Activities at Mount Elgon National Park
Mountain Elgon National Park is more known for mountain climbing and nature walks. Apart from reaching the peak, climbing Mount Elgon offers great opportunities to explore a massive caldera, caves, cliffs, gorges, hot springs, mesas and waterfalls. Mount Elgon National Park has a sizeable population of large mammals like elephants, buffaloes and primates. Apart from climbing the mountain, tourists visit the park for game viewing, nature walks, bird watching, cave exploration and camping. Activities can be arranged both inside and outside the park to places like the Sipi Falls and Wildlife reserves in Kapchorwa
Mountain Climbing and Hiking
Travelers around the world find Mountain Elgon a very appropriate substitute to the more vigorous climbs in East Africa with various attractions, placid climate and lower elevation which does not require any equipment/ technical experience to get to the top but rather determination and interest. There are always major three trails followed while at Mount Elgon that is;
The Sasa Trail: This is the shortest and most difficult to trail to the peaks requiring one to cross the community land so as to discover the unique Bamasaba farming settlements and culture, this entire trip takes 4 days and begins from Budadiri town at an elevation of 1,250m. It is most difficult climb because its elevation of more than 1,600m and this usually ends on the first day before crossing the park’s vast area of bamboo forest. While on the trail, you will pass via Jackson’s Pool then move forward to Wagagai Peak.
The Sipi trail: This trail takes 4-6 days in a 56km round trip and begins at the Kapkwai Forest Exploration Centre at 2,050m.It is the longest trail to the peaks and goes through the North western mountainside via Tutum Cave to enter the caldera then proceed towards Wagagai Peak. It starts smoothly then becomes quite difficult on the third day from Kajeri Camp.
The Piswa trail: This trail takes 7 days about a 49km round trip and is long and very tender to trail which begins from the village of Kapkwata situated along the northern slopes of the mountain crossing the moderate wood plantation to the Podocarpus forest. This trail is known for its rich wildlife species and wonderful views of the Karamoja Plains, Nandi and Kapeguris hills in Kenya. This also goes through the hot springs on the way to the caldera and the peaks.
Birding at Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon national park is a home to over 300 species of birds including restricted-range species, 56 of the 87 Afro tropical highland biome species live here, notably the Moorland Francolin, Moustached Green Tinker bird and Alpine Chat. Bird watching in Mount Elgon national park involves spotting species found nowhere else. Birds can be spotted in several places including the thick shrubs of the park, the Cheptui falls and at the Forest Exploration centre in Kapwai. The park is home to the African Blue Fly-catchers, African Goshawk, Baglafecht Weaver, Black and White Casqued, Chin-spot Batis and the Baglafecht Weaver, black collared Apalis, Black-shouldered Kite, Chubb’s Cisticola, Crowned Hornbills, eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Doherty’s and Luhder’s Bush-Shrikes, Golden Winged and Tacazze sunbirds, Hartlaub’s turaco, Mackinon’s Fiscal, Ross’s and Hartlaubs Turacos, White-chinned Prinia. In Uganda, the endangered Jackson’s Francolin and lammergeyer are only found in Mount Elgon national park.
Game drives and Wildlife viewing
Mountain Elgon national Park is a great place for wildlife viewing. Game drives are arranged to take tourists to the best location where to see the animals. Among the animals to look out for are the hyena, leopard and duiker. The park has several primates like the blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, colobus monkeys and buffalo.
Cultural tours around Mount Elgon National Park
The community walk-in and around Mount Elgon is done mostly for the Budadiri community which is best cultural center to enjoy the dances, nature walks, Malewa meals, coffee tours and many more. One can also choose to engage in the trail to Namugabwe caves, through the Bamasaba community land and Banana plantations for a great historical learning opportunity. Another main practice done by the bagisu community around Mount Elgon is Bagisu-Imbalu where boys are circumcised in order to become a man and respected in this community. You will enjoy the celebrations as family and friends circumcise and females gather to have a look at new eligible bachelors.