mbale city uganda
Mbale City

In the eastern part of Uganda is Mbale City. The town was once a hub for Arab slave traders and eventually attracted Indian traders working on the railway line.

The town of Mbale City, located in the eastern region of Uganda, was originally a hub for Arab slave traffickers and later drew Indian traders who had gone to East Africa to work on the railway line.

Mbale eventually rose to prominence as the administrative hub for Eastern Uganda for the Ugandan government.

Where is Mbale City located?

mbale city map

Mbale City is found at the base of Mt. Elgon’s Wanale Ridge, which rises 8,000 feet above sea level. It is spread across 2,435 hectares of land. Due to its strategic location, Mbale is attractive, competitive, and a commercial center in the area. 

Furthermore, due to its accessibility to all regions, numerous entry ports, and proximity to Kenya, it offers chances for increased commercial activities that draw local investment, which is crucial for economic development.

Things to Do and See in Mbale City

The picturesque setting of Mbale, which is close to Mount Elgon National Park, Sipi Falls, and the Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, has made it a worthwhile tourist destination.

In this section, we will discuss all the things you can do to make the most of your trip to and stay in Mbale, Eastern Uganda.

Visit Mount Elgon National Park in Mbale

Mount Elgon

Mount Elgon National Park is situated on the slopes of Mt. Elgon and is divided by the Uganda-Kenya boundary in the eastern region of Uganda, 147 kilometers northeast of Lake Victoria

UNESCO designated this park as a man and biosphere reserve due to the vast conservation area. Mount Elgon, one of Uganda’s oldest geographical features and one of the park’s primary draws, inspired the name of Mt. Elgon National Park.

At the park, tourists can participate in a wide range of activities, including rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching, nature walks, and community encounters. Also visits to see the Sipi and Chebonet falls in Mount Elgon National Park can be taken by experienced and novice climbers alike.

Mt. Elgon National Park is open throughout the year. Whatever season you choose, you can be sure that you will enjoy your time at the park. The majority of people prefer the summer because of the warm weather, though some claim the winter is preferable because of the chill.

Hike the Sipi Falls

Sipi Falls tourist attractions eastern uganda

A series of waterfalls called Sipi Falls is located at the base of Mt Elgon, one of Eastern Uganda’s most well-known mountains. Three parts make up the falls, with the main fall measuring 95mm in height and two smaller falls on the lower level. 

The typical activity for visitors to these falls is to trek up the falls, which is a magnificent excursion with stunning scenery both along the route and on top of the falls.

Take pictures

things to do mbale city

A trip to Mbale and the surrounding areas offers a fantastic opportunity for photography. You will be taking pictures at every opportunity, whether it is of the numerous waterfalls, breathtaking views, local culture, or something else.

Go Bird Watching

The areas near Mbale are wonderful for bird watching, and Uganda is home to more than 1000 distinct bird species. Both swamps and other woodland regions are accessible, and both are home to enormous numbers of birds.

The majority of the bird species present in Elgon National Park may be found in the Kapkwai Forest Exploration Center, which provides good chances for birders. 

The golden-winged sunbird, Doherty’s bush strike, and cinnamon-chested bee-eaters are examples of common species. The majority of the birds found here are endemics of the Afro-montane moorland and forests.

Tour Mbale City on foot

mbale city at night
Mbale City at night

Compared to the hectic pace of Kampala, Mbale, like other Ugandan towns, feels calmer. This makes it a great spot to explore on foot while getting to know the inhabitants and seeing the different historic buildings.

You can stop at any of the neighborhood restaurants for a cup of coffee made the way residents frequently make their coffee because this town has a strong coffee culture.

Attend an Imbalu ceremony

attend an Imbalu ceremony

Boys are initiated into manhood through the renowned Imbalu (male circumcision) rite, which is performed by members of the Bagisu ethnic group. 

The custom makes the Elgon region joyous; music blares, the dance is captivating, and food is in abundance. Typically, the opening ceremony takes place in August of each even-numbered year.

You can only have this wonderful cultural experience in Mbale. You should first be aware of the timetable for the Imbalu ritual so that you may appropriately organize your trip to Mbale.


For some time, it seemed as though nothing was interesting about Mbale town, but this swiftly changed. Today Mbale and the entire Elgon region are popular travel destinations bringing in tourists from all over the world. 

The best ways to experience Mbale are to combine it with activities like climbing Mount Elgon, hiking the Sipi Falls, or even a longer safari in Eastern Uganda that includes a stop at Kidepo Valley National Park.