Mount Elgon is a 4,321m high extinct volcano at Wagagai it`s highest peak, that first erupted more than 24 million years ago and in prehistoric times stood taller than Kilimanjaro does today. Having a 50km by 80km area, Elgon is a great Uganda prime tour-safari destination, possesing the largest surface area of any extinct Volcano in the world but 4th highest mount in E. Africa. This mountain straddles the Kenya border, but its highest peak Wagagai peak,( 4321 m), lies within Uganda and is best ascended from the Uganda side.Elgon also contains collapsed crater-Calder covering over 40kms at the top and it is the largest known crater, surrounded by a series of rugged peaks.
Flora and Fauna:
Mt.Elgon is a great watershed, with its slopes supporting a rich variety of altitudinal vegetation zones that range from lush Montana, mixed bamboo belt forest to the fascinating high open moorland, studded with the other-worldly most rare endemic plant species like the giant lobelia and groundsel plants peculiar to Africa. The dense shrubs and brilliant wild everlasting flowers are yet another prime tour attraction to add to your Mount Elgon Uganda safari & tour.
The native people:
The Bagisu and the Sabiny are the two ethnic tribes that duel around the Elgon mountain. They are subsistence farmers and conduct annual circumcision ceremonies to induct/initiate young men/women into adulthood if you make your Mt. Elgon Uganda safari-tour during their circumcision season their dances and songs plus traditional circumcision techniques are such a great memorable tour adventure in uganda available for you to enjoy.
The main tourist attraction for hikers on this oft-neglected and relatively undemanding mountain, is its spectacular scenery, the mountain Elgon area also offers to sight a variety of unique forest monkeys and small antelopes, along with huge elephants and buffaloes.
The unique Sipi waterfalls,ancient enormous stone age cave paintings close to the Budadiri trail head, the scenic mountain peaks, the hot springs that bubble up at 4800c and gorges are to mention but some of the thrilling attraction the Elgon area has to offer .
With a checklist topping up to 300 birdsbirding safari tourists have many bird species not recorded elsewhere in Uganda to see, plus unique hot springs within her crater,Elgon is indeed a great Africa tour destination!!
Trekkers have up to three main trailheads leading to the Elgon mountain peaks. One may start from Budadiri i.e Sasa trailhead, Sipi trailhead- forest exploration center-Kapkwai or may use the Kapkwata commonly referred to as the Piswa trailhead. Sasa trail passes through the park’s largest area of bamboo forest,it is the most direct route to the peaks though steep with rugged climbs of over 1600m in the start and its accessible from Mbale.
The spectacular Tutum cave hidden within extensive forest is what Sipi trail has to offer, as opposed to the towering Podpcarpus forest offered by the Piswa trail, an excellent place for Wild game viewing. contrary to the two routes, the Sipi and Piswa trails start at much higher elevations and have a more gradual climbs to the peaks. All trekking routes have camping sites with water sources plus tent pads and latrines.
In place is a cross boarder tourism between Mount Elgon National Park Uganda and Mount Elgon Park-Kenya.The two entities hand over visitors to either team at the Hot Springs. Usually, the full trekking circuit to the peaks takes about 5 days to complete.
All trekking events/expeditions require a trained ranger guide to show you the way and enrich your journey by interpreting environmental aspects such as the Flora and Fauna and ensuring your safety,these are available at each trail head. Local porters are available for your carriage needs.
The Elgon area has nine basic campsites to offer, located at strategic points along the trekking routes.Camping should only be done at designated campsites and tourists are advised to carry along with them all the required camping equipment.
Day light Hikes ;
The expeditious forest exploration center trail loop site that make one enjoy the cool mist at Che-bonet falls, the Kapkwai cave, as well as the talking tree and a spectacular scenery view.
Along Mount Elgon stretch bears the Wanale trails loop site and has vertical cliffs of ridge and several waterfalls that make a very scenic drive.
One can such for petrified wood in the Khauka caves as you enjoy splendid panoramic view above the plains of Eastern Uganda.
These two-day 3-11kms hike areas allow you to explore Mount Elgon’s diverse unique mountane forest, rare plants and wildlife.This hiking Uganda safari-tour offers an excellent opportunity to experience Mt. Elgon’s unique plants and wildlife in a short time period. Jungle walking shoes and rain gear are recommended in addition to extra cells for your torch if you plan to explore the caves. Reservations can be made through the visitor information center at the park headquarters in Mbale. Two different day hike areas allow you to explore-tour Mount Elgon’s diverse mountane forest.
Please note that tourists engaged in this activity should carry along with them Jungle walking shoes and rain gear and a well lighting torch for the cave tour.
when to visit:
The lower slopes are fine throughout the year. The drier months (June to August, December to March) are best for hiking.
Where to stay and dine:
-International standard hotels in Mbale town include; Mount Elgon Hotel, Country home,
Mbale Resort Hotel, and Sunrise Inn.
-Up-market lodges and Budget lodging at Sipi Falls, Mbale and Budadiri. Within the park, there are camping wooden Bandas, that are naturally air-conditioned, having warm and cold water showers fitted with lighting system. At Suam and Kapkwata are guesthouses and at the Forest Exploration Center (dormitory style rooms) at Kapkwai.
Meals are provided on order, according to the chef’s delight.Existing with in the park is a canteen that stocks all the country’s beers plus soda brands.