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Ssezibwa Falls – a Buganda Kingdom Cultural Heritage Site

Posted by on April 22, 2021

Ssezibwa falls-a Blend of Legends and Cultural Traditions

 Ssezibwa Falls brings alive Uganda’s Traditional Culture


Ssezibwa Falls - a Buganda Kingdom Cultural Heritage SiteA visit to Ssezibwa Falls – Culture – Legends – Scenic Wonders will give an inside look into the Baganda Culture. It is here where past Kabakas (Kings) like Kabaka Mwanga ll planted a tree there, one of the most massive trees. It was and is a place of serenity for the past and the present Kabaka. 

Today the Baganda people still seek out those who practice traditional healings and are purported to perform miracles. The falls and the river that splits into two have meaning to the Baganda people regarding the legend of a woman giving birth. Out of her came two rivers. Sacrifices are still made here after the birth of twins.

The Ssezibwa property is a Buganda Kingdom Heritage site and is owned by the Buganda Kingdom. Ironically on the other side of the river is a spiritual retreat owned by the Anglican Church of Uganda. The church of Uganda is quite evangelical, and Baptisms are performed below the falls. Christians come here to pray and spend time for inner reflection.

At the same time, Traditional Beliefs are practiced here also. Offerings are brought, and sacrifices are made. It Certainly one of a kind combination of Culture, Religion, and Nature.


Visiting Ssezibwa Falls: Kampala can be the busiest city, traffic jams, people moving everywhere – Ssezibwa Falls is the opposite. It is a place that is restive, cultural – scenic, a short drive from Kampala.Ssezibwa Falls

There is a resort here called Ssezibwa Falls resort where you can even spend the night and go to sleep with the sounds of the falls, have lunch here or dinner. The falls to the Baganda are much more than a small waterfall. They are a part of their culture, history, and traditional belief system.

The words “sezibibwa kkubo” mean that no obstacle can stop me from moving on. From Ssezibwa, two rivers move on past the tranquil island that separates them into two streams reminding locals of the legend as to how the rivers began.

Many hundreds of years ago, in this area of Uganda, there was a woman named Nakangu. She was who was a member of the Fox clan. She was about to give birth to twins, but two rivers were born from her were two streams. In local tradition, it is believed that the spirits of Nakungu’s unborn children – Ssezibwa and Mobeya, still live on and inhabit the waters of the river.

It was the customs for a Muganda passing the river’s source to throw a handful of stones or grass into the river for good luck. Many Baganda still connects something supernatural when someone gives birth to twins. Even today, at times, you can come across people with sacrifices of local brew beer, barkcloth, chickens, and goats. There is a fertility shrine in an indention in the rocks by the falls. Some women who have given birth to twins will come here and pay honor to the lubaale. A spirit (not God or Gods-Ssezibwa Falls - a Buganda Kingdom Cultural Heritage SiteKatonda is the God in the traditional Kiganda belief system) honors one of them with a gift.

On the other hand, a portion of the Ssezibwa site is run by the Church of Uganda. Christians also come here to pray and seek God, water baptism is also at times performed here, and on Friday evening, there is prayer and worship.

Ssezibwa Falls has a long and rich cultural tradition. Even some of the Kabakas (Kings) of the Buganda Kingdom came here and planted trees …in times gone by. Kabaka Mwanga II would come here and sit underneath a tree. At the same time, he held a meeting. The current Kabaka Ronald Frederick Muwenda Mutebi II also planted a tree here during the dedication of the present site in 2002.

Most visitors will enjoy the natural and tranquil setting of Ssezibwa Falls. Observe the birds in the surrounding area, take a hike around, or even a long bike ride provided you have a bike. You can enjoy lunch at the resort or stay overnight in peace.

The Below article was published in the Independent – it noted that excessive Witchcraft practices were going on at Ssezibwa Falls. Those tourists were staying away because of it. The other side could be the opposite, a tourist attraction.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uncontrolled witchcraft practices at Ssezibwa falls in the Buikwe district are discouraging local tourists from visiting the falls despite its beautiful scenery.

As a result of the legends, many witches flock to Ssezibwa falls with many followers to perform rituals seeking blessings of twins.

 If you would like to include Ssezibwa Falls – Culture – Legends – Scenic Wonders in your Safari with us – please let us know.

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