The #Babishai2018 Poetry Festival is for the adventurous, those unsure of their artistry and for poets who dare to dream. We’re taking you to Kapchorwa and Mbale in Eastern Uganda for a poetry excursion like never before, right at Sipi Falls!


Friday 3 August 2018

Day One, Departure from Kampala to Kapchorwa.

We will depart from Kampala to Kapchorwa with a stop-over in Mbale to pick a few participants. There will be snacks on the bus. On arrival in Kapchorwa, the well-established and reputable Rhythm City Mbale, will be ready to welcome the team with a large sumptuous meal, cool drinks and ready tents. There are 2-sleeper, 4-sleeper, 6-sleeper and 8-sleeper.



Warm clothes and shoes

Beddings i.e. sleeping bags, blankets, duvet

Toiletries i.e. toothbrush, toothpaste, sponge, soap, lotion

Light clothes for the afternoon heat

Day Two Saturday 4 August 2018

Poetry at Sipi Trek

We will wake up and have a large sumptuous breakfast by 9:00am. We will then leave at 10:00am for the Poetry at Sipi trek. This trek, Poetry at Sipi, is a nature walk across Mt. Elgon, viewing two waterfalls and stopping for spontaneous poetry with the backdrop of the magnificent Sipi Falls. There will also be photo shoots at prime spots and videography. The efficient and experienced guide will explain the history and herstory of the falls, of Mt. Elgon and of Arabica coffee, which grows on the mountain.

Rhythm City Mbale will provide water and light snacks. A lavish meal awaits all of us at a large ground after the second waterfall. Here, there will be more performance poetry and storytelling in Lumasaaba, by the Bamasaaba of the area. On this day, there will be an option of abseiling, at 60 USD per person, for those interested.

In the evening, on return to the camping ground, will be a large bonfire and barbeque with more poetry, storytelling and kadodi celebrations.


Day Three:  Sunday 5 August 2018

Kapchorwa to Mbale: Babishai Poetry Festival Award Giving

We will depart from Kapchorwa to Mbale and stay at Starlight Hotel, where an advance team will have prepared our accommodation. After a hearty lunch, we will rest until the Babishai poetry festival award-giving ceremony in the evening.

There will be poetry performances from the Kampala team, speeches from shortlisted poets of the #Babishai2018 poetry award and the eventual award-giving dinner and ceremony in the conference hall of Starlight Hotel.


Day Four: Monday 6 August 2018

School Visits and Return to Kampala

After an extravagant breakfast, courtesy of Starlight Hotel, We will visit a major secondary school and university in Mbale. This visit will involve poetry workshops, readings, discussions, media interviews and photo shoots.

From the Mbale school visit, we will then return to Kampala, satiated and glowing.

The Fee and Payment Schedules:

Early registration per individual by May 31 2018                                                  250 USD

A non-refundable commitment fee by April 30 2018                                          100 USD

Late registration fee                                                                                                         350 USD


Deadline for all payments is June 29 2018


Fees include return transport from Kampala, accommodation of 4 nights, all meals, tour fees, a T-shirt and hat, poetry experience and entertainment from Bamasaaba performers.


All payment MUST be made to the official account of the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation, whose details will be provided.


Contact information:

Nambozo      +256 751 703226

Nagudi           +256 784 272149







Fireworks are unmistakably brilliant, dramatic and flamboyant; impossible to miss in many towns across the world.

Many hotels, malls and gardens across Kampala welcomed 2018 in this similar fashion. Likewise, large cities like London, Dubai and Sydney spent huge amounts of money and time to share their own collective delight as the clock struck midnight.


At Babishai, we are set to keep enjoying and celebrating 2018. The fireworks may fizzle but the astuteness of poetry remains. With both the poetry and haiku as part of our annual competitions, we are blest to be a part of unlimited talent across Africa. The shrewdness in the writing; the imagery and profoundness of many themes always leave the judges mesmerized. Each contestant of the Babishai competitions presents a unique quality; a gift that is indescribable. How can anyone describe that feeling after reading a winning haiku or poem! Recalling Kariuki wa Nyamu’s winning haiku of 2017.

last night’s rain

in the morning mud

fresh toad prints


Kariuki wa Nyamu/Kenya

Kariuki wa Nyamu: Babishai 2017 haiku winner

Adjei Agyei-Baah, co-founder of the Africa Haiku Network and chief judge of our haiku competitions has certainly lit the way for African haiku and we’re indebted. His invaluable gift continues to challenge existing literary landscapes.

In 2018, as we hold our fourth poetry festival, extending the fête to Mbale. In 2016, we launched Bamasaaba ba Wandiikha, a platform to promote and share literature from Mbale. In 2018, we will bring this to the fold once again as we hold our third poetry nature series event at Sipi Falls. Poetry at Sipi! What a marvellous way to be a part of poetry. The 2017 experience of Poetry at Mabira was timeless, magical and poetic, according to the group of creative sojourners that went.


Griffin Falls at Mabira Forest: Photography by Wasswa James

Every year, we hold a unique poetry experience, holding our poetry excursions in some of the world’s most glorious and spectacular venues. All of these are in Uganda. In 2016, it was Poetry on Mt. Rwenzori, in 2017, Poetry at Mabira Forest and in 2018, it is Poetry at Sipi Falls. It will be a time like never before.

We wish you a fantastic 2018 and invite you to our world of poetry.