The Ultimate Guide to Mbale – Best things to Do & See in Mbale Town
Mbale is one of the prominent towns in Eastern Uganda. This town is surrounded by the towering Mount Elgon. On arrival, you will be welcomed by the friendly Bagishu people. It is busy during the day as you will pass by some locals carrying out different activities.
Its streets are clean and lined by shops and stores that sell goods at affordable prices. The biggest populations in Mbale town are Bagisu, but there also other tribes like Basoga, Bagwere and more.
How to get there & around
By public means, there are a lot of buses that leave Kampala to Mbale daily. If not bus you can also use a public taxi. The transportation costs for bus and taxi are almost the same only that the bus is more comfortable than a public taxi. These means are recommended for locals. To tourists, it may be time wasting, uncomfortable and insecure.
Tourists are recommended to inquire with a local tour operator or book for an airport taxi with Entebbe airport transfers. Airport taxis are convenient and time-saving. The journey from Kampala or Entebbe takes about 7-8 hours including a stopover in Jinja town.
Where to stay & eat in Mbale.
Without doubt, Mbale town has plenty of hotels and lodges that are majorly for visitors to stay. These properties are scattered around town and offer impeccable services that won’t leave uncontented. It is advised to book for this accommodation in advance to avoid frustrations on your first day in Mbale.
If you would like to use a plane for your transfer, this is not possible because there is no airport or airstrip around Mbale. So you can only get there by road transport means.
Banks and Other services.
Like any other developed town, Mbale has some banks where people go to withdraw or deposit their money. Most of these banks are branches of banks in Kampala like Equity bank, Stanbic, Centenary bank, DFCU bank and more. Other services to expect in Mbale are Forex exchange services, telecommunication services, repair centers and more.
Top day tours from Mbale.
Visit Sipi Falls.
With its waters cascading at a height down into the pools, Sipi falls is one of the must-sees in Eastern Uganda. There are a few kilometers from Mbale town, that’s why it is easy to visit them in one day. This tour includes treks up to the best views point of these falls and rewards with endless scenic views of surrounding scenery.
Visit Mountain Elgon National Park.
When it comes to naming Uganda’s known mountains, Mountain Elgon can’t miss. This physical feature is located in Mountain National Park, one of Uganda’s ten Parks.
This protected area is home not only to the mountain but also to a wide range of wildlife species such as birds, wild animals, reptiles and insects. While in this Park on day tour you can do forest walks and game viewing. The hike up to the top requires some days like 4-5 days, so it is not possible in one day.
You can spend off your day out of Mbale town by visiting numerous villages around. This is a great opportunity to meet with locals in their local communities, associate and experience their daily life. On a lucky day, you can meet the Bagisu trying to do their traditional dances before circumcision which is a must participate for any mugisu man.