TOP
Wednesday,November 25,2020 08:12 AM

Sezibwa Falls: A royal retreat

By Vision Reporter

Added 30th November 2007 03:00 AM

SEZIBWA falls, located in Mukono District, off the Kampala-Jinja highway, was once famous solely for traditional rituals. In recent years, however, the spectacular view of the water falls, rich greenery and abundance of birds has turned it into a favourite tourist attraction and picnic site.

SEZIBWA falls, located in Mukono District, off the Kampala-Jinja highway, was once famous solely for traditional rituals. In recent years, however, the spectacular view of the water falls, rich greenery and abundance of birds has turned it into a favourite tourist attraction and picnic site.

BY GEORGE BITA

SEZIBWA falls, located in Mukono District, off the Kampala-Jinja highway, was once famous solely for traditional rituals. In recent years, however, the spectacular view of the water falls, rich greenery and abundance of birds has turned it into a favourite tourist attraction and picnic site.

The thunderous falls boast of huge waves of dark-brown water, dropping several feet over rocks, into a small lake below. Hundreds of years ago, the locals were amazed by how the water forces its way over the rocks. They looked as the rocks as obstacles and the river as the hero that could not be blocked by the rock. They then coined the name Sezibwa, meaning ‘cannot be blocked.’

Finding one’s way to the falls is quite easy. Along the Kampala-Jinja highway, a few kilometres before Lugazi town, is a signpost that leads you into a murram road to the right.

Once used by Kabaka Mwanga II of Buganda Kingdom as a retreat for consideration of special appointments, many locals up to now rush to the water falls for rituals targeting power, success in business and children. It is not uncommon to see visitors carrying firewood and goat meat to make offerings to their gods for numerous reasons. Some are seeking favours from their gods while others are thanksgiving. They roast the meat, eat it and drop some to the ground for their gods. Cattle keepers also bring their animals to drink at the bottom of the falls. Some riders, on their way to town, stop here to wash their bicycles.

However, the huge number of leisure-seekers and learners around are stirring up a revolution in the place, with cultural aspects quietly being relegated to the backseat. Francis Muwambi, a tour guide, says since 1998, geologists visited the location for detailed studies about rock structures. “It was actually around the same time that the Sezibwa falls tourism project was started. We charge an entry fee to sustain the project. Adults pay sh2,000 and children sh1,000 while non-Ugandans are charged sh3,000,” Muwambi says.

Most of the visitors are secondary school students on study tour or those undertaking Geography fieldwork assignments. Their conspicuous clip boards are noticeable from a distance.

According to Muwambi, some tourists get carried away by the beauty of the area and decide to camp overnight at a daily fee of sh7,000 per person.

He says bird watching is one of the most popular hobbies at Sezibwa, with tourists admiring or photographing black and white hornbills, kingfishers and other rare species.

“It is also a chance to spot some unique wild animals like porcupines which many just read about in books,” he adds. There is also a python on the grounds but its habitat is interestingly a cave used for child-seeking rituals by supposedly barren women.

He explains that swimming is not allowed because the waters at the foot of the falls are over 40 feet deep and the force of the falling water quickly drives someone to the deep end. “These warnings are positioned in strategic locations and those who ignore it do so at their own risk,” he adds.

Some tourists carry out abseiling on the steep slopes adjacent to the water falls.

Others take guided-nature walks through the neighbouring forest paths, taking the trouble to identify essential traditional herbs.
“There are many useful herbs that cure common problems like headache or stomach ache. There is even a herb that boosts
production of breast milk,” he says.

Sezibwa Falls: A royal retreat

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author