Once a Killing spot, today the site has turned into an internationally recognized after the support from the ministry of tourism and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The site has given a lifeline to Kisiizi Missionary Hospital. Kisiizi Falls are on the Kyabamba River that overlooks the hospital in Rukungiri District. The falls plunge from 30m before the river continues its flow. The falls hold a very rich history concerning the African Traditional Society practices and in this case the Bakiga, but the story here is a sad one.
Years ago (over 200), the point was a place of despair where Bakiga girls who got pregnant before marriage would face their death. Girls were thrown from the top of falls to die as a punishment because of the shame they had put on their families. The father and brother to the girl could escort her to the falls and the brother would push her to fall off the cliff. Elders in the region believe that it has contributed to the morals of the unmarried women and this ensured girls stayed virgins until marriage, but it was a harsh way to kill a human.
Two theories are told to have led to the end of the practice. One is that one time a young lady was brought to the cliff, as she was being thrown off the cliff, she held the brother and they fell off together. With the death of the brother, they realized more girls would pull their brothers down the same path.
Also the coming of the missionaries, who heard the story and preached against it. They also built Kisiizi Hospital and what was a place of despair for the pregnant girls became a place of hope.
To do here
- Sky trailing/Zip Lining
Through the meadow from Kisiizi Falls Visitors Centre, visitors can climb to the hill through the Zig-zag path to the platform for the Zipline. The cable soars high between two trees crossing the river and the waterfalls. It is an adventure worth taking and testing your ability.
- The Life (Flora and Fauna)
The place has an amazing range of wildlife, birds, plants, and reptiles. Birds here include the Chestnut-winged starlings, Dark capped Bul Bul, Grey-crowned cranes, Barbets, Buzzards, flycatchers, hummerkops, etc. Also reptiles like the Agama Lizards, chameleons are seen. Snakes are seen occasionally.
- Short walks/Hikes
The views of the falls are clear after a short walk past the lagoon and a hike through a small forest route. The falls are opposite a platform and a monument-Kisiizi Falls Monument that depicts the past and its transformation. From here you can see the town and its surroundings. The walk and hike can take about 1-2 hours as you explore and learn about the history and transformation. The trails are well maintained and there a suspension bridge that has a view of a rainbow across the falls at times.
If you are in western Uganda, don’t hesitate to explore the area.