Moutin Elgon National Park is 140 kilometers North East of the Lake Victoria, covering area of 1,279 square kilometres divided by the border of Uganda and Kenya as the Ugandan part covers 1,110 km2 while Kenya covers 169 kilometres. This park was named after the extinct shield volcano which first erupted more than 24 million years ago and has largest extinct volcano in the world with 4,321m peak high is the Eighth highest in Africa, named after the Elgonnyi tribe who once lived in the huge caves of southsides of the mountain to both Kenyan Masai tribe and the Ugandan Massawa tribe, Mt Elgon is known as Ol Doinyo llgoon which means ‘breast mountain’.
Elgony was the Masai name for the mountain , the Scottish explorer Sir Joseph Thompson visited the southern side of the mountain in 1883 ,in 1890 Fredrick (later Sir Fredrick) Jackson and Ernest Gedge traversed the caldera from the north to the south. The first person to climb Mt Elgon was Robert Stigler followed by Rudolf Kmunke.
Moutain Elgon National Park consists of five major peaks i.e., Wagagai (4,321 metres (14,177 ft) in Uganda. Sudek (4,302 metres (14,114 ft) on the Kenya/Uganda border, Koitobos 13,852 feet (4,222m), Mubiyi 13,816 feet (4211 m) and Masaba 13,653 feet (4,161m), the mountain act as source of River Turkwel flowing in to lake Turkana and Nzoia in Kenya feeding into Lake Victoria in Kenya and River Malakisi draining into Lake Kyoga in Uganda. Mt Elgon National Park borders Mbale city in the East of Uganda coordinating 01 08 00 N34 35 00 E governed by two different bodies Kenya Wildlife Service on Kenya side and Uganda Wildlife Authority on Uganda side.
climate moutain Elgon
Moutain Elgon national park has moist to moderate dry season; Annual rain falls is over 1,270 millimeters (50 in). The dry season run starting from June to August and from December to march although it can rain anytime.
The area receives bimodal pattern of rainfall, generally with wettest period occurring April to October mean annual rainfall ranges 1500mm on eastern side and northern slopes 2000mm as the min maximum and the minimum temperature are 23 degrees and 15 degrees.
Wildlife In Moutain Elgon National park
The lower slopes of Mt Elgon are inhabited with animals like elephants, buffalo, and variety of small antelope. The dense montane forest contains primates such as black and white colobus monkey and the blue monkey, the park has birds including Tacazze sunbird and the lammergeier. With vegetation varies with altitude are covered with olive olea hochstetteri and aningueria adolfi-friedericii wet Montane.
Activities In Moutain Elgon National Park
Hiking is the major thing that will inspire your trip there with the shortest trail known as The Sasa trail but most challenging is a four-day round trip. This is the original route to Wagagai, Mt Elgon 4,321m peak. The trail starts from Budadiri town in the Eastern Region of Uganda at an altitude of 1,250m as tough day involves a tough ascent of 1,650 m. climbing mt Elgon takes to 4-6 hours depending on the trail used there are four main starting points, the Sasa trail, Pisa trail, Sipi trail and the Suam trail as this gives you the most rewarding safari in Uganda and mt elgon is arguably the coldest mountain in Uganda.
Birding In mountain Elgon National park
Mt Elgon National Park has bird species about 296 with 40 that are almost limited to the park, some birds include as follow
-African pied wagtail
-Western yellow wagtail
-Northern grey -headed sparrow
-Red-cheeked cordon leu
-Norther double-collared sunbird
-Collared sun bird
-African Dusky flycatcher
-Red winged starling
-Red billed starling
-Brown woodland -warbler
-Eastern mountain greenbul
-Slender billed greenbul
-White headed sawing
-Cinnamon bracken -warbler
-Mountain yellow warbler
-White -bellied tit
-White necked raven
-Meyers parrot and many more
-Biking through this magnificent trail lasts between one and a half hours to two hours and offers the most incredible views of the three falls. Tourists planning to do this activity must know that bikes are not provided along, but can be hired from neighboring lodges and arrangement is done in advance.
-There are five designated campsites at Sasa river, Mude cave, Hunters cave, Piswa patrol hut and the Kapkwata rest house, this is the best for fresh air numerous benefits.
Accessing moutain elgon national park
-From Kampala, the first leg is on the tarmac road that runs through Jinja to Mbale a city in the Eastern Region of Uganda the road then climbs to Kapchorwa on mt Elgon north west side, By air visitors can fly using domestic charters or scheduled flight that runs all safari destination, travelers can book a charter flight in advance from Entebbe international airport.
The distance between Kampala and Mt Elgon is 238 kilometers and the flight from Entebbe International Airport to Mt. Elgon National Park takes about 1:15 hour from Entebbe to Kisumu International Airport