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Mountain Elgon National Park, named for the extinct volcano Elgon, which is located at 4321 metres above sea level with Wagagai as its highest peak, is one of the few places in Uganda where mountain hiking is permitted. The conservation area covers an area of 1145 square kilometres. The national park borders Kenya and Uganda to the east. The Bagisu and Kalenjin people of Eastern Uganda are the indigenous people who live along the mountain’s greatest foot base, which is home to human settlements. On the Ugandan side, Mountain Elgon National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

Mountain Elgon National Park

The country’s oldest physical feature is an extinct volcano that was once Africa’s highest mountain. However, due to continuous weathering and an eruption that occurred over 24 million years ago, the mountain’s height was reduced, making it the fourth highest in Africa. What’s amazing about the natives’ history on the mountain is that they believe Masaba, their leader, founded it. For this reason, the mountain is known locally as Mountain Masaba. The national conservation reserve safeguards the peak’s highest points. There are other falls in addition to the well-known three series of the stunning Sipi Falls, such as the Chebonet cascades, in case someone would prefer a different walk. Sipi Falls emerges directly from the forest and forms spectacular, attractive cascades.

The lush vegetation of Mount Elgon National Park serves as a home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, spotted hyenas, buffaloes, waterbucks, oribi, duikers, and primates like black and white colobus and blue monkeys. The park is also home to over 300 species of birds, making it a popular destination for birdwatching safaris. Notable species include the African reed warbler, little rush warbler, yellow-bellied hylicota, African hill barbler, and thick-billed honey guide. These days, it’s rare to witness many animal species.

Hiking is a popular activity in the national park. The largest caldera in the world can be found there, making a climb through the barren moorlands an amazing way to take in the park’s magnificent beauty. The main reason to visit the national park is to hike to the summit of Wagagi, the highest mountain peak. There are three main hiking trails that lead to the summit: the Budadiri trail, which starts in Sasa, the Kapkwai exploration centre, and the Piswa trail.

A variety of monkey species can be seen along the fascinating bamboo trail that winds through the caves, and guided nature hikes through the national park are a thrilling experience. Amazing cave tours may be found throughout the national park. In the old, prosperous days, the native people lived in these caves to avoid the cold.

The national park offers wonderful bird viewing opportunities, with over 300 different species to choose from, including a large number of forest birds. A few examples of species are sunbirds, black collared apalis, and Jackson’s coloured francolins.

Travelling from Kampala to the park takes about six hours by road, and along the way are picturesque rolling hills and tea plantations. Sipi River Lodge, Lacam Lodge, and Crow’s Nest are just a few examples of the luxurious accommodations that are available.

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