Mountain Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon is 4,321m high and it’s an extinct volcano at wagagai which is the highest peak. It first erupted more than 24 million years ago; and in prehistoric times and stood taller than Kilimanjaro does today.
Elgon is the greatest Uganda prime tour safari destination. It’s processing the largest surface of any extinct volcano in the world but it’s the fourth highest mount in E.Africa. This mountain also extends to Kenya boarder; but its highest peak wagagai peak, lies within Uganda and is the best ascended from the Ugandan side. This mountain also contains collapsed crater Calder. It covers 40kms at the top and it’s the largest known carter which is surrounded by a series of rugged peaks.
Flora and Fauna:
This mountain is the great watershed, with its slopes supporting a variety of vegetation zones that range from lush Montana, which is mixed with bamboo belt forest to the fascinating high open moorland, which is also studded with the other worldly rare endemic plant species which include the giant lobelia and the groundsel plants peculiar to Africa. These dense shrubs and the brilliant wild everlasting flowers are yet another tour attraction which is added to your mountain Elgon safari or tour.
The area is mainly dominated by the bagisu and the sabiny who are two ethic tribes that stay around Mountain Elgon. These are substance farmers and also conduct annual circumcision ceremonies in order to induct young women and the men into adulthood and if you make a safari visit this place during the period of circumcision, you will have a memorable adventure in this land.
Tourism attractions and the activities
This is the main tourist attraction and it’s for the hikers who enjoy this activity on this mountain. The place has got spectacular scenery and it offers variety of unique forest monkeys and small antelopes, elephants and the buffaloes. The unique sipi falls , which are the ancient enormous stone age cave paintings and are close to the Budadiri trail, there are also scenic mountain peaks , the hot springs that bubble up to 4800c and also gorges and many more. This mountain also offers some bird watching of about 300 species plus many craters.
The trekkers have got many trail heads which lead to the Elgon mountain peaks. One trail might start at Budadiri that’s to say Sasa trailhead, Sipi trail trailhead- the forest exploration center, Kapkwata which is also commonly referred to as the Piswa trailhead. This Sasa trail passes through the park which is the largest area of bamboo forest and it’s 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 which is hidden within extensive forest is what Sipi trail has to offer. The sipi and Piswa trails also start at much higher elevations and have a more gradual climbs to the peaks. All the trekking routes have camping sites with water sources plus the tent pads and latrines.
There is also cross border tourism between Mount Elgon national park and Mount Elgon in Kenya. The visitors who visit these places usually meet at the hot springs. The full trekking circuit takes 5days to complete it, these trekking events/ expeditions require a trained ranger guide who will show you the way and enrich your journey by interpreting environmental aspects like the flora and fauna and also ensuring that all the tourists are safe. These are available at each trail head. Local porters are available for your carriage needs.
There are over nine campsites to offer and these are located in strategic points along the trekking routes. Camping is encouraged to be done at designated campsites and the tourists are advised to carry along with them all the required camping equipments.
Day light Hikes;
The forest exploration center trail loop site makes one enjoy the cool mist at the chebonet falls; the Kapkwai cave; as well as the spectacular scenery and the talking tree. Just along Mount Elgon stretch, bears the Wanale trails loop site and has vertical cliffs of the ridge. Several waterfalls also make a very scenic drive. These 2-3 days-11kms hike also allows exploring Mount Elgon with unique montane forest, the rare plants and wildlife species. This tour offers an excellent opportunity to experience Mt Elgon. The walking shoes and the rain gear are recommended. This is in addition to extra cells for your torch if you are planning to explore the caves.
Please note that the tourists who are engaged in the activity should carry along with them jungle walking shoes and the rain gear with the lighting torch.