Every district within Uganda has two or more attractions that capture the attention of tourists. This is the beauty of being in Uganda, you will never lack what to do and see. For the case of Western Uganda, it is the captivating Kisiizi waterfall which is a historical site that presents culture and nature at the same time. This breathtaking waterfall is not just an ordinary waterfall as you may see it but has a significant history behind it. Therefore on your Uganda safari through the western Uganda circuit, Kisiizi should be one of the places not to miss!
These falls sprawls on the Kyebambe River, just a few meters from Kisiizi Hospital in Rukungiri district neighboring Kibale District-The Switzerland of Uganda and Africa. Kisiizi waterfall is 30 meters high and drop their water into a gorge sustaining the flow of the River but most interestingly creating a perfect picturesque view, and tourists who visit this waterfall are welcomed by the misty droplets and the roaring sounds, from the fall from 100 meters away, signaling that you are moving towards the delightful sight with the attraction that has a tremendous cultural attachment.
Many community members attribute the good moral values of the Bakiga girls to the existence of this waterfall and was referred as a “murder spot” because in the past, when a young girl conceived before marriage (out of wedlock), her father and brother would escort, tie her with ropes and be thrown down the cliff where she would eventually die. This according to them was a way of passing a message to other girls, hence encouraging the girls to abstain till marriage. Unwed girls getting pregnant were a great shame to the families of the girl. Well, this was a hard lesson but the question anyone would ask would be “what about the boys or men that made the girls pregnant?” It is said that the practice stopped when one of the victims (girl) pulled her brother into the gorge and they both died, hence making the local community members to realize that it was a very inhuman norm. Also the introduction of Christianity to the area stopped the practice because the missionaries preached against and condemned murder because it is a sin against God.
Today the site is one of the must-visit destinations within western Uganda, and introduces tourists to the sights and sounds of the plants and bird species respectively. This spot is a home to several bird species such as the Yellow Mottled Widowbird, Augur Buzzard, African Harrier Hawk, Scarlet Chested Sunbird, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Cinnamon bee-eater, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Yellow-billed stork, Emerald-spotted Wood-dove, Pied Crow, Red-billed firefinch, Yellow-backed Weaver, the Robinchat, Ring Necked Dove, Speckled Mousebird, Malachite Kingfishers, Black Kite, Grey Crowned cranes, African firefinch, African Pygmy kingfisher, African Paradise flycatcher, Bronze Mannequin, Lesser-striped swallows, Double-toothed barbet, Hammerkop, Nubian Woodpecker, Willow Warbler, Black-winged Red Bishop, African Pied wagtail, Ross; turaco, Sunbirds, Sacred Ibis, Grey Heron, Arrow-marked babbler, African Black-headed Oriole, Lesser Striped Swallow, Rufus Chested Swallow, Long Crested Eagle, White Browed Robin Chat and Black Headed Weaver among others.
Besides enjoying the riveting views of the waterfall, tourists can engage in other activities that include forest walks within the small forest nearby Kisiizi waterfall, where tourists can also visit for picnic, there are also hiking opportunities to relish the awe-inspiring views of the Kigezi hills and valleys, and the surrounding villages and terraced farmlands. You can also venture into the villages to experience the lifestyles of the Bakiga, join a local family in harvesting and preparing traditional meals/dishes and partake of it. You visit will also introduce you to the local village elders who will narrate some of the stories of how they lived in the past and how times have changed. the entire landscape of Kisiizi waterfalls and the surrounding areas offers a wonderful opportunity for photography.
Therefore, the Kisiizi waterfalls is a cultural and historical site with several bird species such as Malachite Kingfishers, Black Kite, Grey Crowned cranes, African firefinch, African Pygmy kingfisher, African Paradise flycatcher, Bronze Mannequin, Lesser-striped swallows, Double-toothed barbet and forest walk are also possible in the area near Kisiizi waterfall.