Sipi Falls

So, my lovely friend from Providence, RI, USA, Joelle, who is working with MSF (Doctor’s Without Borders) in Ethiopia came to visit me this past weekend. We had many adventures!!!!

Big Adventure #1, was going to Sipi Falls. Sipi Falls is one of the big tourist attractions around here. It’s about 90 minute drive from where I’m staying in Mbale. We took a matatu. We stayed in a place called Noah’s Ark that had a gorgeous view with a very nice tree house, and no bed bugs as far as we could tell! The price was 60k shillings (about 18$) each, which included food, stay and a guided hike to all the nearby waterfalls. Not too shabby. It was beautiful.

sipi sign

The start of the falls. See more pictures on the below Flickr link.

When we were leaving, after the one night we stayed there, there wasn’t much transportation around so we had to take a motorcycle down the mountain. The guy was a good driver and I didn’t even get scared. Yay! It was GORGEOUS!!! I wish I had the foresight to video the trip down. I thought about it a couple minutes in, but didn’t want to risk opening my bag and have everything spill out on the road.

See my awesome pictures here: My Flickr

Camping on Wanale

The same day we got back from Sipi Falls, we changed our shirts and grabbed another overnight bag to go hiking up Wanale Ridge. Wow! That was an experience! On my list of things to do before I die (currently has about 40 items) is to camp in Africa and to camp at the top of a mountain. So, I can now check those off!

It was a very, very special experience. Yes, I did complain quite a bit and was cranky. I was PMSing and I had no idea what was going to happen even 1 minute into the future! My “go with the flow” score was quite low for this trip, but I blame it on the time of the month and the very quick turn around from our Sipi Falls adventure. Even in the midst of my crankiness I really enjoyed it. The stars were amazing. The Mbale “metro area” lights at night were amazing. The campfire with guitar and roasted matoke and chicken were wonderful.

wanale camp site

The gentlemen setting up the tents. See more of my pictures on the below Flickr link.

There were about 6 locals (locals as in people who live at the top of the mountain) who helped us build our fire and then pretty much never left. At night, around the fire, I didn’t mind. I’m assuming they weren’t there ALL night but when I woke up they were chatting outside and had restarted our fire. We went with two boys from Mbale who often do this type of thing and are also the guys I hiked with last time, Isma and Benji. They hike with sandals. And often they run up it. If anyone wants an adventure in Mbale, that is not for the faint of heart, I could hook you up with them! As for me, I might be done hiking Wanale for now…. I’m still recuperating.

See my awesome pictures here: My Flickr

1 Comment

Chris Barracato

I love the pic of you sitting on the ledge catching flies with the beautiful view in the background lol! Incredible photos Laurie!


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