Mount Elgon National Park is located in the eastern part of Uganda rising at an elevation of 4,321 meters above sea level. The mountain erupted over 24 million years ago and it now boasts with the largest surface area of all extinct volcanoes on earth. Mount Elgon is shared between Uganda and Kenya with the highest peak Wagagai being in Uganda. The mountain also boasts with the world’s largest crater covering an area of about 40 kilometers squared. The park covers an area of 1,121 kilometers squared. Mount Elgon is also a UNEACO man and biosphere reserve, the park is home to various primate species and mammals like buffaloes, forest elephants, bush bucks, giant forest hogs, small antelopes and many more. Its a great place for Uganda safari holidays.
Mount Elgon is an extinct shield volcano located at the border of Kenya and Uganda north part of Kisumu and the western part of Kitale the highest point is named in a local language “Wagagai, this area is within Uganda. Mount Elgon is a solitary volcanic mountain it’s found in Kenya. Mount Elgon’s vast is formed at 80 kilometers in diameter; it rises 3,070 meters above the plains. The cooler heights offer hot plains which are on a higher altitude this is a habitat to fauna and flora. Mountain elgon is known for its largest calderas in the world.
There caves at mountain Elgon these include the Kitum cave, Ngwarisha, Chepnyalil, Makingeny this is over 60 meters wide and it penetrates 200 metres. The caves contain salt deposits these is linked by elephants that lick salt exposed by the walls with their tusks. The main tourists activity done in mount Elgon national park is hiking, tourists can get immersed in he stunning beauty of scenic views at Wagagai peak and also explore the crater while coming across many tree species some of which cannot be found else where. There are three main trails to the peak of Mount Elgon, Sasa trailhead, Sipi trail head and Piswa trail head.
Trekking to the park of Mount Elgon takes about 5 – 6 days to complete, all the trails have camping sites along the way with water sources and latrines. Tourists are always advised to carry with them camping equipments. Tourists not interested in reaching the peak can hike up to half day in mount Elgon for example to the unique ancient stone age cave paintings, hot springs, the views are simply magical making it one of the most beautiful mountains in Africa. There are various magnificent falls in Mount Elgon but the commonly visited are the cascading Sipi falls, tourists can hike 3 of the main Sipi waterfalls and also have a picnic near the falls.
The mountain slopes of Mount Elgon are occupied by the Sabinyo and he Bagishu tribes. All this tribes have very rich cultural beliefs and customs for example the Bagishu conduct circumcision ceremonies annually for young boys believed to be entering adult hood. The Kadodi dances are performed and theirs a lot to learn. The Sabiny also do circumcision for girls during adolescent. Mount Elgon national park is home to about 300 species of birds, some of the examples of birds at the park are lammergeyer, white starred forest robin, Jackson’s francolin, alpine chat, Weyns weaver, mash widow bird, hunters cisticola, red throated wryneck, black collared apalis and mustached green tinker bird to mention a few.
Basic accommodation is found inside Mount Elgon national park, tourists can sleep in various hotels in Mbale town or they can carry their tents and utilize the campsites. When travelling endeavor to carry sleeping bag, tent, warm clothing, garden gloves and so much more. Mount Elgon national park slopes can be visited all year round but the best time for climbing to the peak is in the drier months of June to September and December to February when the hiking trails are in good condition. Mount Elgon National Park can be reached within 4-5 hours drive from Kampala.