Wanale Falls Hike

Wanale is another romantic and beautiful fascinating waterfall in Mbale, Eastern Uganda. It is about 54km from Sipi and a 1-hour drive to the starting point of the hike.

 

Hiking Wanale is sometimes challenging as it reaches its top view because of its steepness. Hiking to the bottom of the falls takes about 45 minutes which is an easy hike. To the top takes around 2 hours of a steep hike.

 

The Wanale Falls hike leads through several local homestays with banana plantations, coffee plantations, and Irish potato plantations making the area green and beautiful. On your way you will meet children of the Bagisu people who are welcoming and most of them are barefooted.

 

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East African Residents: UGX 40.000
Foreigners: $30,-

wanale falls hike
Wanale Falls Mbale

During your Wanale Falls hike, you will experience the famous Wanale waterfalls which are called in Luganda “Nkonkonjeru ridge” which translates as “white cock”. It was given to it for its whitish color.

In response to the beautiful landscape, Wanale means the world of adventure to the Bagisu people, and it is not only an ancestral home but also farmland off which the local community the Bagisu people plants their crops like bananas, Irish potatoes, and coffee which feeds the entire population in the area and Mbale city.
Wanale falls standing at a height of about 6,800ft. Can be viewed from all areas of Mbale City and other neighboring districts.
Wanale Falls Ridge is where Mount Elgon starts from and covers other districts like Manafwa, Sironko, Bulambuli, Kapchorwa, Kween, and many others with a huge number of Bagisus and Sabinys living on the slopes of Mount Elgon.

 

How to get to Wanale Falls

Right from Mbale town, one can use a boda boda from Mbale town along Republic Street which takes about 15-20 minutes for a fee of 4,000shs( 1usd) to the Wanale hiking base.

On a walk from Mbale town, it takes approximately 17 miles to Wanale hiking point.
By private car, it is about a 20-30 minute drive. Take a left of Mbale High Court and follow the road that goes down to Busamaga Primary School, from here you take a right turn onto Bamboi Road for 5-10 minutes

During your drive, you will see the beautiful view of Wanale Ridge with trees, wild flowers, banana plantations, coffee plantations, and cows, and goats grazing along the road.

The top of Wanale Falls Ridge will make you feel you are on top of the world.

During your Wanale Falls hike, you will experience the famous Wanale waterfalls which are called in Luganda “Nkonkonjeru ridge” which translates as “white cock”. It was given to it for its whitish color.

In response to the beautiful landscape, Wanale means the world of adventure to the Bagisu people, and it is not only an ancestral home but also farmland off which the local community the Bagisu people plants their crops like bananas, Irish potatoes, and coffee which feeds the entire population in the area and Mbale city.
Wanale falls standing at a height of about 6,800ft. Can be viewed from all areas of Mbale City and other neighboring districts.
Wanale Falls Ridge is where Mount Elgon starts from and covers other districts like Manafwa, Sironko, Bulambuli, Kapchorwa, Kween, and many others with a huge number of Bagisus and Sabinys living on the slopes of Mount Elgon.

 

How to get to Wanale Falls

Right from Mbale town, one can use a boda boda from Mbale town along Republic Street which takes about 15-20 minutes for a fee of 4,000shs( 1usd) to the Wanale hiking base.

On a walk from Mbale town, it takes approximately 17 miles to Wanale hiking point.
By private car, it is about a 20-30 minute drive. Take a left of Mbale High Court and follow the road that goes down to Busamaga Primary School, from here you take a right turn onto Bamboi Road for 5-10 minutes

During your drive, you will see the beautiful view of Wanale Ridge with trees, wild flowers, banana plantations, coffee plantations, and cows, and goats grazing along the road.

The top of Wanale Falls Ridge will make you feel you are on top of the world.

Wanale Falls Mbale

More about Wanale and the Bagisu people

Caves around Wanale Falls Ridge

Wanale Falls Ridge has several beautiful caves which are just along the hiking trail to the beautiful Wanale waterfalls.

These make a hike through the trail to the falls a memorable one visiting caves like Khaukha cave located along the Wanale Falls hike, which is so beautiful and the most prominent cave of all the caves along the Wanale Falls ridge.

The Khaukha cave has a calligraphic inscription on its walls and it also has some crystal-like features like rock crystals, milky quotes, and rhodolites which are found inside together with some rock salty. Features in which the locals take their animals inside to link the salt hence improving on their animal’s nutrition thus all this improves on the farmer’s levels of income. It also has an ill-fated water stream which many people around the Bagisu land (Lugisu) and other people outside thought was an illusion until four men became lame when they crossed that stream. Nobody of these could explain how that happened and this remains a mystery.

The other amazing wonders that Wanale Waterfalls offers are many beautiful cascading waterfalls that originate from mountain Elgon. One of these waterfalls is Namaststyo waterfalls which flows two miles down from the mountain Elgon top and makes deep tunnels in the bottom which a good place for swimming by most tourists and the locals especially young Lugisu people during the dry season when the water volume has reduced and the water increases during the wet season/ rainy season.

The salt from the Khaukha cave also known as Magadi in Lumasaaba and Kissula in Luganda was commonly eaten by the animals.

The Bagisu political setups

 

The Bagisu tribe occupies the largest part of Mount Elgon starting from Mbale to Bulambuli, they live on the slopes of Mount Elgon which is the most fertile part for growing crops like coffee (Arabica coffee ), bananas, matooke, Irish potatoes, and other crops like maize, beans, and many others which sustains the whole bagisu land and their neighbors.

The Bagisu has a loose political structure based on clans of which every clan had an elder known as ” unfamiliar we Sikoka ” ( chief of the clan ).
These clan headmen were mostly chosen on the basis of age and wealth mostly those with many coffee farms, domesticated animals like large herds of cattle, cows, goats, poultry birds, and many others, and well-educated families in the society these were wherever clan head was chosen from.

Of these men were responsible for maintaining law and order, the Bagisu people are very politically stable, giving each and every tourist who visits Mbale city, Mbale museum, and the famous Wanale Falls a peaceful mind while Hiking around the Wanale Falls Ridge with the local friendly people.
These leaders also were responsible for keeping and maintaining the cultural values and norms of the clan and making sacrifices to the ancestral spirits of the entire Bagisu tribe.

Entirely these Bagisu leaders have brought peace and unity with their own single political entity. Hence gives each and every tourist visiting Wanale a free nice stay around the lodges like Casa Lodge, CWMbale eco-lodge, Mbale resort, and many others, and hiking around the waterfalls and the entire Mbale city and the Mbale museum.

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