Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano that first erupted about 20 million years ago. It has the largest intact Caldera in the world measuring 40km2. It was once Africa’s highest mountain but with erosion it was reduced to its height of 4321m making it 4th highest in East Africa. Mt Elgon has the largest base in the world at 3840km2. It is also the largest solitary volcanic mountain in East Africa located in Eastern Uganda on the border with Kenya. Mt Elgon national park covers an area of 1145km2.
The national park was declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve. The main tourist attraction is mountain hiking to the caldera with the highest peak Wagagai at 4321m, Sudek at 4303m, Koitobos at 4222m and Mubiyi at 4210m
Mt Elgon is generally less strenuous climb like other East African mountains but offers same scenic views. The park is explored on foot via different routes and trailheads ranging from day walks to hikes over several days. The Sasa trail is the shortest but steepest route to the peaks taking only four days – bamboo forest and Jackson’s pool. Sipi trail takes four to six days, starts at the forest exploration center at Kapkwai – tutum cave. The Piswa trail is a seven-day round trip starting at a village off Kapkwata – podocarps forest. One can alternatively combine the different trails, ascending by Sipi trail and descending along Sasa trail allowing you to experience more features of the mountain.
There are local porters available to make your hike easier each carrying supplies in addition to collecting water, cooking and preparing the camp. Hikers should consider symptoms and treatment of hypothermia and other forms of altitude sickness. Above 2500m, altitude sickness can affect anyone regardless of age, fitness, or previous mountain hiking experience. The most effective treatment is descent to lower altitude.
This thrilling activity is done down one of the cliffs of the Sipi falls. You drop down 100m overlooking the ridge next to a pool of water from one of the Sipi falls. Enjoy watching the different scenery as you abseil down the rock, on reaching down you can take a dip in the pool before ascending back up the cliff to the top of the hill.
Another engaging activity outside Mt Elgon national park is rock climbing. This takes place at Sipi with 14 climbs that require rock-scaling techniques. The toughest climb is 35m while the easiest is 15m – for anyone interested in rock climbing, then you want to try this.
Bird watching in Mt Elgon national park
Birding in Mt Elgon national park will give you species that you cannot find anywhere else. The common trail is one in Kapkwai forest exploration center, which continues along Chebonet river. Here you are likely to see the white-chinned Prinia, Luhders and Doherty’s Bush-shrikes, Chubb’s Cisticola, African Goshawk, African Blue Flycatcher and Baglafetcht weaver.
Good walking boots if attempting any hikes or climbs, wet weather clothing and warm layers for the evenings – it gets cold and damp at this altitude.
The sun is still fierce during the day – even when overcast – so be sure to still wear sunscreen and a sun hat.
You may also want to bring waterproof bags to protect cameras and other equipment when hiking.
Water and snacks are also recommended, as well as a packed lunch for full-day tours.
You can book this trip via the form below.
Part of a short or long safari in Uganda could be the gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. It would be a cheated Uganda trip if it doesn’t head to these fearsome apes of the forest.
This is probably the most beautiful route up to the top of the Kilimanjaro. The trek is strenuous but if you’re an adventurous hiker you will love it.
Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano that first erupted about 20 million years ago. It has the largest intact Caldera in the world measuring 40km2. It was once Africa’s highest mountain but with erosion it was reduced to its height of 4321m making it 4th highest in East Africa.
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