Mount Elgon’s Summit – Wagagai Peak : Mount Elgon is a dormant volcano located in the in the north East of Uganda along the border of Uganda and Kenya. Elgon has Wagagai as its highest peak lying at 4321meters high and it is less crowded than Mount Kilimanjaro and has a very spectacular view more because there are very few people settling along its slopes. It is an amazing place to visit on your mountaineering safari in Uganda. During mount Elgon mountain climbing, you have a high chance of see a number of wild animals while hiking or as you descend, there are waterfalls and a hot spring in the crater.
How to Get to the Wagagai Peak
The fact that Mount Elgon is shared by both Uganda and Kenya side, the best route to use the Uganda route though it is a longer route taking much time as compared to getting there when you use the Kenyan route. Our company guide will drive you to the East of Uganda and from Mbale town, you will have to drive through to Budadiri where the trail begins. You will be allocated a ranger who will guide you along the route, help you identify the different plants and wildlife as you ascend. You should also hire porter to help you carry you back pack and any other items if you think you won’t mange carrying them up the mountain. Porter are often very helpful in cases of an emergency and there is need to carry some one down the mountain thus the reason there should always be porters accompanying a group hiking.
Trails to Follow up to the Wagagai Peak
There are several trails to the peak that you can follow the shortest though very tough is the Sasa trail. It goes through community land of Masaba people and this gives you the chance to explore their farm lands and settlements and culture. Ascending and descending usually takes about 4 days starting at an elevation of 1,250m. Normally the toughest climb starts at 1,600m but can be completed on the very first day of your adventure before you get to cross to the bamboo forest which is the biggest part of this park. You will go through Jackson’s Pool as you head to Wagagai Peak.
The other is the Sipi trail and this takes 4-6days and the whole journey is about 56km beginning from a height of 2,050m from Kapkwai Forest Exploration Centre. Sipi falls trail is the longest from the ground level to the peak and you will go through the north-western side of the mountain and it is rather a gentle hike at the beginning only gets tough like on the 3rd day when you leave Kajeri camp. You will go through Tutum Cave and then the through the caldera before getting to the Wagagai Peak.
There is also the Piswa trail which takes 7 days, it’s 49km long and it’s the gentlest trail of all. This trail begins from Kapkwata village located on the mountain’s north side. You will pass through soft wood plantation and then enter the Podocarpus forest. This route is very popular for variety wildlife species coupled with the spectacular view of the Karamoja plains as well as the Nandi and the Kapeguria hills in the Eastern region of Kenya. This trail also leads you through the hot springs as you head to the caldera and towards the mountain peaks.
Other Alternative Hiking Spots
There are other hiking options that you can go for. In this case, there are various routes that you can combine for instance; you can ascend via the Sipi, Piswa and Sasa Trail, and then descend along the Sasa and Sipi Trail. Such a journey gives you the chance to go through the caldera and visit hot springs at the same time.
There is also the trans-boundary hike; this hike takes you via Mt. Elgon’s higher slopes which are shared with Kenya in the adjacent national park in Kenya. You can always organize a trans-boundary hike, you ascending to the Elgon’ caldera with a Ugandan guide and along with other climbers, you will cross the border into Kenya so you can descend with a guide from the Kenya Wildlife Service on the Kenyan side. This will be such an amazing hike filled with a lot of adventure and the time spent will be worthwhile.
What Carry On You Hiking Adventure?
What you need to carry are usually personal items that you will need to use every as you hike or descend. You need to carry less stuff because the hike will not be an easy one with a heavy back pack on your back. Necessary items include;
Cloths and other necessary sanitary materials you will need.
Hiking shoes are very important because the routes will be very slippery.
Sleeping bags and insect repellents are important items to carry so you can have a comfortable night.
Drinking is very important to quench you thirsty as you hike.