Mountain Elgon National Park is located in the eastern Part of Uganda and an exciting Safari Destination to visit by all kinds of travelers interested in Mountain Climbing, Hiking and Nature Adventures as well as bird watching Tours. The Park comprises of Mountain Elgon an extinct Volcano which is hiked by all hikers from around the globe and an ancient physical feature that acts as a water catchment area of various Rivers i.e the Nzoia River and Turkwel River that flow through from Uganda to Kenya. The highest point along the Mountain is Wagagai peak which sits at 4,321 m above sea level following Mountain Rwenzori’s Margherita Peak. It is located in Mbale district Uganda occupying an area of 1,279 sq. kms along the border of Kenya and Uganda.
Climate of the Park
Mountain Elgon National Park experiences a moderate dry climate comprising of annual rainfall amounts of above 1,270 millimeters (50 in) and dry seasons from the months of June to August and December to March.
Flora of the Park
Mountain Elgon National Park has numerous floral species which include; Montane forest, moorland studded with the giant lobelia and groundsel plants, olive Olea hochstetteri and Aningueria adolfi-friedericii wet montane forest along the slopes, Podocarpus gracilior forest, and then a Podocarpus and bamboo Arundinaria alpina zone, Hagenia abyssinica zone Moorland with heaths Erica arborea and Philippia trimera, tussock grasses such as Agrostis gracilifolia and Festuca pilgeri, herbs such as Alchemilla, Helichrysum, Lobelia, and the giant groundsels Senecio barbatipes and Senecio elgonensis.
Fauna of the Park
Mountain Elgon National park has various Fauna species like Savannah Elephants, buffalo, small antelope, duiker, vervet monkeys, black-and-white colobus and blue monkey and red-tailed monkey. Many bird species can also be seen around the Park and these include; Jackson’s francolin, the eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Hartlaub’s turaco, the Tacazze sunbird and the endangered lammergeier.
Safari Activities to do in the Park
Mountain Climbing is the most prominent Safari Adventure carried out in the Park along the majestic Mountain Elgon to the Wagagai Peak at 4,321 meters. The Hiking/ Climbing Adventure takes about 6 Days to reach the Top and is done in groups with a skilled Park Ranger Guide who informs you about the Mountain, Vegetation as well as the Flora and Fauna along the Mountain. Carry the necessary hiking Gear like Hiking/ Trekking Boots, Rain Jacket, Woolen Gloves and Socks, long sleeved shirts/ t-shirts, long pants not jeans etc.
Mountain Elgon National Park is also a very stunning Birder’s paradise so all birders from all over the world should visit the Park to enjoy watching the various bird species flying around their forest vegetation habitat. Carry bird watching gear to enjoy the Best of this adventure and this includes; Binoculars, Hats/ Caps, Binocular Harness, light clothing etc. The birds you watch at the national park include; Jackson’s francolin, the eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Hartlaub’s turaco, the Tacazze sunbird and the endangered lammergeier.
Hiking and Nature Walks
Mountain Elgon National Park offers remarkable Hiking and Nature Walk Adventures which offer views of the green forest vegetation habitat, Birds, Wildlife and primates. These offer you visits to the Waterfalls, Caves, Walls of Death. Some of the walks lead to the top of Sipi Falls at the third waterfall where anglers enjoy Sports Fishing. You can also transfer to the Budadiri local Community to visit the Mudagi Cliffs, Sasa River Camp and Drigana lower falls.
Mountain Elgon National Park offers unique traditional Cultural Adventures to all travelers as they venture into the lives of the local Sabiny and Bagisu People of Mountain Elgon. You learn more about Arabica Coffee Growing, processing and testing/ producing. Engage in the various Cultural Activities with the locals an adventure experience so unforgettable due to getting hands on with the different safari activities. The money you give in is used to improve the standards of living of the local people.
Mountain Biking/ Cycling
Mountain Elgon National park offers remarkable Biking/Cycling Adventures to all travelers interested in watching the beautiful scenery, birds and wildlife animals along the Mountain as they ride along the different trails/ routes. The Mountain biking trails run along the Mountain transfer from Sipi Trading Center to Chema hill in Kapchorwa town taking 1.5 hours to finish with views of various waterfalls, Karamoja plains. The Bikes used are hired from Sipi River Lodge.
Mountain Elgon National Park offers unique exciting Rock Climbing Adventures at Sipi just outside the Park with 14 different Routes to follow requiring various Rock Scaling Techniques with the most challenging being of 35 m and easiest being 15 m. These offer beautiful views of the main Falls and the Karamoja Plains in a distance.