Mount Elgon National Park is located in the Northeast part of Lake Victoria magically bisected by the Uganda-Kenya boarder. This park which was named after Mount Elgon; an extinct shield volcano lies by 1110 square kilometres in Uganda and 169 square kilometres in Kenya. It is however worth noting that the best part of the park lies in Uganda; Wagagai – mount Elgon peak lies entirely in Uganda, the hot springs, the Sipi Falls, gorges, calderas, cliffs, caves, rock paintings and an abundant variety of flora and fauna. Mount Elgon National Park is a wonder!
The alluring attributes of Mountain Elgon – ‘Once Africa’s highest mountain’, makes it rich with various safari adventure activities to engage in.
Mountain climbing is one of the exciting adventures that make Mount Elgon National Park the ideal safari destination for enthusiastic adventurers. A hike to the peak of Mount Elgon is a thrilling adventure which can take as many as 6 days depending on the trail/route you choose to take. On your hike up or down the volcano, you will encounter nature’s great wildlife; plant and animal species, with some endemic to the Elgon region.
Deliberate visits to the nearby villages grants you a chance to encounter the indigenous locals. Among the probable areas to go is the Budadiri community where you can have guided walks to the coffee plantations and see how to plant, grind and store coffee – coffee is the backbone of the economy in Elgon region. You are also able to see how the day-to-day modest yet tranquillity life of the Elgon people; you could take part in the weaving, food preparation, sip at the famous ‘malewa’ bamboo shots and listen to the folklore recited by the village drama groups.
The vast Mount Elgon National Park has a good number of places to go for a great walk or hike. In the company of an informed guide, you can take the mountain bamboo trail to Kapkwai cave, or you can walk to the Chebonet falls. You could also hike to Tatum cave or hike to the Mudagi cliffs in Budadiri. You could also be daring enough to hike to Jackson’s summit and Wagagai peak. You will be able see many birds, primates, mammals and rare tree species like the Elgon Olive, on your way to and from the various attractions.
The park has numerous birding spots which you are able to identify with the aid of an experienced and informed guide. Among the bird species to spot is; the cinnamon bee-eater, white-chinned Prinia, mackinnon’s fiscal, African blue flycatcher, Chinspot batis, tacazze sunbird, hartloub’s turaco, bronze-napped pigeons, moustached tinker bird, African goshawk, chubb’s cisticola, black kite and black-collard apalis. With over 300 bird species, the park is a haven for a bird lover.
One of the best spots for fishing is right above the highest of the 3 Sipi waterfalls. The sport is a good pass-time for enthusiastic anglers. You find most of battling for a chance to catch the rainbow trout – most famous for its alluring colours and fighting ability. The excitement at Mount Elgon National Park is endless.