Mount Elgon National Park
Mountain Elgon found in eastern Uganda along its border with Kenya is an extinct volcano believed to have first erupted over twenty four million back. It is recorded to have the widest surface area of an extinct-volcano in the whole world measuring 50 by 80 kilometers. In East Africa, this is the 4th highest mountain but the second highest in Uganda with its highest peak – the Wagagi standing at 4321 meters. The mountain crater found on the top covers about 40 kilometers and its enclosed several rocky peaks. It offers a number of fascinating tourist activities which you can enjoy during your visit here.
Wildlife in Mountain Elgon National Park
Mountain Elgon National Park is recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere and offers habitat to over 300 species of bird species including the Lammergeyer –an endangered species; several mammals as well as a variety of primates.
There are a number of animals living here among which are: civet cats, spotted hyenas, leopards, Defassa waterbucks, bush pig, buffaloes, bushbucks, duikers, tree hyraxes, aardvark oribis, serval cats, elephants as well as forest hogs. However its quite rare to see these animals during the hikes and nature walks
Although there are several primates here, some of the commonly seen species include: the baboons, black and white colobus, blue colobus, red tailed monkeys, De Brazza’s as well as vervet
With a bird list of 300 species, this park offers great Bird Watching Tours. Among these are 56 of the 87 Afro-tropical highland biome species including the Moustached Green Tinker bird. Other birds in this park include: Black-collared Apalis, Tacazze Sunbird, Jackson’s Francolin as well as the Black-shouldered Kite among several others.
Areas of Interest In and Around the Park
Visiting the Nyero Rock Paintings
Approximately 65 kilometers north of the vibrant town of Mbale town you will find the Nyero Rock Paintings a site showing some of these best ancient rock arts across the east African regions. On the large granite out-crop are three art panels however the second one is the most visited and it displaces human figures and canoes.
Visit the Sipi Falls
Along the slopes of this mountain you will see large cliffs over which streams and rivers flow and most stunning of these are the Sipi Falls found on river Sipi. This beautiful waterfall presents in three levels with the lowest level of the fall making a drop of over 100 meters with the water slashing against the various large rocks offering a breathtaking view.
The second level makes a 69 meter drop while the third and highest makes a drop of 87 meters. There are also beautiful caves behind these waterfalls which you can explore and these offer a great opportunity for photography.
Hiking is the number one tourist activity in this park. There are a number of hikes ranging from the short half day hikes to the longer four (4) days hikes. Most of the mountain hikes including visiting the Sipi Falls, cave painting as well as the hot-springs found in the caldera.
Mountain Elgon has five main peaks and these include: the Masaba Peak at 4,161 meters, Mubiyi Peak at 4,211 meters, Koitobos Peak at 4,222 meters, Sudek Peak at 4,302 meters and the Wagagai Peak at 4,321 meters which is the highest. The good news about this mountain is that it offers a less challenging mountaineering experience that even unprofessional climbers can take on this challenge without using any special hiking mountain climbing equipment. You will have an opportunity to reach the mountain peaks, enjoy beautiful views as well as take photographs.
When is the best time to visit Mountain Elgon National Park?
Mountain Elgon National Park can be visited all year round however the best time to visit this park especially for hiking or mountain climbing adventures is during the dry-months of January, February, March, June, July, August and December.