Mount Elgon is an extinct volcanic mountain with the largest surface area in the world (50km by 80km) and a caldera with a diameter of about 8 km. The highest peak is Wagagai, 4.321 m.
It lies at the border with Kenya. The National Park is 1,121km2 in size. The Bagisu-Local people call this mountain “mount Masaba” and it later received the name Elgon after the Anglicization of the Maasai “El Kony”. September, November and December are the best months of the year to visit Mount Elgon. The park features a mountainous terrain that introduces visitors to various regional landscapes. Mount Elgon has cool heights that offer a break for visitors from the hot plains. Its higher altitudes are also a home for flora and fauna.
Unique Attractions/What to See in Mount Elgon National Park-Uganda
One can observe the four different forest zones while ascending Mount Elgon. There is the lush montane forest, the mixed bamboo belt, the stunning moorland hyrachs with its endangered species like the huge Lobelia Elgonensis and also there are clusters of groundsels that are unique in Africa. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded in this park and these include the guinea fowls, sunbirds, Jackson`s francolin, Turacos among others and over 24 species of mammals also call this park their home.
What to do/Activities in Mount Elgon National Park-Uganda
Mount Elgon has several hiking trails which can be climbed by everybody. Some of these trails include (Sasa, Sipi and Piswa trails). About 5 to 6 days can be enough to hike to the peaks of this mountain.
There are several hiking trails around Mount Elgon, all open to everybody as this is not a difficult mountain to climb (Sasa, Sipi and Piswa trials). The full hiking circuit to the peaks takes 5 to 6 days to complete. You can encounter stunning flora and fauna, enormous caves, gorges and hot springs through nature walks. From the Forest Exploration Centre at Kapkway, one day hikes are possible. Particularly fascinating is the hike from Sipi trading centre to the Sipi magnificent Falls, a series of four pretty waterfalls culminating in a 99m drop at an altitude of 1.775 m, along the river Sipi, that originates from Mount Elgon.
Where to stay/Accommodation in Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon National Park has a good number of accommodation facilities that can enhance visitor experience in the park. Among these facilities include; Mbale resort hotel, Mt. Elgon Hotel, Sipi Resort lodge, Lacam lodge and more. At the peak of the mountain, there are mountain huts that are ready to accommodate hikers. Camping in this park is much recommended
Accessibility/How to get to Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon National Park is about 235km away, in the eastern direction from Kampala. A tarmac road runs from Kampala through Jinja to Mbale-the neighboring town at the western base of Mount Elgon, before climbing to Kapchorwa on the mountain’s north-western flank. Tarmac road lead off the Mbale-Kapchorwa road to reach the various trailheads.