Caldera and the peak of Mountain Elgon. Erosion has redefined Mount Elgon from being the Africa’s highest mountain as it initially was to the eighth position. Nevertheless, it’s the second tallest in Uganda and the fourth in East Africa. Uganda is blessed to have the highest peak of this mountain on its side, Wagagai which is a gem of its own on the mountain as well as the world’s largest caldera that became following the collapse of volcanic cone into a 40km long and 8km wide depression that bore hot springs that can be caught sight off at the start of deep Saum Gorge.
The Bamasaba as they are locally known, are proud to have inhabited the fertile soils of Mount. Elgon and while here, visitors get an opportunity to interact with these wonderful people of the east and have a gist of their amazing culture that involves eating local food, storytelling, their branded traditional dance “Kadodi” and the renowned male circumcision ceremony dubbed“Imbalu”which attracts people from near and far.
Trekkingalong the Kapkwai forest exploration center leads visitors to Chebonet river which offers an opportunity to spot a variety of beautiful belle creatures that beautify the forest with their chirps including Luhders, white-chinned Prinia, African Goshwak, African Blue Flycatcher, Baglafetcht weavers among others.
Before the mountain exploded to extinction, numerous caves were mounded from the molten magma after eruption and theyexcite tourists who visit this park. Inancient days, the caves were used by indigenouspeople as shelter and grazing area for their cattle among others. In the modern days, these caves have not been ignored to extinction as tourists climbing the gigantic mountain Elgon use them as resting and refreshing spots. The Kapkwaicave, Khauka cave on Wanale ridge are the most visited but Siyo, Mude, Hunters’ caves are also ideal and worth a visit.
Jackson’s pool and Jackson’s peak
This outstanding dazzling feature was named after Frederick Jackson, the first explorer to climb this mountain in 1889. These features combine a natural shallow pool and a highland of 4,165m peak and it’s worth a visit as individuals anciently used this spot as a means of communication to their fallen ancestors.
Nkokonjeru and Wanale hill
Visitors get a chance of spotting a breath-taking view of Mbale town while on top of these wondrous physical features that are part of Mount Elgon massif. The Wanale hill is also famed for hosting the seasonal Nabuyonga and Namatyo falls. Visitors overlook a collection of beauties that include lake Bisina, Karamojong plains, Lake Kyoga, Salisbara among others.
When to visit the park?
The Park is perched around the towering Elgon Mountain which makes it generally cool all year-round making the dry season of June to August and December to March when trails in the park are dry enough and skies are bright enough to offer perfect visibility and photographic opportunities.
Activities in Mount Elgon National Park.
Visitors shouldn’t miss out on this unusual experience of following magnificent trails through the mountain slopes while on a bike. The trails are started off from Sipi trading center to Cheema hills in Kapchorwa and this activity usually lasts for an hour and few minutes.
The locals here are typical cultural die-hards who are also enthusiastic about showcasing their wowing culture to visitors. One can have a walk to Budadiri community and enjoy cultural dances, enjoy local food, get in awe from the folk tales told by natives, taste on the prestigious Malewa food famed in the East and gaze at the huge coffee beans while on guided coffee tours.
Hiking Mount Elgon
This trail offers 7km of excitement to visitors who embark on it as they wonder over the bamboo trails to Kapkwai cave, passing through bamboo and tropical forests as they glimpse and gaze at amazing birds found in the park.
The unique and endemic trees like Elgon olive, Elgon teak and nature enthusiasts can also push further to the Chebonet falls and get deep sights of the exhilarating nature. While on a hike, trekkers can opt for other trails like three hours walk to Khauka cave, Nabuyonga loop leads to the amazing Jackson summit and Wagagai peak which is the highest peak of Mount. Elgon.
Guided nature walks
Endless nature in the park can be embarked on by everyone to the fullest when they choose to take on a full day nature walk which traverses through prestigious Mudange cliffs known as the walls of death. These also come along with rewarding views given off by primates like bamboos, blue monkeys, white and black colobus monkeys and as trekkers proceed further, they get hold of the shimmering waters falling free from the Sipi falls.
Nature walks can start as early as 6:00am rewarding tourists with spectacular views of the Tewei hill, Karamoja plains and the surroundings.
National parks are definitely lifeless without the definition of chirps and sharp sounds made by birds therein. Mount. Elgon National Park is not an exception, as these birds entertain visitors with their beautiful sounds and one get to spot on these small belles while in the Kapkwai forest exploration center, forests along Cheptui Falls trail. Birds like Chubb’s Cist cola, white-chinned perinea, African Blue Flycatcher, African Goshwak, Chin spot Batis, Cinnamon Bee Eater, Moustached Tinker birds among others can be spotted in this park.
Attractions around Mount Elgon National Park.
Semei Kakungulu home
The wavy roads in Gangama provide tourists with an elating visit to Semei Kakungulu’s spacious historic homestead. A dive into history shows that Semei Kakungulu was a British collaborator and Saza chief in charge of the Eastern region, that’s why his historic home still strides on in the Bamasaba. While at this historical home, tourists are able to learn about this collaborator as they gaze through his tools and equipment that he anciently used, while overlooking the gigantic mountain Elgon.
A collection of three magnificent falls pouring their fresh brimming waters are what visitors shouldn’t miss after exploring mount Elgon national park. Even from a distance, one can’t fail to get lost in the amazing spectacular views that are given off by these falling waters. The second fall is attributed to a shower, many tourists and locals shouldn’t miss out on cooling off the heat from long tiring hikes while in its dazzling premises.
The crater lake on the peak of Mount. Elgon is kind enough to offer its amazing waters through a waterfall that descends over 100m off Sisyi cliff. These falls aren’t famed as Sipi, but anyone might think a slip of the tongue changed Sipi to Sisiyi. A visit to these falls found in Bulambuli district is as well captivating and they supplement high spirits to visitors with views gotten from the surrounding lush green environment, different plantations of coffee and banana on the undulating slopes. Trekkers shouldn’t miss on the steam-like splatter offered by these falls as they kiss the plunge down Sisiyi cliff.
Location of Mount Elgon National Park.
Kenya and Uganda do not only share Lake Victoria but also the prestigious fifth highest mountain in East Africa. This clearly defines that mount Elgon national park can be accessed by visitors from both Kenya and Uganda however Uganda covers the biggest part with 1,110km2, leaving its neighbor with 165km2. The Park is found in eastern Uganda, a few kilometers away from Mbale Town, and a 5-6 hours’ drive leads visitors into this prestigious national park.