MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK AT A GLANCE
This extinct volcano is one of Uganda's oldest physical features, first erupting around 24 millionyears ago.Mt Elgon was once Africa's highest mountain, far exceeding Kilimanjaro’s current 5,895m.Millennia of erosion have reduced its height to 4,321m, relegating it to the 4th highest peak inEast Africa and 8th on the continent.
Mt Elgon is home to two tribes, the Bagisu and the Sabiny, with the marginalized Ndorobos forced to dwell deep within the forest of Benet.The Bagisu, also known as the BaMasaba, consider Mount Elgon to be the embodiment of their founding father Masaba and refer to the mountain by this name.
At 4,000km² Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the world. Located on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding plains. The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna.
Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer. The higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya, creating an extensive trans-boundary conservation area which has been declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve.
A climb on Mt. Elgon’s deserted moorlands unveils a magnificent and uncluttered wilderness without the summit-oriented approach common to many mountains: the ultimate goal onreaching the top of Mt. Elgon is not the final ascent to the 4321m Wagagai Peak, but thedescent into the vast 40km² caldera.
This is considered the longest way to get to the summit within 4-5 days but it has a steep beginning. Once this is dealt with, the rest becomes easy and gentle but intensive. You will set off from Riverline Hotel on boda boda to the starting point of the Bushiyi patrol office where the starting point is.
Day 1: After morning break fast at Riverline Hotel,You will then board boda bodas to the starting point in Bushiyi Village through the community to the park for a close distance of 8-9kms to the patrol office in Bududa village,Arrival at Bushiyi Gate for the
registrations, briefing, meet the ranger guides, porters, and the cook and start off the hike for a distance of about 11kms on a steep climb to the first camp of Dubi 3,563m A.s.l then have lunch, sunset views on the stunning ranges and overnight as you retire to your beds to acclimatize and prepare for the second day.
Day 2:As the sun rise, we will be up for the breakfast, set off while enjoying the scenic route to Wagagai peak, view over Kenyan Site, experiencing moorland endemic vegetation likeScenocia, Mzungu hairy plant, encounter Giant Lobelia and heather plants. However, we will be gaining more meters plus, within this zone, meaning there’s little oxygen and sipping water of water and snack bite is highly recommendable to keep up the energy level. After summiting the peak, we will descend to Jackson pool then to our camp at Mwongogo Cave Camp 3,810masl for the 2nd night.
Day 3:Departure from Mwongongo cave camp en-routing to Kajeri, is a top scenic trail walkingdownstream and in between magnificent Mubiyi rocks while detouring Mount Mubiyi, overlooking Simu Valley is yet another absolute gorgeous and captivating day of its own.
The distance make up 12km with few inclines along. As soon as you arrive at Kajeri Camp, you will be served with hot lunch then have few minutes of rest and after you will make up a decision whether to proceed or spend a night. Or continue later for another 11.5km to Tutum Cave camp which an advantage is, is a short distance to the exit gate.
Day 4: Our final day of exploration will come to an end via Sipi gate, check out, and board Boda Bodas to bring us down to Sipi Village where you will have personal decision whether to have a night here or proceed to your next destination.
- Good hiking shoes
- Rain Jacket
- Pairs of light and warm socks
- Extra batteries for your camera/s
- Dry snacks
- Water and energy drinks
- A light backpack for carrying personal stuffs.
- Hand gloves to keep warm
- Pain killers
- Head lamp/torch
- Light and heavy sweaters.