Mt. Elgon is 1145km² and has has the largest volcanic base in the world. Its located on the Uganda-Kenya border and it is also the oldest and largest volcanic mountain in East Africa. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding areas. The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna.
Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 bird species, including the Lammergeyer. The higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda (Uganda Wildlife Authority) and Kenya, creating an extensive trans-boundary conservation.
A climb on Mt. Elgon’s deserted moorlands unveils a magnificent and uncluttered wilderness without the summit-oriented approach common to many mountains: the ultimate goal on reaching the top of Mt. Elgon is not the final ascent to the 4321m Wagtail Peak, but the descent into the vast 40km² caldera.
Mount Elgon cool slopes with its distinctive, waterfall-streaked cliffs are are an ideal retreat, especially during the long drive through dusty karamoja from kidepo valley national park, Uganda’s wilderness destination,
Mount elgon is over 3000 m above the plains of providing a cool respite for humans and a refuge for flora and fauna.
WILDLIFE IN MOUNT ELGON
Large mammals like Elephants and buffaloes also live in the forests of mount elgon though they are rarely seen. This park is a home for over 300 bird species including the African Goshawk, white-chinned prinia, african blue flycatcher, among others.
This park is also sorrounded by two tribes ie, Bagisu and Sabiny, bagisu live on the southern part/ slopes of the mountain and are known for their colorful biannual Imbalu ceremony where boys or men are initiated into manhood after being circumcised. Also the Bagisu also known as Bamasaba, look at mount elgon as the embodiment of their founding father Masaba and refer to the mountain by this name.
HOW TO GET THERE
Mount elgon national park is found above mbale town just 235 km east of kampala city. The route beyond Mbale is surfaced as far as kapchorwa town on he northwest flank of the mountain. Dirt roads lead off this road to the various trailheads. This park can also be accessed from kidepo valley ational park in nirth-east part of uganda. The 420km drive is possible in one long day with maybe an overnight stopver in Moroto town.
ACTIVITIES DONE IN MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Many travellers find Mt. Elgon an exciting alternative to the more strenuous climbs in East Africa. It has many of the same attractions, with a milder climate and lower elevation, and requires no special equipment or technical experience.
Excellent birding opportunities exist around Kapkwai Forest Exploration Centre, in particular in the secondary forest and thick shrub along the loop trail to Cheptui Falls. It supports the African Goshawk; Chubb’s Cisticola, White-chinned Prinia and African Blue Flycatcher among others.
Enjoy views of Sipi Falls, the Walls of Death and the African sunrise across the Karamoja plains on these peacefull walks just outside Mt Elgon National Park.
Find out where your coffee comes from! Grown on the mountain side of Mt Elgon is Arabica coffee – also named Sipi or Bugisuby the farmers – who have a reputation for producing some of the finest washed Arabica in Kenya and Uganda.
Mountain biking which run from Sipi t centre to Chema hill in Kapchorwa town Kapchorwa district. It should take around 1.5 hours and provides views of various waterfalls within this rewarding creature.
Rock climbing takes place outside the park at Sipi near sipi falls. There are over 14 routes requiring various levels of rock scaling techniques. The toughest is approximately a 35m climb while the easiest is 15m.