Mount. Elgon national park is a unique game park shared by 2 east African countries - Uganda and Kenya. The park gets its name from the special Mount Elgon, an ancient extinct volcano perched on the border of Kenya and Uganda with an elevation of 4,321 meters above sea level. This makes it the fourth highest mountain in East Africa and believed to have first erupted more than 20million years ago.
This eruption was so powerful that it left a massive crater that encompasses over 40 kilometers and holds a record for being the largest natural caldera known on earth. It’s believed that before its eruption Mount. Elgon stood at an elevation higher than Mountain Kilimanjaro's current height.
Elgon is an enormous landscape in the region, and a variety of vegetation can be witnessed along its slopes changing with the increase in altitude. These ranges from the lush montane covering its lower slopes, bamboo to the fascinating moorland on its higher slopes. The moorland is speckled with groundsel and enormous lobelia species which are rare in the biggest part of Africa.
The park in addition hosts some mammals and bird species such as buffalo and elephants on the base. Various smaller antelope, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and blue monkeys also call this park home. Hyena and the elusive leopard also exist here. More than 144 bird species including the endangered lammergeier, Tacazze sunbird, Jackson's spurfowl, and eastern bronze-napped pigeon can be encountered in this wilderness.
The major point of fascination for hikers on this often overlooked simple mountain is its astounding scenery. Hiking Mount. Elgon offers views of various rare forest monkeys like the red-tailed monkeys, giant elephants and buffaloes, and smaller antelopes.
With over 300 bird species recorded, birding enthusiasts are guaranteed with even a few bird species not encountered anywhere else in Uganda. The impressive hot springs found in the caldera, Mount. Elgon is undoubtedly an awe-inspiring Africa adventure destination!
There is a cross-border tourism initiative between Mount Elgon National Park, Kenya and Mount Elgon Park, Uganda. Visitors are handed over to the respective authority usually done at the Hot Springs.
Climbing up to the highest peak, Wagagai lasts for about 5 days characterized by unforgettable memories including spotting the largest caldera in the world, view the amazing Sipi falls and unique lobelia and groundsel vegetation.
All trekking expeditions involve an experienced ranger guide who leads the way to enhance your hiking through sharing his knowledge on the environmental phenomenon such as Fauna and flora plus guaranteeing your safety in the wilderness.
Mount. Elgon national park is inhabited by two major ethnic groups of the Bagisu and Sabiny both interesting tribes. The Bagisu have a traditional “Mbalu” ceremony where they initiate young boys into manhood carried out every even year and an event of great interest.
Visitors who visit during this period will get a chance to participate in the exhilarating “Mbalu” dancing, singing and merry-making. An encounter with any of these tribes leaves remarkable memories guests will forever live to tell.
The park boasts of the second famous waterfall in Uganda in Sipi falls. These impressive falls can be accessed on your hike to the top of the mountain. The Sipi trail comes with an addition of the remarkable Tutum cave concealed behind the lush forest and a great place to have abseiling from.
The Piswa trail is an excellent trail for game watching like forest elephants and buffalo. Although both start at a higher elevation and need extra fitness to navigate them. The expedition might be a bit challenging but the experience after is worth all your effort and you will soon be beaming with pride and happiness and all the exhaustion forgotten.
The lower slopes are in decent condition for visiting throughout the whole all year. Though, the finest time advised to hike to the higher altitudes is during June up to early August (dry season) plus the month of December to March. These months offer striking views of wildlife and a much comfortable stay while hiking to Wagagai peak because of minimal chances of rain expected in these months.