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







Anthony Itopa Obaro, from Lokoja, says that the Babishai 2017 haiku shortlist is an array of breathtaking haiku that speaks volumes of the imaginative powers of its authors. He further says that he loves the oems just as much as he loves egusi soup. #Babishai2017

What drew you to enter for the competition?

I  felt that by participating in the competition of this magnitude, my writing could stand a chance of enjoying wide readership, If I did well.

Do you have  a particular personal story with haiku?

Yeah. I have been writing since my teens, but knew nothing about haiku until last year when I read the interview Agyei-Baah granted with Babishai Niwe on haiku. I developed interest in haiku since then, and have been writing haiku for roughly a year now.

What do you feel  towards the shortlist in general?

The shortlist is an array of breathtaking haiku that speaks volumes of the imaginative powers of its authors.


What motivation do poets need to keep writing in this ridiculously competitive world that vies for their attention?

Writing isn’t likely to fetch all writers much money, for sure. But, I suppose, the writer’s passion to write, and the prospect of his writing enjoying a measure of readership are the two main factors that ensure his pen is busy every other day.


If your 2017 submission was food, what would it be?

Wow!   Maybe pounded yam and egusi soup. I love this Nigerian delicacy as much as I love my poems on the shortlist.

Read his haikus here:



unseen broom sweeping





waterfalls from rooftops

pouring into buckets


We at Babishai, congratulate him again. The winners will be announced at the #Babishai2017 Poetry Festival dinner on Sunday 6 August at Humura Resort, Kitante Close. Cards are on sale at 40,000/- Call +256 703147862. The full festival programme is here.


The full winning haikus are here: