Sipi River Lodge is located approximately 5-6 hours by car from Kampala, 3-4 hours from Jinja, and one hour from Mbale town. Have a look at the map below for an overview of the most commonly used route (you may click the map for detailed Google directions).
PLEASE NOTE: Sometimes, GPS navigation systems will steer you wrong on the way to Sipi! Take note of the directions linked to below, especially between Mbale and Sipi River Lodge.
In a private vehicle…
If you are driving from Jinja or Kampala, the shortest route will be to take the left turn, about 5km after Iganga town, onto Tirinyi road toward Mbale. If instead you continue straight at that junction, you will go via Tororo to Mbale, adding about 20 minutes and several troops of roadside baboons to your journey.
From Mbale, be sure to take the Kumi / Soroti road leading north out of town. Follow the signs for Kapchorwa by turning right off the Kumi / Soroti road about 5 kilometers north of Mbale town, opposite the Kobil petrol station. DO NOT LEAVE THE MAIN TARMAC ROAD FROM THERE – some GPS directions will have you turning off onto some murram (dirt) roads that can be quite challenging at times. Watch your odometer. About 32 kilometers after leaving the Kumi / Soroti road, after passing Sironko, Nalugugu, Buyaga, Simu, and Muyembe, you’ll see the following signpost announcing the Moroto-Kapchorwa junction and the “end of tarmac to Moroto”:
You’ll know you’ve reached the Moroto-Kapchorwa junction itself when you see a mess of signposts on the roadside for UWA, Crow’s Nest, Noah’s Ark, Centenary Bank Kapchorwa Branch, etc., as well as a number of vegetable vendors, maize roasters, and various taxis and lorries organizing themselves. The road turns to murram (dirt) straight ahead (i.e. north toward Moroto) and continues as tarmac to the right (i.e. east toward Kapchorwa). TURN RIGHT AT THIS JUNCTION toward Kapchorwa.
Again, watch your odometer. About 15 kilometers after leaving the Moroto-Kapchorwa junction, after climbing a couple very steep hills and passing through Kaserem, Amukol, and Sipi Village, you’ll reach Sipi River Lodge. We are located on the main tarmac road – our gate is on the right, and our signpost is on the left.
In short, from Mbale town:
- Travel north on the Kumi/Soroti road for 5km, then take a right toward Sironko/Kapchorwa.
- After 32 km on this road (under construction), take a right toward Kapchorwa.
- After 15km more, you will reach Sipi River Lodge. Our gate is on the right, and a signpost is on the left.
Using public transportation…
From Kampala, there are matatus (minibus taxis) called “Time Keeper” that go direct to Kapchorwa town and can drop you at our gate. However, they do not leave from the normal taxi park in Kampala, so you’ll need someone to guide you to their stage in Nakawa (perhaps a knowledgable boda driver can help). Just be very sure you’re boarding a taxi called “Time Keeper”; their slogan is usually printed on the front and back windows with a bit of green around it.
Aside from the Time Keeper taxis in Kampala, there is no direct public transportation option to Sipi. Instead, you’ll want to take a taxi or bus to Mbale first, and then transfer to another vehicle headed to Kapchorwa. Sedan-style public taxis are available between Mbale and Kapchorwa, although we highly recommend paying a little extra for a special hire taxi, which will take you comfortably to our gate. If you need help arranging or negotiating a special hire, just let us know and we’ll be happy to help.
Remember: you can always give us a call if you get stuck!
NOTE: The road between Iganga and Mbale is undergoing intermittent road works, as is the road between Mbale and Sipi. Please be mentally prepared for a few diversions and slow sections. To avoid part of the construction work, you can skip the Tirinyi road and pass via Tororo to Mbale instead. We promise, the reward at the end of the road is well worth the journey!