Mount Elgon National Park
ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN
Mountain. Elgon is an extinct massive solitary volcanowhich borders eastern Uganda and western Kenya that first erupted more than 24 million years ago. With the largest surface area of any extinct volcano in the world (50km by 80 km, Mountain Elgon is the forth highest mountain in East Africa and with the second highest peak in Uganda. (Warangal peak 4321 meters). It is surrounded by rugged peaks a collapsed crater, with the largest intact caldera on top the mountain. Mountain Elgon National Park acts as water catchments and receives up to 3000mm per year which is released to support flora and fauna. Around the park there are two ethnic groups that of the Bags’ and sabiny .The two ethnic groups practice subsistence farming and conduct circumcision ceremonies every after a year to prepare young men/women for challenges of adulthood. The two communities have made an agreement with the park for sustainable harvest of the traditional products
FLORA AND FAUNA
Mountain. Elgon’s enchanting slopes are being put in use that is the lower slope is intensively farmed up to the park boundary. The park consists of four-distinct forest zones;(3000-3500) the lush montane forest where Elgon teak is found followed by the mixed bamboo belt (2400-3000m), the fascinating heath and the spectacular moorland hyraces which contain stands of some of the most rare and endemic plant species like the Giant Lobelia Elgonensis and dotted clusters of peculiar groundsels, which are unique to Africa. .The dense scrubs and brilliant everlasting wild flowers that will add to your Mountain Elgon adventure also encounters to this park.
Bird lovers will enjoy about 300 bird species including the endangered Lammergeiers, the rare Jackson’s Francolin, Guinea fowls, sunbirds and Turacos among other.
Several primates inhabit the mountain like the. Forest monkeys which fill the forest canopy as giant forest Hog, Bushbuck, Antelope, Civet, Wildcat and the exclusive Leopard roam below. Bush Duiker, Hyena, Jackal, Rock Hyrax, Buffalo and Elephant rove between the forest and moorland. Many of the animals visit Mountain Elgon for their valuable mineral deposits found at the caves.
Visiting Mountain 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. During the dry seasons of June-August and December –March are the best times to visit Mountain Elgon National Park. No technical climbing equipment or skills are required, as all major peaks are accessible.
MOUNT ELGON TREKKING:
Trailheads and Routes
The trailheads (starting points) that lead to the mountains peak are three. You may choose ascend from Budadiri (Sasa trailhead), forest Exploration Center- Kapkwai (Sipi trailhead) or Kapkwata (Piswa trailhead).
This route is easily accessible from Mbale and is the most direct route to the peaks though steep with rugged climb of over 1600m on the first day. It passes through the parks largest area of bamboo forest.
It offers the spectacular Tatum cave hidden within extensive forest which starts from the forest Exploration Centre at Kapkwai which penetrates the dense montane forest to visit Chebonet Falls
Piswa trail is enowned 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 route. Each trial/ route has camping stages with nearby water source as well as tent pads and latrines. The park is developing a trekkers hut at Mude cave on Sasa trail.
Suam trail starts in the village of Suaum on the Kenyan border crossing; it follows the Suam River through the steep and spectacular Suam Gorge to the hot spring on the E astern side of caldera
There are different lodges found in Mountain Elgon National Park and these are Sipi River Lodge, lacam lodge, sipi falls and Mbale resort hotel
Sipi falls lodge
Sipi Falls is home to a series of three spectacular waterfalls, some of the best Arabica coffee in the world, world class mountain biking and beautiful sunsets! Sipi falls sits just outside Mount Elgon National Park which is the home of an incredible number of bird species as well as being the largest volcanic base in the world.
Sipi Falls is a place to enjoy the challenges of the mountains, and also a place just to relax and unwind in a cool peaceful climate.
The Lodge is set amongst 17 acres of private grounds, which include the 80m Kapsurur Falls (the second of the three Sipi waterfalls), several caves and peaceful gardens to explore. The Lodge is run with only a small number of guests at any one time making it a very ‘home away from home’ experience and we pride ourselves on the personal service we offer our guests.
Lacam Lodge is situated on slopes of Mount Elgon in Eastern Uganda with clear views of the magnificent Sipi falls.
Spacious bandas made of local timber and grass thatch from the Lacam plains, each with 2 double beds, shower and toilet as well as large private verandas.
There are also tents for camping. Tourists are advised to carry their tents and camping gear .You will camp at our well-maintained terraces at the cliff.
Walk to the base of the falls and around Lacam village, nature walks at the nearby forest exploration centre, rock climbing can also be arranged on request. Cool your temperature by swimming at the foot of the falls
Mbale Resort Lodge
Mbale Resort Hotel offers the atmost environment for your accommodation with splender and delight. The hotel has 19 rooms all with an ambiance that will sooth your mind and set your soul free. Mbale Resort Lodge offers quality services and a comfort stay. All rooms meet international hotel standards and offer an experience that will make you stay longer.
The rooms have balconies with spectacular panoramic views of the Wanale, the Pool and the Ampitheater.. Each room feels rich and timeless and has all the amenities to pamper the guests. Be ready to experience an entirely new level of affordable luxury.
All the rooms offer;
- Satelite TV
- Wireless Internet
- Room telephone
- Safety Deposit Box
- Bathrobe and slippers
CAMPING AT THE MOUNTAIN
Nine basic campsites are located at strategic points along the trekking circuit. Please respect the park regulations by camping only at designated campsites. Mountain Elgon National Park camping is primitive and all necessary camping equipment must be carried with you. Tents and sleeping bags are available for hire at the park.
RANGERS AND PORTERS
A trained ranger guide is required on all trekking excursion to show you the way and enriches your journey by interpreting the environment and ensuring your safety. Local porters make your trip even easier by carrying up to 18kgof supplies, in addition to collecting water, cooking and preparing camp. Trained rangers guides and local porters are available at each trailhead.