MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK IN UGANDA
Mount Elgon National Park is one of Uganda’s protected areas and is found in far eastern Uganda, on the border with Kenya. The park covers an area of 1,279 square kilometers and is named after Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano that is the park’s centerpiece.
The park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, including several species of primates, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, and over 300 species of birds. It is also home to the largest caldera in the world, which measures 8 km in diameter.
Visitors to Mount Elgon National Park can engage in a range of activities, including hiking, mountain climbing, bird watching, nature walks, and cultural visits to the neighboring communities. The park has several hiking trails, including the Sasa Trail, which takes hikers to the peak of Mount Elgon, and the Piswa Trail, which passes through beautiful bamboo forests and gives remarkable points about the park’s waterfalls.
The park has several accommodation options, including camping sites, self-contained cottages, and lodges. The best time to visit the park is between June and August, and from December to March, when the weather is mild and dry.
How to reach Mount Elgon national park from Kampala by road?
Mount Elgon National Park can be reached from Kampala by road. The journey takes approximately 4-6 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions. Here are the steps to reach the park from Kampala:
The journey starts from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, from Kampala, take the Kampala-Jinja highway, which is a well-maintained tarmac road. You will pass through the town of Jinja, which is about 80 kilometers from Kampala. After Jinja, take the Iganga-Tirinyi-Mbale road, which is a paved road that passes through several towns and villages. The town of Mbale is about 230 kilometers from Kampala and is the gateway to Mount Elgon National Park. From Mbale, it’s about a 50-kilometer drive to the park entrance. You can either take a private taxi or hire a car to get you to the park. Once you arrive at the park entrance, you will be required to pay the park fees and register with the park authorities.
Kisoro Tours Uganda recommends using a 4-wheel drive vehicle, most especially during the rainy season, as the roads can be rough and muddy. Travel with Kisoro Tours Uganda for the best lifetime experience.
Tourist activities in Mount Elgon national park?
Mount Elgon National Park offers a range of tourist activities, including:
- Hiking and Mountain Climbing:
Mount Elgon is the park’s centerpiece and offers several hiking and climbing routes for tourists. The Sasa Trail is the most popular hiking trail of Mt Elgon, which takes you to the peak of the mountain. It’s recommended to hire a guide for your safety and to enhance your experience.
- Nature Walks:
The park has several nature trails that offer tourists an opportunity to explore the park’s flora and fauna. The Kapkwai Forest Exploration Center is a great starting point for nature walks, with several trails that pass through bamboo and montane forests.
- Bird Watching:
Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 bird species, including the endangered Lammergeyer, which is the largest bird of prey in Africa. The best bird-watching spots in the park include the Tutum Cave and the Forest Exploration Center.
- Cultural Visits:
The park is surrounded by several communities, including the Bagisu and Sabiny tribes. You can take a cultural tour to learn about the tribes’ traditions, beliefs, and customs.
The park has several designated camping sites, including the Kapkwata and the Hunters Cave Campsites. You can rent camping gear from the park authorities or bring your own.
- Wildlife Viewing:
The park has several wildlife species, including elephants, buffaloes, bushbucks, duikers, and several primate species, such as the black and white colobus, blue monkey, and vervet monkey. The park authorities provide guided wildlife viewing tours.
- Rock Climbing and Abseiling:
Mount Elgon has several rock faces and cliffs that offer exciting rock climbing and abseiling opportunities for experienced climbers.
Kisoro Tours Uganda recommends you book your activities in advance to enable us to guide you and help you navigate the park safely for a lifetime experience.
Hotels for accommodation to tourists in Mount Elgon national park?
There are many accommodation options where tourists can find comfort and stay, these hotels are categorized into three different categories depending on the services provided that is; budget, mid-range, and luxury hotels and lodges, which include:
- Mount Elgon Hotel & Spa: This is a luxury hotel located in Mbale town, which is about 50 kilometers from the park. The hotel has 52 rooms, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a spa.
- Sipi River Lodge: This is a mid-range lodge located about 40 kilometers from the park. The lodge has several cottages and tents, a restaurant, and a bar. It also offers several activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and coffee tours.
- Suam Guesthouse: This is a budget guesthouse located near the park entrance. The guesthouse has several rooms and a restaurant.
- Noah’s Ark Hotel & Lodges: This is a budget hotel located about 25 kilometers from the park. The hotel has several rooms, a restaurant, and a bar.
- Mbale Resort Hotel: This is a mid-range hotel located in Mbale town, which is about 50 kilometers from the park. The hotel has 94 rooms, a restaurant, a swimming pool, and a conference center.
- Kapkwata Guesthouse: This is a budget guesthouse located inside the park. The guesthouse has several rooms, a restaurant, and camping facilities.
Kisoro Tours Uganda recommends you book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak season, to avoid disappointment and also to enable us to serve you well, it can be done in our comment question or by sending us an email.
What should be considered in the packing list for tourists going to hike Mount Elgon?
If you are planning a visit to Mount Elgon National Park, here is a suggested packing list of essential items to consider:
Hiking Boots: The Park has several hiking trails, and a good pair of hiking boots is essential for comfort and safety.
Warm Clothing: The Park has cool temperatures, especially at night and in the early morning, so pack warm clothing such as a fleece jacket, warm pants, and gloves.
Rain Gear: Mount Elgon National Park receives rainfall throughout the year, so it’s recommended to pack rain gear such as a waterproof jacket and pants.
Insect Repellent: The Park has several insect species, including mosquitoes, so pack insect repellent to avoid bites.
First Aid Kit: A small first aid kit with basic supplies such as bandages, antiseptic cream, and pain relievers is recommended in case of minor injuries or illnesses.
Camera and Binoculars: The Park has several wildlife and bird species, so pack a camera and binoculars to capture the beautiful scenery and wildlife.
Sunscreen and Hat: The sun can be intense, so pack sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin from the sun.
Water Bottle: It’s important to stay hydrated during hikes and walks, so pack a water bottle and fill it up with clean water from the park.
Snacks: Pack energy snacks such as granola bars, nuts, and fruits to keep you fueled during hikes and walks.
Backpack: A small backpack is essential to carry your items during hikes and walks.
It’s important to pack light and only carry the essentials, especially if you plan to hike or climb Mount Elgon. Additionally, Kisoro Tours Uganda recommends you check with them first or the park authorities for any specific packing recommendations before your visit.
Different wildlife and plant species in Mount Elgon National Park in Uganda?
Mount Elgon National Park is known for its rich biodiversity, with several wildlife and plant species. Here are some examples:
Wildlife Species in Mt Elgon National Park:
Elephants: Mount Elgon National Park is home to a small population of elephants.
Buffalos: Buffalos are common in the park and are often seen near the rivers.
Bushbucks: These are small antelopes that are found in the forested areas of the park.
Duikers: Duikers are small antelopes that are found in the forested areas of the park.
Primates: The Park has several primate species, including black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys.
Birds: Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 bird species, including the endangered Lammergeyer, which is the largest bird of prey in Africa.
Bamboo: Bamboo is common in the park and is found on the lower slopes of Mount Elgon.
Montane Forest: The park has several Montane forests, which are home to several plant species, including orchids, ferns, and giant lobelias.
Heathland: The heathland is found on the higher slopes of Mount Elgon and is characterized by several plant species, including tussock grasses and giant lobelias.
Elgon Olive: The Elgon Olive is an endemic tree species that is found only in Mount Elgon National Park.
Giant Groundsels: The giant groundsels are towering plants that are found on the higher slopes of Mount Elgon.
Giant Lobelias: The giant lobelias are plants that are found in the heathland and montane forests of the park and grow to more than 6 meters tall.
Mount Elgon National Park in Uganda is a unique destination for nature lovers, with its diverse wildlife and plant species. for more information, you can reach out to us via email: at email@example.com or call us at +256785790925 also on WhatsApp