Mountain Elgon national park is located in the eastern part of Uganda tucked along borders with Uganda and Kenya it has one of Uganda’s oldest physical features mountain Elgon is said to have erupted over 200 million years ago and was once Africa’s highest volcanic mountain, to date mountain Elgon is the 4th highest since the eruption and is a dormant volcano, mountain Elgon has got the largest foot base along which is settlement for 2 tribes, the Bagisu of Eastern Uganda and the Kalejins (Sabinys). At 4000 square kilometers, mountain Elgon is the oldest volcanic mountain in East Africa its highest volcano is known as Wagagi! The famous Sipi Falls is a part of the slopes of the mountain Elgon it is not to miss while on a safari to the conservation area.
The park got its name from the feature Mount Elgon found within the park along which the forest grows, it was gazetted in both country’s at different times in Uganda it was gazetted in 1996 while the Kenyan side was gazetted in 1968 as a way of protecting animal species that call this home, mountain Elgon has 4 peaks Wagagi standing at 4321m, Jacksons summit at 4165m Kiongo at 4303m and Mbuyi at 4210m above sea level the Bagisu refer to the mountain as mount Masaba believed to be the origin of their ancestors, there are several attractions of the national park the good vegetational cover is habitat to animal species and birds that call this home. The park boasts different plant life which is arranged in different altitudinal zones from farmlands to the heath and moorlands the shrubs and thickets are quite catchy too on a day’s hike.
The slopes of the mountain have a rich vegetation cover home to wildlife present animals include waterbucks, duikers, spotted hyenas, and monkeys, to mention a few, there are over 250 bird species recorded here to date 12 of which are endemics, example birds include francolin, weavers, alpine chat, black collared Apalis, sunbirds to mention a few. Activities to do in the national park include Hiking Mountain Elgon there are three major trails to be followed to the summit including the Sasa trail in Budadiri, hikes can take up to 7 Days to reach the summit depending on the route that you take, birding, hiking the Sipi falls, visiting coffee plantations in community, and enjoying the cultural annual circumcision a tradition that is done by only these 2 tribes of Uganda.
Mountain Elgon national park can be visited all throughout the year if you enjoy hiking the park is one of the less crowdy regions the best time to visit is in the dryer months of the year from June -September and December- January, it is important to pack right for the park experience this list should include long-sleeved shirts, hiking boots, rain gears, waterproof covers for phones and cameras, there is available accommodation around the national park ranging from budget to the best luxury facility