Mount Elgon National Park
About Mt. Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon is an extinct volcanic mountain with the largest surface area in the world (4000km2) and a caldera with a diameter of about 80km, hence it happens to be one of the oldest volcanic mountains in Africa.
Mount elgon’s highest peak is Wagagayi covering 4,321 m, it lies at the border with Kenya. Mount elgon National Park is 1,145 km in extension. The local people, Bagisu used to call the mount "Masaba", while "Elgon" is named after the Anglicization of the Masai "El Kony".
It’s mountainous terrain introduces variety to an otherwise monotonous regional landscape. Its cool heights offer respite for humans from the hot plains below and its higher altitudes provides a refuge for flora and fauna.
Mount elgon national park hiking itinerary that enables you encounter the four different forest zones growing on the fertile volcanic soils, these include the lush Montane forest, the mixed bamboo belt, the heath and the spectacular moorland hyrachs, which contains rare species like the giant Lobelia Elgonensis and clusters of groundsels which look unique to Africa. The park forests habituates over 300 species of birds francolin, guinea fowls, sun birds and turacco, more than 24 species of mammals like the endangered lammergeyer, buffaloes, elephants,forest monkeys and small antelopes. Mount elgon higher slopes have been declared as a conservation area by UNESCO hence being protected by Uganda and Kenya creating an extensive trans-boundary.
Mount elgon national park offers different kinds activities that have been proved entertaining to different tourists visiting the mountain.
Mount elgon national park hiking
Mount elgon hiking is an interesting activity that enable you come across the parks primates, birds, rare tree species, caves, waterfalls, great view points of the park and a possibility of camping overnight on the mountain slopes.
Mount elgon national park mountain climbing
Mount elgon happens to be one exciting alternative for climbing in relation to other East Africa’s mountains that require great exertion for a climb. it’s milder climate and lower elevation require no technical experience to go mount climbing.
Mount elgon national park birding
Kapkwai forest exploration centre offers excellent birding opportunities mostly the thick shrub along the loop trail to the Cheptui falls here you come across the African goshawk, Chubb’s Cisticola, White-chinned prinia and African blue flycatcher and other many bird species.
Mount elgon national park mountain biking
Mountain biking in mount elgon national park enables you ride from sipi trading centre to chema hill in kapchorwa town, various water fall great views will be encountered as you do biking this takes around 2hrs get done.
Mount elgon national park sport fishing
Sport fishing is one interesting activities done with in the park that is at sipi waterfalls which happens to be the highest of all the other waterfalls with in the park.
Mount elgon national park rock climbing
The park contains a 15 m rock being the least and 35 m rock being the highest therefore rock climbing takes place at sipi. Most routes require rock scaling techniques.
Mount elgon national park cultural encounters
Mount elgon being home for Arabica coffee due to its volcanic fertile soils, the cultural encounters will enable you visit different communities as they take you through the process of growing coffee. More of the Bagisu cultural practices like circumcision ceremonies can be witnessed if you travel to this region during the circumcision season.
How to get there
Mount Elgon National Park lies 235 km east of Uganda’s capital city. A tarmac road runs through Jinja to Mbale town at the western base of Mount Elgon, before climbing to Kapchorwa on the mountain's north-western flank. Tarmac road lead off the Mbale-Kapchorwa road to reach the various trail heads.
The park has quite good number of lodge that provide good services to clients and these include the Mbale resort hotel, Mount Elgon Hotel, Sipi falls lodge, Lacam lodge and Sipi river lodge.