Visiting Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon National Park in Uganda.

Visiting Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano that sits within Mount Elgon National Park – a park that contains around 1147 square kilometres of mountain. While it is possible to scale the summit in under three days, allowing slightly longer gives guests plenty of opportunity to explore everything the area has to offer.

Climbing Mount Elgon is generally considered to be less strenuous when compared to other famous destinations in East Africa. For a start, because of its lower elevation and milder climate, there is no need for special equipment or technical expertise. All that’s really needed is a sense of adventure and an experienced local guide who will make sure you get the most out of your experience.

Its deserted moorlands and cool slopes are home to a range of flora and fauna, and the perfect place to grow coffee. Mount Elgon is endowed with some of the most beautiful caves, cliffs, gorges and waterfalls in the country.

What trails can I follow when visiting Mount Elgon?

There are three main trails, although these can be combined, adapted and varied depending on the needs of our guests.

The Sasa trail starts at Budadiri town and leads explorers through BaMasaba farming settlements, bamboo forests, Jackson’s Pool and ultimately, Wagagai Peak.

The Sipi Trail, a four to six-day round trip, sets off from Kapkwai Forest Exploration Centre and passes through the northern side of the mountain before reaching Wagagai Peak.

Meanwhile, the Piswa Trail, although the longest trail at seven days is also the most gentle. Alternatively, because the higher slopes of Mount Elgon share a boundary with a park in Kenya, it is also possible to arrange a cross-border hike.

What can I see at Mount Elgon National Park?

  • Caldera – visitors are encouraged to walk down into the volcano’s caldera, to see the hot springs
  • Caves – the slopes have many caves, including Kapkwai and Khauka
  • Sipi Falls – offers gorgeous views of the mountain and the Karamoja plains. This stunning African beauty spot is popular with hikers as many trails start here. The area is also known for its Arabica coffee, which grows well in the higher altitude.

Birding at Mount Elgon National Park

Mt. Elgon boasts over 240 species of birds, including the Alpine Chat, Moorland Francolin and Moustached Green Tinkerbird.

The park’s altitude and rainfall create a unique habitat which attracts species specific to the region, including the Black Collared Apalis, Jackson’s Francolin, Pallid Honeyguide, and the endangered Lammergeyer.

This truly is a birder’s paradise.

What else can I do as part of my visit to Mount Elgon?

Visitors can combine a trip to Mount Elgon with Pian Upe Game Reserve, Kidepo Valley National Park or the Karamoja region.

Adventure activities near Mount Elgon include cycling, marathon running, abseiling at Sipi and of course everything that Jinja has to offer, as visitors typically pass the adventure capital of East Africa en route to Elgon.

If you would like to arrange a climbing and hiking holiday to Mount Elgon, please complete our enquiry form telling us about your requirements.