Mount Elgon at 4,321 meters high is an extinct volcano with Wagagai as its highest peak, and it first erupted over 24 million years back. Actually several thousands of years ago, this mountain stood higher than today’s Mountain Kilimanjaro. Covering a 50 X 80 kilometer area, Mt. Elgon is a among the best Uganda safari destinations, having the biggest surface area of all extinct Volcanoes on the planet although it is the 4th highest mountain in East Africa. Mt. Elgon it’s found at Uganda’s border with Kenya although Wagagai which is its highest peak at 4321 meters is found in Uganda and it is best climb on the Uganda side. Mt. Elgon in addition has a collapsed crater Calder that covers more than 40 kilometers at the summit and this is actually the largest known natural crater, and it is bordered by a number of rocky peaks.
Flora and Fauna:
This mountain is an enormous watershed, and its slopes support a rich diversity of altitudinal vegetation areas that range from the lush Montana, the mixed bamboo-belt forest to the intriguing high open moorland, dotted with the really uncommon worldly plant species such as the large lobelia plus the groundsel plants unusual to Africa. The thick shrubs and luminous wild eternal flowers are another major attraction to enjoy on your Mountain Elgon safari Uganda.
The native people:
The Bagishu plus the Sabiny are the two ethnic tribes that live around the gorgeous Elgon Mountain. These people are subsistence farmers and ass well conduct yearly circumcision ceremonies during which they initiate or induct young women and men into adulthood. Therefore in case you make your safari to Mt. Elgon Uganda during the season of these customary ceremonies you will get the opportunity to enjoy the locals dancing and singing as well as get a glimpse of their local circumcision techniques and all these will certainly make your adventure tour in Uganda very memorable.
The main tourist attraction for hikers on this oft-neglected and relatively undemanding mountain is its spectacular scenery, the mountain Elgon area also offers to sight a variety of unique forest monkeys and small antelopes, along with huge elephants and buffaloes.
The unique Sipi waterfalls, ancient enormous stone age cave paintings close to the Budadiri trail head, the scenic mountain peaks, the hot springs that bubble up at 4800c and gorges are to mention but some of the thrilling attraction the Elgon area has to offer .
With a checklist topping up to 300 birdsbirding safari tourists have many bird species not recorded elsewhere in Uganda to see, plus unique hot springs within her crater,Elgon is indeed a great Africa tour destination!!
Trekking Sipi Falls:
Trekkers have up to three main trailheads leading to the Elgon mountain peaks. One may start from Budadiri i.e Sasa trailhead, Sipi trailhead- forest exploration center-Kapkwai or may use the Kapkwata commonly referred to as the Piswa trailhead. Sasa trail passes through the park’s largest area of bamboo forest,it is the most direct route to the peaks though steep with rugged climbs of over 1600m in the start and its accessible from Mbale.
The spectacular Tutum cave hidden within extensive forest is what Sipi trail has to offer, as opposed to the towering Podpcarpus forest offered by the Piswa trail, an excellent place for Wild game viewing. contrary to the two routes, the Sipi and Piswa trails start at much higher elevations and have a more gradual climbs to the peaks. All trekking routes have camping sites with water sources plus tent pads and latrines.
In place is a cross boarder tourism between Mount Elgon National Park Uganda and Mount Elgon Park-Kenya.The two entities hand over visitors to either team at the Hot Springs. Usually, the full trekking circuit to the peaks takes about 5 days to complete.
All trekking events/expeditions require a trained ranger guide to show you the way and enrich your journey by interpreting environmental aspects such as the Flora and Fauna and ensuring your safety,these are available at each trail head. Local porters are available for your carriage needs.
Camping sites in the park;
The Elgon area has nine basic campsites to offer, located at strategic points along the trekking routes.Camping should only be done at designated campsites and tourists are advised to carry along with them all the required camping equipment.
Day light Hikes ;
The expeditious forest exploration center trail loop site that make one enjoy the cool mist at Che-bonet falls, the Kapkwai cave, as well as the talking tree and a spectacular scenery view.
Along Mount Elgon stretch bears the Wanale trails loop site and has vertical cliffs of ridge and several waterfalls that make a very scenic drive.
One can such for petrified wood in the Khauka caves as you enjoy splendid panoramic view above the plains of Eastern Uganda.
These two-day 3-11kms hike areas allow you to explore Mount Elgon’s diverse unique moutane forest, rare plants and wildlife.This hiking Uganda safari-tour offers an excellent opportunity to experience Mt. Elgon’s unique plants and wildlife in a short time period. Jungle walking shoes and rain gear are recommended in addition to extra cells for your torch if you plan to explore the caves. Reservations can be made through the visitor information center at the park headquarters in Mbale. Two different day hike areas allow you to explore-tour Mount Elgon’s diverse mountane forest.
Please note that tourists engaged in this activity should carry along with them Jungle walking shoes and rain gear and a well lighting torch for the cave tour.
when to visit:
The lower mountain slopes are in good condition all year round although the best time for hiking is during the drier months from June up to August as well as from December up to March.
Where to stay and eat:
Hotels of international standard within Mbale town are: Sunrise Inn, Mount Elgon Hotel, Mbale Resort Hotel plus Country home.
In addition to Up-market lodges as well as Budget lodging at Budadiri, Sipi Falls and Mbale. Inside the park, you will find wooden camping Bandas, which are by natural means air-conditioned, possessing cold plus warm water showers installed with gorgeous lighting system. At Kapkwata as well as at Suam are guesthouses while at the Forest Exploration Center at Kapkwai you will find dormitory style rooms.
The Meals here are prepared on order. Here Meals are provided on order, according to the chef’s delight. Inside the park is a canteen which stocks every one of the country’s brands of beers as well as soda.