Mount Elgon National Park
Named after the extinct shield volcano – Mount Elgon, Mount Elgon national park is bisected by the Kenya – Uganda border. The park covers an area of 1,279 square kilometers and Uganda covers a part of 1,110 square kilometers while Kenya covers a part of 169 square kilometers. The Kenyan part of the park was gazetted in 1968 while that of Uganda was gazetted in 1992.
Mount Elgon in which the park was renamed is a very important water catchment for the Nzoia River which flows to the lake of victoria and also for the Turkwel River which flows to Lake Turkana. Mount Elgon national park is a home to various species including 144 bird species, mammals, invertebrates and others. The most common attract is Wagagai peak which is at a height of 4,321 meters. This peak is the second highest peak in Uganda after Margherita and the eighth highest in the African continent. The park is mostly visited by the adventurous travelers who are much interesting in hiking and mountaineering. Other activities at the park include sport fishing, bird watching, nature walks, and others.
Activities in Mount Elgon national park
This is the activity that attracts a thousand of travelers each year from different continents to engage in the adventurous climbs to the top of the mountain. Sight different attractions like vegetation, valleys, hills, lakes and rivers while walking through the hiking trails of the mountain like the Sasa trail which exposes the hikers to different cultures and tribes like the Bamasaba people. Another trail is the Sipi trail which starts at Kapkwai forest exploration and the other is the Piswa trail which is the longest and harder of all the hiking trails.
Enjoy a guided nature walk through the trails of the national park. The walks in Mount Elgon national park cover about 7 kilometers through the bamboo trails to Kapkwai cave and then through the tropical forests. During the hikes, get great opportunities to spot different species in the forests including the bird species like Elgon olive and Elgon teak. You can as well visit different attractions and features with in the park including the Chebonet falls, Kapkwai caves, Khauka cave, Jackson’s summit and others.
Mount Elgon National park hosts over 144 bird species thus offering a splendid view of birds to the bird lovers. Bird experience is done around the Kapkwai forest exploration center, around the secondary forest and also in the thick shrubs along the routes to Chetui falls. Among the birds to be spotted include white chinned perinea, chin spot batis, Chubb’s cist cola, black kite, African goshawk, hart lob’s turaco, sunbird, black collared apalis, African blue flycatcher, moustached tinker bird and others. Remember to move with a pair of binoculars and also a note book where to write and note the exciting experiences and also the beautiful and colorful bird species.
One of the rare done activities in during the Uganda safari tours but can be experienced in the mountains of Elgon. Mountain biking experience is carried out in the beautiful and improved trails that run from the Sipi trading center to Cheema hill in the town of Kapchorwa. During the biking, view different amazing features like waterfalls, rivers, valleys and the Karamoja plains for a period of 2 hours.
Cultural encounters and visits
Mount Elgon National park is surrounded by the local people who are known as the Sabiny. Get a chance to interact with these people and learn more about their lifestyles and cultures. Things to learn from these people include weaving; handcraft makings, cooking and others. Have a lifetime experience by enjoying the entertainment of these people like dancing, singing, folks and also stories.
How to reach Mount Elgon national park
Reach the park from Kampala via Mbale – Kapchorwa road which is about 231 kilometers or take a charter flight from Entebbe international airport to Soroti airstrip.