Mount Elgon National Park Mount Elgon National Park is located near the Mbale district on the slopes of Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda. It covers 1145 square kilometers, an extinct volcano on the Uganda-Kenya border. Mount Elgon National Park is shared by her two neighbors, Uganda to the east and Kenya to the west. The highest peak, Wagagai, is on the Ugandan side and is 4321 meters high. Besides, he has three outstanding mountains, Jackson his 4165m, Kiongo his 4303m, Mubii 4210m and Mount Elgon is his fourth highest mountain in East Africa.
This mountain is the basin of rivers such as the Sipi River that forms the Sipi Falls. Mount Elgon national park has altitudinal vegetation areas including lush Montana, mixed bamboo belt forest with uncommon plant species like large lobelia, thick shrubs, groundsel plants, luminous wildflowers among others and attractions like the old cave paintings near the trailhead that are found at Budadiri, the stunning caves and the hot springs inside the crater. Mount Elgon national park is a home of about 300 bird species which include red-throated wryneck, black collared apalis, alpine chat, moorland francolin among others and animal species including buffalos, antelopes, elephants, Oribi, defassa, waterbuck, duiker, primates like forest monkeys among others.
Activities in Mount Elgon National Park
Hiking: Mount Elgon national park-offers a better hiking option for hikers in Uganda and hiking is the main activity done in the park in that it has lower peaks which are favorable than those of Mount Rwenzori. Hiking in Mount Elgon national park is interesting since the park is less congested because many people are not aware of it. There are different trails to take during the hike, for example, the Piswa trail which is long and gentle, takes 7 days and covers 49kilometers, the Sipi trail which covers 56kilometers and takes 4-6days and the Sasa trail which is the shortest but toughest because it`s very steep and takes about 4days during the hike. A wide variety of animals will be spotted during the trek including unique forest monkeys, elephants, buffalo, small antelopes, birds, Sipi waterfalls, beautiful scenic peaks, hot springs and ancient cave paintings near the Budadiri trailhead.
Nature walks: Nature walk is one of the activities that is carried out in Mount Elgon national park where the visitors move on foot within the park with park rangers for relaxation, close view of the animals and landscapes. During the nature walk you can take a 7km bamboo trail to Kapkwai cave and pass through the tropical and bamboo forest which take about 4 hours and will be able to spot primate species, different birds, rare tree species like Elgon teak, Elgon olive among others, the 5km walk to the Chebonet falls, a 3km walk to Kapkwai caves and an 11km hike to Tutum cave where you can camp for an overnight and view different bird species like the African blue flycatcher, African goshawk, black collared apalis among others.
Cultural encounters: this is an activity where the visitors visit the communities surrounding the park to learn about their lifestyles. There are different communities living around Mount Elgon national park which include the Gishu traditions also known as the Bagisu tribe, they call the mountain their first father and have a common Imbalu ceremony of the removal of the foreskin on the males private part with myth behind this ceremony hence becoming a serious culture in Gishu and visitors get to learn why this ceremony is carried out. The Sabiny traditions where you get to meet the Sipi widows group for entertainment, also take you on a guided walk through the coffee plantations explaining the activities involved during the coffee growing, planting, picking, grinding, washing, storing among others. They can engage in educational activities such as recognizing female circumcision practiced by Savigny.
Mount Elgon National Park is open to visitors year-round, and the best times to visit are during the dry season from June to August and December to March. There are several accommodations to stay during the safari, such as Wooden Camping Bandas, Mbale Resort Hotel, Mount Elgon Hotel, Sunrise Inn, Guest Houses and Country Houses.