The 10 Best Things To Do In Mbale

Imagine waking up to the gentle whispers of the wind, the distant chattering of exotic birds, and the majestic sight of Mount Elgon greeting you from afar. That’s the allure of Mbale, a charming city nestled in the eastern region of Uganda. It’s a place where adventure beckons and cultural experiences await. Let’s dive into the top 10 things to do in this hidden gem that will make your visit unforgettable.

1. Hike Up Mount Elgon

First on the list, and rightfully so, is the trek up Mount Elgon. This extinct volcano, with its vast Caldera, offers trails for both seasoned hikers and casual walkers. The journey to the peak, Wagagai, is a thrilling challenge. Along the way, you’ll encounter caves, Hot Springs, and the most breathtaking views. Remember to pack a good camera; you’ll want to capture every moment!

2. Explore Sipi Falls

Just a stone’s throw from Mbale, Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls etched into the foothills of Mount Elgon. Hiking to each of the falls is an experience that combines the thrill of adventure with the serenity of nature. The misty spray and the thunderous sound of water will stay with you long after you’ve left.

3. Visit the Nyero Rock Paintings

Step back in time with a visit to the ancient Nyero Rock Paintings. These mysterious artworks, believed to be thousands of years old, offer a glimpse into the lives of the early inhabitants of the region. The site is a bit of a drive from Mbale, but it’s a journey well worth taking.

4. Immerse Yourself in the Imbalu Cultural Festival

If you’re lucky enough to be in Mbale during the Imbalu season, you’re in for a treat. This cultural festival, which marks the coming of age for young men of the Bagisu tribe, is a vibrant display of dance, music, and tradition. It’s a rare and fascinating insight into the local culture that you won’t find in any guidebook.

5. Take a Coffee Tour

Did you know that Mbale is surrounded by some of the finest coffee farms in Uganda? Take a tour and learn about the journey of coffee from bean to cup. You’ll get to sample some of the freshest coffee you’ve ever tasted, and maybe even take a bag home as a delicious souvenir.

6. Relax at the Mbale Resort Hotel

After a day of exploring, there’s nothing like unwinding at the Mbale Resort Hotel. With its lush gardens, swimming pool, and top-notch amenities, it’s the perfect place to recharge. Treat yourself to a spa day or indulge in the local cuisine at their restaurant.

7. Visit the Mount Elgon National Park

Wildlife enthusiasts, rejoice! The Mount Elgon National Park is a haven for diverse species, including monkeys, small antelopes, and a plethora of birdlife. Take a guided safari and keep your eyes peeled for the elusive creatures that call this park home.

8. Shop at the Mbale Central Market

For a taste of local life, head to the Mbale Central Market. It’s a bustling hub where you can find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Haggling is part of the fun, so don’t be shy to negotiate for that perfect keepsake.

9. Climb the Wanale Ridge

For those who crave more hiking, Wanale Ridge offers trails with panoramic views of Mbale and beyond. It’s less crowded than Mount Elgon, making it a peaceful alternative for nature lovers. The ridge is also home to some stunning waterfalls, so keep your swimwear handy!

10. Enjoy the Nightlife

As the sun sets, Mbale’s nightlife starts to buzz. From local bars to nightclubs, there’s a spot for every taste. Join the locals for an evening of music, dance, and maybe even try the local brew, if you’re feeling adventurous.


  • What’s the best time to visit Mbale?

    The best time to visit is during the dry seasons, from June to August and December to February. This is when the trails are most accessible, and the weather is conducive for outdoor activities.

  • Do I need a guide for hiking in Mbale?

    While some trails can be tackled solo, it’s advisable to hire a local guide for more challenging hikes like Mount Elgon. They’ll ensure your safety and enrich your experience with local knowledge.

  • Is Mbale safe for tourists?

    Yes, Mbale is generally safe for tourists. However, as with any travel destination, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take standard safety precautions.


In conclusion, Mbale is a treasure trove of cultural and natural attractions. From the heights of Mount Elgon to the depths of Sipi Falls, each experience is unique and enriching. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or an avid hiker, Mbale has something special in store for you. So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready for an unforgettable journey in the heart of Uganda.

Remember, the best trips are those where you immerse yourself in the local scene, and Mbale offers just the right mix of thrills and tranquility to do just that. See you on the trails, or maybe at the coffee farms. Either way, you’re in for a treat!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.