Kisiizi Falls in Uganda (1)
The Kisiizi Falls are just a few hundred meters from Kisiizi Hospital on the Kyabamba River. PHOTO/UgandaTourismCenter

These Kisiizi Falls can be seen by visitors who have planned longer safaris, wildlife or birdwatching trips, or cultural experiences on safari that are offered in other parts of the country.

Located in the Rukungiri area, which borders Kabale in southwest Uganda, Kisiizi Falls are just a few metres from Kisiizi Hospital on the Kyabamba River

The falls, which dump water into a gorge and continue the river’s flow, is roughly 27 metres high. 

For most people, it’s a sign that you’re approaching a magnificent sight with a terrible cultural background when visitors to Kisiizi Falls are confronted with mist from the falls from at least 100 metres away. 

The Kisiizi Falls can be seen by tourists on safaris that are longer than a day, or on wildlife or birding trips, or on cultural experiences that are offered throughout the country as part of packages. 

While in the vicinity, you can take a day excursion to Kisiizi Falls, which is located on a less-travelled route.

The history of Kisiizi Falls

The older residents of this area say that the Bakiga girls in the community and even those from further away have high morals as a result of these falls. 

Father and brother would take the girl to the top of these falls and release her to fall to her death when she became pregnant out of wedlock. 

Premarital sex can lead to pregnancy, thus this was done to keep other females from having it, which helped to keep them virgins until marriage.

Many visitors are left wondering after they are told of this story.

Why didn’t the males who got these women pregnant showup? Doesn’t this remind you of the biblical story of the adulteress lady, who was accused of adultery yet there she was having an affair with was never mentioned? 

Perhaps the perpetrators of this atrocity chose to ignore that question and so never addressed it. 

According to legend, this tradition came to an end when a young woman who was pregnant before marriage was led to the cliff’s edge and pushed down the waterfalls as was customary. 

They didn’t realise she had a plan until her brother and father pushed her, as she had instructed them to do, and they all died as a result. 

Because of the deaths of two males, the practice was banned to prevent other daughters from following in their brothers’ and/or dads’ footsteps down the same dangerous path.

Activities to indulge yourself in at Kisiizi falls

African Black Headed Oriole (1)
The constant presence of water and trees in the area makes it home to a variety of birds, including the African Black-headed Oriole. PHOTO/EBIRD

Some bird watching

Various birds can be found in the area because of the constant presence of water and trees. Some take advantage of the abundance of food in the area, while others use it for breeding.

The African Black Headed Oriole, African Firefinch, African Harrier Hawk, African Paradise Flycatcher, African Pied Wagtail, African Pygmy Kingfisher, Augur Buzzard, Black Headed Weaver, Black Kite, Black-winged Red Bishop, Bronze Mannequin, and Double Toothed Barbet are just a few of the birds that can be found in this area, among others. 

Malachite Kingfisher and Mackinnon’s Fiscal are just a few of the birds you might see in the area. 

In addition to the Nubian Woodpecker and Pied Crow, there are some other interesting species to look out for, including the Scarlet Chested Sunbird and Scarlet-cheated Sunbird Spangled Mousebird, as well as the Yellow-billed stork and Yellow Mottled Widowbird.

Forest walks

Kisiizi waterfall is surrounded by a little woodland. A picnic may be enjoyed in the region, and a short woodland stroll provides breathtaking views of the Kigezi hills and valleys. 

One of the best views is from the top of the Kisiizi falls, where you can see them and the surrounding surroundings. You may spend around two hours visiting this lovely location.

Common interactions

Kisiizi is inhabited by the Ugandan Bakiga tribe

While in this location, you’ll have the chance to meet a local family and learn about their daily lives. Visit their gardens and learn about their farming methods.

 You can collect food and participate in the preparation of traditional cuisine that you will also eat. 

While at home, learn about local traditions and how they have evolved, as well as the role of Kisiizi hospital in the community.

Photography

Every inch of this place will have you on the edge of your seat, ready to snap away. From the breathtaking waterfalls to the diverse wildlife and stunning scenery to the often overburdened vehicles. 

Remember to ask for permission before taking pictures of individuals in the neighbourhood if you want to find more hidden treasures.

Visit Kisiizi falls monument

The wonderful three-dimensional sculptures depict the arrival of the Church of Uganda hospital in 1958 and the delight of a mother and her child being helped by a nurse. 

A one-of-a-kind work of art that tells a heartwarming tale. 

Here visitors not only get to learn but can also take photos at this monument to show people back at home.

Visit Kisiizi hospital

Visit Kisiizi hospital (1)
The Kisiizi hospital is the perfect place to learn more about these famous falls from the locals. FILE PHOTO

After the Church of Uganda founded Kisiizi Hospital in 1958, this practice of throwing in unmarried pregnant girls was phased out and the area was transformed from one of despair into one of hope and healing.

Additionally, the pioneers who founded the hospital saw the potential for hydroelectricity and installed a 60kW generator in the 1980s, which is currently in use as a backup unit. The main 300 kW turbine is currently in use. 

You can visit the Kisiizi hospital on your journey to learn more about these famous falls from the locals themselves.

The majority of travellers who visit this section find it attractive and worthwhile as they are introduced to all that nature has to offer. 

Nature lovers find it unique due to the high concentration of bird species like we’ve mentioned, site viewing all around the cliffs paraded like developing escarpments, and nature trekking along the cliffs. 

Visitors can also enjoy canoeing along the river Rushoma and hiking to the top of the falls.

At one time, Kisiizi was a place of darkness and despair, with young unmarried pregnant women being thrown over the Falls by their families. 

Now the area is a haven of light where people can find peace and healing by enjoying the beauty of the falls, birds chirping and flying about, forest walks, and photography.

We also recommend visiting, Itanda Falls, the Ssezibwa FallsLake Mburo National ParkQueen Elizabeth National Park and Semuliki National Park on our Uganda tour guide for a complete experience.