EXPLORING Mt. ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Mount Elgon National park is situated in the far east of the country on the border of Uganda and western Kenya. It is named after mountain Elgon on which the park comfortably ascends and descends on its beautiful and scenic slopes. At 4000 km2, Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the whole world. It is a massive solitary volcanic mountain, 80km in diameter, and rising up to 3000m above sea level. The park houses over 300 bird species with the inclusion of the endangered Lammergeyer, series of mammal species are also found in the Kitum, Mackingeny, and Chepnyl Caves and on the lower slopes of the Mountain.
The park has an extensive trans-boundary conservation area that has been declared a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve whose higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya.
Mount Elgon is commonly referred to as Mount Masaba by the Local people in this region. This name Masaba was for the founding ancestor of the neighboring Bagisu people and he is believed to have come from one of the caves found on the slopes of this mountain a number of centuries ago. This mountain is a significant watershed for a number of rivers such as River Sipi that form the renowned spectacular Sipi falls. The mountain slopes support a great array of altitudinal vegetation zones that range from the montane forest to the towering open moorland scattered with the huge groundsel plus lobelia.
HOW TO ACCESS Mt. ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Mountain Elgon national park can be accessed on road via a tarmac road that runs from Kampala through Jinja to Mbale town at the western base of Mount Elgon. It’s a stretch of up to 235km away from Kampala city (3-5hrs drive)
The main tourist activity in the park is mountain climbing, mountain biking, birding, hiking, nature walks, rock climbing, sport fishing at Sipi, and cultural encounters.
Varieties of accommodation facilities include Suam guest house (UWA), Kapkwata guest house, forest exploration center, Sipi river lodge, the crow’s Nest camp, Sipi falls resort, Twilight campsite, New Mt. Elgon view hotel and many others.
- 1,279km2 (Total area of Uganda side and Kenya side).
- Uganda - Kenya Border
- Drive Dstance:
- 230km from Kampala and 5 – 6hr drive along Kampala -Jinja highway
- Tour Activities:
- mountain climbing, mountain biking, birding, hiking, nature walks, rock climbing, sport fishing at Sipi and cultural encounters
- Tour Attraction:
- Sipi waterfalls, gorges, hot springs, water springs, waterfalls, peaks and the Kitum, Chepnyl and Mackingeny Caves
- 1968 in Kenya and 1992 in Uganda