Beyond Sipi falls, what else have you really experienced in Kapchorwa district? Imagine a weekend of adventure, discovery and creation of life long memories?
Until last week, I had no idea that the Kapchorwa Town the media talks about is far shallow than the town I visited.
I had visited Kapchorwa twice but had never experienced as much thrill than this third time when I visited the town.
Upon the invite of a great son of the town, Mr. Denis Moi Kiprotich was excited to make us experience the true historical and culturally gifted town. In his own words, Kiprotich promised us more than we knew, better than we had read in the media and a thrill far paced than we had even seen anywhere.
The bet was on, and off we hit the road to the hilly areas of Sebei region. Armed with nothing else but rock shoes, and accompanied by my great friend Allan Murangira, Keneth, Rhodah, Bahati and Shirley, we were determined to experience more than we knew. Denis was up to the task.
The back story.
We met Denis through YALI, a program that empowers the next generation of African leaders. An educationist by profession and optimistic entrepreneur, Kiprotich founded Kapchorwa safaris, . A very informed gentleman with a keen understanding of his motherland, Denis Moi is a guy who will promise and deliver. On this particular weekend, Kiprotich promised us a thrill of Kapchorwa. Would we live to tell the story? Read on.
The trip kicked off in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Early morning, our team of 6 already had issues with the vehicle we intended to use, but determined as we were, nothing could stand in our way. We got another vehicle.
At 6pm, we were already moving through Mbale city, another historical town with alot to desire. By 9pm, we had already snaked through the slopes and valleys of the Kapchorwa road and arrived safely in the “town”. The next day would be ballistic, as Kiprotich promised, so we had to rest asap.
Early Morning, Kiprotich was already knocking on our doors, waking us up to the cool breeze of the Sebei hills. Outside, rare species of birds were singing, kids running to the falls to fetch water and women could be seen getting busy to start their day. The men, a prized gender in this part of the region could be seen rushing to do all sorts of work. The Sebei people are truly a hard working people.
On Day 1, Mr. Kiprotich introduced us to our tour guide, a fine gentleman named Victor, with good grasp of the history and culture of the Sebei people. Tall and slim, we joked on whether he too was an athlete , a trait the Sebei people have come to be known for, after so many of their sons have become internationally acclaimed world heroes in Athletics. One key character is Stephen Kiprotich, the gold medalist at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
In a sheer show of charisma and passion, Victor took us through a briefing, and what to expect. Believe me, the briefing itself was so fresh and sound that it felt like the adventure itself.
And then, the adventure began.
The Real Adventure.
We set off for the Kaptakwoi water falls, a place with huge stones, perfect for sun bathing. Few people visit these falls and yet they are the true explanation of serenity. Walking through shrubs and trees, hiking through hills and navigating century old rocks, we found ourselves at the foot of powering falls with freshly cold water. So cold that when I removed my clothes to stand beneath them, all I could feel was ice cubes shuttering through my skin. Fun, exciting yet scary, I bathed through the falls, danced like a kid dancing in the rain and laughed my sorrows away in jubilation. At that moment, fantasy was now reality. This was magical realism!
The Kiprotich Stadium
Named after the international Olympics gold medalist, this stadium is a wonder in the “middle of nowhere”. An extensive project with luxury facilities for endurance athletes, the site is located in a place with amazing views — on 2.600m. altitude. What caught my eyes was the wide cross country running track of 3 kilometre, with clear tarmac, pavements and some thick grass on the sides. Just a few metres, our eyes caught the rocky views, the constructed athlete hostels and the training field. As the winds blew, I could not help but marvel at Kapchorwa’s providence of conditions perfect for endurance.
Panting, sweating and legs kinda week, Kapchorwa was yet to real test our endurance. Born and raised in hilly Kisoro district, the climbing, hiking and rocks was just a joke. But the true agent of laughter was my friend Allan Murangira’s struggle with this terrain. Limping through the hills, panting through Kapchorwa’s high altitudes and timid to mention, I could not help but burst out laughing as we approached the century old caves through small forest trails.
Here, we came face to face with the story beyond a story. The beautiful Sebei girls model the ancient culture of female circumcision, while the gents dance to the tunes of manhood as they model male circumcision.
In the caves, we learn about the story of the fore fathers, the migration from as far as Ethiopia and the struggle for survival amidst great challenges like the Karimojong cattle rustlers.
The climb towards this hill reveals some astonishing views over Kapchorwa Town, Mount Elgon rainforest and the homes of Kapchorwa’s running champions Joshua Cheptegei and Stephen Kiprotich.
By the end of Day 1, we had gotten more than we paid for, Discovered beautiful waterfalls, entered natural caves and grasped at spectacular viewpoints of Kapchorwa.
What could Day 2 hold?
In Day 2, to be talked about another day, I narrate the Sipi falls ordeal, the spectacular falls, the breathe taking beauty of the natural swimming pool, the 8th wonder of rocky climbs and the untold mysteries of Kapchorwa.
Incase you wait longer, then probably you could book yourself a trip with the hilarious Kiprotich of Kapchorwa Safaris Africa.
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