Visiting Buganda’s legendary Sezibwa Falls

Victoria Bagaaya

Victoria Bagaaya

, News

Did you know that Sezibwa Falls is among 6 rivers in Uganda that is believed to have been born like a human being?

Sezibwa Falls is one of Uganda’s hidden cultural treasures standing at seven meters high with a sweet hissing sound created by the falling water every day of the year.

At 2pm we set off on a journey to visit this wonder of nature, an attraction since the days of the 800 year-old Buganda Kingdom, revered by all who have seen it.

The drive to Ssezibwa Falls was a 45 km journey from the capital city Kampala. We branched off along Mukono road to Kugu village.

Off Mukono village in Kugu village, we settled down a slightly bumpy, murram road through the quiet village. Nature abounds in Kugu village and the closer you approach the Falls, the more you appreciate the hush and silence and then you are met by a gate made out of reeds.

This is the entry to the Sezibwa Falls.

The Baganda who have lived for hundreds of years around Sezibwa Falls believe that Sezibwa and Muyeba rivers were born as twins from a woman known as Nalongo Nakuungu Tebatuusa. Bwanda river flowed towards the east but Sezibwa cut its own path and flowed west hence the origin of the name “sezibwa atangalirwa kuubo” to mean no one blocks the road for him.

As we trek through the hills we interface with Omubejja or Princess Nassiwa Nakimbugwe Namusoke who regales us with the Falls story.

We are directed to make a pilgrimage to Mbuga where Nalongo the spirit mother of all the spirits of Kugu, a rock python, is believed to reside.

Francis Muwambi, a tour guide, says people from all walks of life often pay a visit to Nalongo for prayers, healing, blessing and powers.

The supplicants bring eggs, coffee beans, rabbits and other offerings to coax the rock python out of its hiding place.

Francis says the python can only be seen in the morning at around 10am or at midday, if there is too much sunshine.

Adjacent to Nalongo’s mbuga is another shrine Kyoto Ngombolola and a stroll away is embuga ya Kabaka bulamu.

Here different cultural buganda practices take place among those rituals for twins, night dreams and child birth blessings.

At the top of Kugu hill, Ssezibwa flows in an S form to symbolize the passage Kasota the snake that negotiated with Mirembe and Mulegera to allow Sezibwa to pass through their area to Lake Kyoga.

Here you have a clear view of the rock that covers close to 5 hectares. The falls make a tremendous sound as the water gushes and tumbles from the top. It is a breathtaking sight against the green of the forest and sky.

Many people stop to take photos, take in the spectacular sight before them or visit the herbal media vine research. Other visitors to the area hike and bird watch.

The final highlight of the day, is the over 134 year old wild olive tree planted by the late  Kabaka Mwanga II in 1884. The tree is believed to be blessed because it grew twinned. People come to hug, touch and pray under the tree.

Francis says the tree that grew inform of twins gives blessings and often people come hug, touch and pray under the tree.

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