Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano that first erupted more than 24 million years ago. With the largest surface area of an extinct volcano in the world (50km by 80 km, Mt Elgon is the fourth highest mountain in East Africa, with the second-highest peak in Uganda. (Wagagai peak 4321 meters). It contains the largest intact caldera, a collapsed crater covering over 40kms at the top of the mountain, surrounded by e series of rugged peaks. The Bagisu and sabinyi are the two ethnic tribes around the mountain. They practice subsistence farming and conduct circumcision ceremonies every even year to prepare young men/women for the challenges of adulthood. The two communities have made an agreement with the park for the sustainable harvest of the traditional products.
More information about ElgonNational Park, Elgon Mountain Climbing in Uganda, Mount Elgon National Park
Flora and Fauna
There are meet four-distinct forest types; the lush montane forest where you will find the Elgon teak, mixed bamboo belt, the fascinating heath and the spectacular moorland
Visiting Mt. Elgon National Park presents an exciting setting for extended hikes, interesting and unique flora and fauna, magnificent waterfalls, enormous caves, scenic peaks, gorges and hot springs, which bubble up at 48°c. The best times to visit are during the drier seasons from June to August and December to March. No technical climbing equipment or skills are required, as all major peaks are accessible.
Trekking: trailheads and routes
There are three main trailheads (starting points) that lead to the peak of the mountain. You may choose to begin your ascend from either Budadiri (Sasa trailhead), forest Exploration Center- Kapkwai (Sipi trailhead) or Kapkwata (Piswa trailhead). Sasa trail is easily accessible from Mbale and is the most direct route to the peaks though steep with a rugged climb of over 1600m on the first day.
It passes through the park’s largest area of bamboo forest. Sipi trail offers the spectacular Tutum cave hidden within extensive forest, while the Piswa trial is renowned for the towering podocarpus forest, an excellent place for wildlife viewing. In contrast, Sipi and Piswa trials start at much higher elevations with a longer more gradual climb to the peaks.
After visiting the peaks you can either return using the same trials or descend via different routes with has camping.
A trained ranger guide is required on all trekking excursions to show you the way and enriches your journey by interpreting the environment and ensuring your safety.
How to get to Mount Elgon National Park|Traveling to Mount Elgon National Park
The park can be accessed by Bus via Tirinyi Road to Mbale
OR from Kampala, Tororo Mbale