Exploring the Eastern Uganda Safari Circuit : In Uganda, most tourists travel for gorilla trekking experience in either Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and may be chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest National Park, Bird Watching, and mountain climbing to the peak of the snow-capped Mount Rwenzori or game drives in the different Savanna Parks across the country. These attractions are found in the far south and western part of Uganda.
However, the tourism ministry has identifies tourism products and promoting them to this industry especially in the Eastern part of Uganda. The conducive weather, different organic foods, climbing the beautiful Mountain Elgon, a visit to the source of the River Nile in Jinja, and above all the unique cultural practices of the people as many tourists would certain enjoy are all in Eastern Uganda.
The attractions/activities in the Eastern Uganda can with a walk in Mabira Forest, visiting the Ssezibwa falls, exploring the Source of the Nile, a hike on Kigulu hill within Busoga area. Exploring Mbale town and its numerous attractions, ascending Mount Elgon, visiting the Sipi Falls, seeing the beautiful Nyero-Rock Paintings within Teso and then reaching Kidepo Valley National Park for a wildlife safari and game drives in Karamoja region. Mbale town is the most attractive area with very lively town with several activities to enjoy. It also enjoys very nice weather thanks to its close proximity to Mountain Elgon. Some of the tourist activities to enjoy while exploring the Eastern Uganda safari circuit.
Climbing Mountain Elgon
Mountain Elgon possesses the widest volcanic base at 4,000 square kilometers making it the 5th highest mountain in Africa. As you hike to its highest peak, the Wagagai Summit, you are assured of breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The unique feature about Mount Elgon, is that it has Africa’s biggest Caldera yet another reason to explore it. The mountain also has beautiful waterfalls on its slopes the Sipi falls.
Visit the Sipi Falls
These are beautiful cascading waterfalls. The Sipi Falls present as a three-step waterfall the form a cool water spray around them. They also have beautiful caves within their rocks, which are also worth checking out.
Fresh Coffee Processing
Many people wish to see how the coffee beans in the garden turn into the tasty beverage that they enjoy in their cups. You will have an opportunity to visit one of the coffee farms where you will see coffee nursery beds being prepared, see the coffee plants, see the picking of coffee beans, the drying, roasting and grounding process to form the fresh tasty coffee that you will enjoy in your cups. The Mirembe-Peace Kawomera coffee project run by the Jews of Uganda is worth visiting for this coffee making experience.
The Imbalu – Traditional Circumcision Ceremony
The imbalu is a traditional circumcision ceremony celebrated every even year) which is a cultural practice among the Bagisu people has been in play for over 2000 years attracts hundreds of people each leap year. This cultural practice is for initiating boys into man-hood.
Kadodi Cultural Dance is one of the experiences you may not miss out. This energetic Gishu cultural dance (Kadodi) which is accompanied by the rhythmic gonging sound of their traditional musical instruments, which is in high gear during the circumcision period.
Explore Mutoto Circumcision grounds
The Mutoto ground is where the communal Imbalu celebrations are conducted; Imbalu candidates display vigorous dancing competitions here that are accompanied by very loud sounds of their traditional musical instruments. There is a lot of jumping and dancing done. It is found close to Mbale town within southern Bungokho. There is a tiny un-roofed house that marks the place where the very-first Imbalu was done. However, we hope that in future a museum will be constructed there in which Imbalu materials including the traditional knives, kadodi drums, pictures, other Imbalu regalia plus books detailing about the true history of this unique culture will be preserved. This will help raise money from tourism that will help in community development. There is only a small un-roofed house to mark the spot where the first imbalu candidates are circumcised.
The grounds where the candidates display their dances before guests on the imbalu opening day are used as football fields. Given the influx of foreign visitors and locals at the opening ceremony, with better facilities cultural tourism in Bugisu and Uganda at large would boom.