Mt. Elgon National Park

Sipi Falls | Mount Elgon Hiking | Cultural Encounter

Mount Elgon National park is situated in the far east of the country on the border of Uganda and western Kenya. It is named after mountain Elgon on which the park comfortably ascends and descends on its beautiful and scenic slopes. At 4000sq km, Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the whole world. It is a massive solitary volcanic mountain, 80kms in diameter, and rising up to 3000m above sea level.

The park is home to over 300 species of birds including the endangered Lammergeyer. Quite a number of mammal species also hide within the terrain like the small antelopes, forest monkeys, elephants and buffalos also live on the mountainside. The park has an extensive trans-boundary conservation area which has been declared a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve whose higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya.

The local people living around this mountain locally refer to it as Mt. Masaba. The name Masaba was for the founding ancestor of the neighboring Bagisu people and he is believed to have come from one of the caves found on the slopes of this mountain a number of centuries ago. This mountain is a significant watershed for a number of rivers such as River Sipi that forms the renowned spectacular Sipi falls. The mountain slopes support a great array of altitudinal vegetation zones that range from the montane forest to the towering open moorland scattered with the huge groundsel plus lobelia.

How to get there

Mountain Elgon national park can be accessed on road via a tarmac road that runs from Kampala through Jinja to Mbale town at the western base of Mount Elgon. It’s a stretch of up to 235km away from Kampala city (3-5hrs drive)

Activities

The main tourist activities in the park are;

  • mountain climbing,
  • mountain biking,
  • birding,
  • hiking,
  • nature walks,
  • rock climbing,
  • sport fishing at Sipi and
  • Cultural encounters.

Accommodation

Varieties of accommodation facilities include Suam guest house (UWA), Kapkwata guest house, forest exploration centre, Sipi river lodge, the crow’s Nest camp, Sipi falls resort, Twilight campsite, New Mt. Elgon view hotel and many others.

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