environment, where one can take a picnic in the area and take a short forest hike for beautiful views of the Kigezi hills and valleys. Canoeing along river Rushoma and trekking to the top of the falls are other activities done at the falls.

Make sure to add Kisiizi Falls to your list of places to visit on your next trip to Uganda, specifically western Uganda.

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