Mount Elgon National Park is located in the eastern part of Uganda near Mbale District 147 kilometres northeast of Lake Victoria; it’s found on the slopes of Mt Elgon and bisected by the Uganda- Kenya border. This park was declared a man and biosphere reserve by a UNESCO because of the extensive conservation area. Mt Elgon National park was named after one of Uganda’s oldest physical features; Mount Elgon, which also one of the main attraction features of the park.
Mount Elgon locally referred to as Mount Masaba, is an extinct volcanic mountain that is located at the Uganda-Kenya border and has the largest volcanic base in the world at 4000 km2. This mountain was once Africa’s highest mountain exceeding Kilimanjaro which is currently the highest but the millennia erosion reduced the mountain’s height to 4321m making it the 8th highest in Africa. The mountain is shared by Uganda and Kenya and has four outstanding peaks:-
- Wagagai Peak – 4321
- Kiongo – 4303
- Mubiyi – 4210
- Jackson’s summit – 4165
The highest peak is found on the Ugandan side. The mountain is also a watershed for several rivers including Sipi and Chebonet which form Sipi falls and Chenobet falls respectively.
Mountain Elgon National park is a 3-4 hour drive from Uganda’s capital Kampala and is home to a huge variety of wildlife and birdlife. The park is home to over 300 bird species including the lammergeyer and 12 other species that cannot be found in any other part of Uganda; the wildlife includes elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, oribi, spotted hyenas, monkeys and a few other animals.
Mt Elgon national park is a one stop place for all your safari needs because of its beautiful mountain and vegetation scenery which can be seen both from the top of the mountain (Mt Elgon) and on the slopes, the variety of birds that will meet all your bird watching needs, the diverse wildlife that gives you an opportunity to enjoy a variety of wild animals, different caves and old cave paintings for your viewing and exploration pleasure, nature walks, community walks and ceremonies like Imbalu to get you acquitted with the natives’ cultures and the magnificent Sipi and Chebonet falls that will leave you amazed at the area’s beauty.
The park prides in a wide range of activities that include mountain climbing for all kinds of climbers (experienced and inexperienced), rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, birding, nature walks community encounters and trips to experience the Sipi and Chebonet falls, Mount Elgon National Park .
With all that and much more you are sure to have yourself an all-inclusive, fun filled safari.
You can visit Mt. Elgon National Park any time of the year. Most people prefer the summer because of the warm weather, though some people actually say the winter is better because of the chill, whatever you pick, you be assured you will enjoy your time at the park.
A Safari at the park, takes about a minimum of three days but if you combine it with the mountain hiking it takes more than a week because the hiking experience takes about 5 to 7 days. This also depends on the number of activities you would like to do on your on your Uganda safari.
Usually people that visit Mt. Elgon National park combine the safari with a visit in Jinja, sipi falls and Mbale city. It’s what they call a comprehensive eastern region tour. Also on this safari you can visit the locals and communities around the area and get to learn more about the cultures in Eastern Uganda, this will give you a better understanding of the people in Uganda.