Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon National Park is a national park 140 kilometers northeast of Lake Victoria and the park covers an area of 1,279 square kilometers and is bisected by the border of Kenya and Uganda. The Ugandan part of the park covers 1,110 km2 while the Kenyan part covers 169 km2. The Kenyan part of the park was gazetted in 1968, the Ugandan part in 1992.
Elephants and buffalo can be found on the lower slopes of the park and there are a variety of small antelope and duiker, as well forest monkeys, including the black-and-white colobus and blue monkey. Mount Elgon is home to at least 144 bird species and of particular interest are Jackson’s francolin, the eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Hartlaub’s turaco, the Tacazze sunbird and the endangered lammergeier, due to their restricted range
Together with the fauna and flora, the park has a variety of scenery, this includes cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas, hot springs, and the mountain peaks. The most popular areas are the four explorable, vast caves where frequent night visitors such as elephants and buffaloes come to lick the natural salt found on the cave walls. Kitum cave, with overhanging crystalline walls, enters 200 m into the side of Mt. Elgon. At the Endebess bluff there a panoramic view of the areas’ escarpments, gorges, mesas, and rivers. The highest peak of Mt. Elgon on the Kenya side, Koitoboss, measures 13,852 ft, and is easily reached by hikers in about two hours from the road’s end.
Activities in Mount Elgon
There are lots of things to do in Mt Elgon National Park ranging from sport fishing to Volcano Hiking, Mt Elgon is such a place where you can engage in several adventure activities. Check out the full list of things to do in the park.
Many travelers find Mt. Elgon an exciting alternative to the more strenuous climbs in East Africa. It has many of the same attractions, with a milder climate and lower elevation, and requires no special equipment or technical experience.
Excellent birding opportunities exist around Kapkwai Forest Exploration Centre, in particular in the secondary forest and thick shrub along the loop trail to Cheptui Falls. It supports the African Goshawk; Chubb’s Cisticola, White-chinned Prinia and African Blue Flycatcher among others.
Enjoy views of Sipi Falls, the Walls of Death and the African sunrise across the Karamoja plains on these peaceful walks just outside Mt Elgon National Park. Lucky hikers in Mt Elgon will enjoy being amongst the parks primates, birds and rare tree species. Trails lead past caves, viewpoints and waterfalls, with the option of camping overnight on the mountain slopes.
Sport fishing is done above the highest of the three waterfalls at Sipi. It provides exciting challenges to anglers who take pride in battling with the rainbow trout because of its beautiful coloration and fighting ability.
Find out where your coffee comes from! Grown on the mountain side of Mt Elgon is Arabica coffee – also named Sipi or Bugisu by the farmers – who have a reputation for producing some of the finest washed Arabica in Kenya and Uganda.
Mountain biking trails run from Sipi trading center to Chema hill in Kapchorwa town. It should take 1.5 hours and provides views of various waterfalls
Rock climbing takes place outside the park at Sipi and there are 14 routes requiring various levels of rock scaling techniques. The toughest is a 35m climb while the easiest is 15m.