Why you must tour Mbale City: The “Jewel of East Africa”


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Mbale City is a fertile coffee growing region located northeast of Kampala in the Bugisu region.

It is home to Mount Elgon National Park, Sipi Falls, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve centre, Bamasaba cultural centre for Imbalu, hotels and interesting tourist attractions worth visiting.

The Bantu-speaking city developed along a low ridge running from east to west at the foot of Nkokonjeru, now known as Wanale Hill, and is visible from all parts of the town, with charming cliffs, escaping waterfalls, and green cultivated slopes that supplement the attraction of the town’s beauty.

The white rocks along the hills are spread like a white sheet on the hills, which one colonial agent, Semei Kakungulu, who loved the hills and rocks, ended up settling on one of the hills called Gagama Hill in Mbale City, referred to these hills as a white cock, due to the white rocks that appear like a white cock from a distance.

These hills and the climate make it one of the best Arabica coffee growing regions in East Uganda. Its coffee comes with the freshness and mouth-watering aroma of the mountains. The following are some of the most breathtaking places to visit in Mbale that will leave your adrenaline racing and will be worth your money:

Hiking: Sipi falls are located in a small trading centre of Sipi, which lies at the foothills of Mount Elgon, the most awe-inspiring sight for hiking. The Sipi Falls are a series of three beautiful waterfalls in Kapchorwa, just a short drive out of Mbale City. Sipi Falls tours are very popular with both local Ugandans and visitors from other countries. This is Uganda’s second tallest mountain. Its summit encloses the world’s largest mountain caldera (a large volcanic crater, especially one formed by a major eruption leading to the collapse of the mouth of the volcano). It is a dormant volcano.

Bird watching: Uganda is home to more than 1000 bird species, and some of these are found in the forests of Mbale and wetlands. The Kapkwai forest exploration center offers excellent opportunities for bird viewing. The common species are cinnamon-chested bee-eater, golden-winged sunbird, and Doherty’s bush strike.

The Imbalu ceremony: This is a legendary ceremony among the Bagishu. It is a stride to manhood. The rituals bring a festive atmosphere that blares with music and is immersed in dance. Food is in plenty. You have not been to Mbale if you have not witnessed this scary yet interesting ritual.

The people of Mbale are warm, loving, and welcoming, but also very tough when provoked, especially when it comes to their culture of imbalu.

Visiting Mbale is a must because you will not understand the beauty of these people with their Imbalu culture, mountains, and waterfalls until you have visited them and their surroundings. Mbale entices you to want to explore it further.

Steve Mungereza
Steve Mungereza
Sociopolitical Analyst. Coverage of National and Regional news stories.

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