Hiking Mount Elgon
Hiking Mount Elgon is an interesting Uganda safari experience where travelers get a chance to take a stroll to the top of the mountain as they explore the environment. When we talk of hiking, look no further than Mount Elgon which is the best destination for most visitors on a Ugandan tour especially hikers as it offers the best hiking trails with different sightings of fauna and flora along the way including several primate species, mammals, bird species, butterflies, plant species, and even a clear view of the entire mount elgon national park at glance.
Mount Elgon is situated within Mount Elgon national park in the eastern part of Uganda that bordering Uganda and Kenya. Mount Elgon national park covers a landscape of 4,000km² making it the largest and best place to go for volcano hiking in the entire world. Mount Elgon National Park is also considered as a UNESCO world heritage site Hiking Mount Elgon has always been everyone’s dream to hike up to the top of this beautiful volcanic mountain with the highest peak at 4321m though it is one of the arduous experience and to achieve this, hikers have to be physically fit and ready to endure having the overnights along the way since mount elgon can’t be hiked and well explored in just one day. There are various well-defined hiking trails that lead to different destinations including Waterfall, cliffs, caves, rivers, and many more. Hikers may choose the shortest trails they prefer or they may even opt for the longest trails in order to maximize the exploration of the mountain and all that reside in it.
Well, let’s talk about the hiking trails to summit the peaks of Mount Elgon. Mount Elgon has five peak which all can be explored during the hike of which some are situated in Uganda and others in the Kenya side. These include; Masaba peak at 4,161 m, Mubiyi peak at 4,211 m, Wagagai peak at 4,321m all in Uganda whereas Koitobos peak at 4,222 m and Sudek peak 4,302 m are situated in Kenya. Several visitors prefer to hike up to the tallest peak which is Wagagai peak and there are three trails that lead there.
These three major hiking trails used to reach to Wagagai peak of Mount Elgon take different hours some taking about four days to hike up and return but tough, while others take about six days to make a round trip, others take even seven days these trails include Sipi trail, Sasa trail and Piswa trail
Sipi Trail: This 56km Sipi trail starts from Kapkwai which is at an elevation of 2,050m to Wagagai Peak at 4321m and it takes between four to seven days to make a round trip. This trail takes visitors via Tutum caves which offer good camping grounds for the visitors and Sipi falls for a fresh and cool feeling of the Sipi waterfalls. During the descending, visitors may opt for Sasa trail which is less tiring than the Sipi falls. Sipi trail is considered as the longest trail amongst the three trails and the hardest to hike but once on top, it’s really worth it
Sasa trail is the mostly used trail and it was the first trail to be used by the hikers due to the fact that it’s very easy to access the starting point or trail head by using road transport to from Mbale town to Budadiri town
Sasa trail is the shortest trail taking three to four days to make a round trip. Sasa trail is considered to be the busiest trail as most visitors prefer short trails that are easily accessed. Sasa trail passes through the residents of local communities encountering Ba Masaba while learning about their culture and tradition. This trails take around three to four days to move from Budadiri town which is situated at 1,250-m high and passes via the bamboo forest and Jackson’s pool to the reach the Wagagai Peak which is at 4321m
Piswa trail: This 49km trail is also considered long but it’s the easiest trail to hike up to the peak starting from the northern part of the mountain elgon at Kapkwata passing through the wood plantation to Podocarpus forest while sighting out several wildlife species and the valleys down in the Karamoja region with in Uganda and other hills in Kenya such as Kapeguria hill and Nandi hill then proceeds to the Hot springs heading towards the Wagagai peak
All the above three trails lead to Wagagai peak which is the highest peak on Mount Elgon. However, it’s also possible for hikers to combine two or more of these trails let’s say ascending via one trail let’s say Sipi trail or Sasa trail and then descend via another trail like Piswa trail to fully explore mount elgon since the highest peak is one.
Mount Elgon also has some short and daily hiking trails which include hikes to the Sipi falls, hikes to the coffee plantations where visitors get a chance to explore the coffee farms while learning different processes involved in coffee plantation right from planting, to final packaging and even have a taste on the finished fresh coffee, and hikes to the local communities for cultural encounters meeting the local people and interacting with them.
The hiking permit to the highest peak of Mount Elgon can be obtained directly from the Uganda Wildlife Authority offices at a cost of $ 75 per person per day which lasts for twenty-four hours and can also be offered at the UWA offices of every trailhead before commencing the hike. However, the short hikes can be done at a relatively cheap cost depending on the trail used.
Mount Elgon hiking permit includes the ranger but excludes the camping fees, porter fee and the fee for the cook.
“Achieve Global Safaris organizes Mount Elgon Hiking Tours to all our visitors who wish to experience a more tremendous experience all year round. All your need to do is pay your hiking fee in time, prepare your good waterproof light hiking boots, a climbing stick which is always offered at the park office, camping tents, sleeping bag, warm attire for overnight, sunglasses, cap, enough drinking water and you are good to go and enjoy the best hike of your entire life while sighting different wildlife, people, and even cross the border to our neighboring country Kenya at ease. Why not grab this opportunity now?”