Mount elgon national park is located in-between Kenya and Ugandan border with an area cover of 1,279 square kilometers where uganda covers 1,110km2 and Kenya only covers 169 square kilometers. The national park obtained its name from mount elgon an extinct volcano which is shared by two countries. Mount elgon national park was first gazetted by Kenya in 1968 and later uganda in 1992 gazetted its area.
Mountain elgon is known to be the oldest physical feature in uganda and its believed to have erupted so many years ago. The mountain has 4 high peaks with the highest being wagagai standing at 4321 and found in Uganda. Other peaks include kiongo peak standing at 4303 meters, mubiyi standing at 4210 meters and Jackson’s peak standing at 4165 meters. The peaks and the amazing sceneries make the Uganda safari within the national park fantastic and memorable.
ATTRACTIONS IN MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Mount elgon national park has a good vegetation cover that is found on mt elgon which is a home to a number of various bird species. The national park has over 299 bird species were 12 are natives and can’t be found elsewhere such as moorland green tinker bird, Jackson’s francolin, hunters cisticola, black-collared apalis, red-throated wryneck among others. Other birds include white-starred forest robin, black-shouldered kite, tacazze sunbird, eastern bronze-naped pigeon, hartlaub’s turaco among others.
Mountain elgon is the major attraction within the national park and it was named after the volcanic mountain which is located in the middle of the park. The mountain is ranked fourth highest mountain in east Africa and 8th in Africa and has 4 peaks that is wagagai, Jackson’s peak, kiongo peak and mubiyi peak. Therefore, for one to have access to the national park from Kenya, they can access the entry permit from Kenya wildlife services whereas in uganda one can get the entry permit from Uganda wildlife authority.
While on a Uganda safari in mt elgon national park, tourists can’t miss out visiting the falls. The spectacular tutum cave is found in the middle of the extensive forest. The falls are created when the sipi river meets the end of the volcanic rock at the border of the cave. When the falls within the national park aren’t toured then the safari is incomplete.
The national park is a home to wildlife such as waterbucks, duiker, oribi, monkeys, spotted hyenas among others. There tourists on their safari within mount elgon national park are able to spot a number of different wildlife species.
FLORA IN MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
The national park is a habitat to plant life. The slopes of the mountain give support to the rich diversity of altitudinal kind of vegetation that range from montane to open moorland vegetation which is scattered with plant species. The shrubs are thick with nice flowers which makes them attractive.
ACTIVITIES IN MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Hiking is the major activity within mount elgon national park. While on this safari, tourists have hiking trails such as sasa trail, sipi trail, piswa trail and Suam trail and each trail has a number of days to be hiked. The hiking takes tourists to the wagagai summit whereas the other trails proceed to sipi waterfalls.
Mountain elgon national park is also best for a Uganda birding safari because it’s a home to 266 bird species. The best spot for bird watching is the kapkwai forest exploration center. Birds spotted include black kite, black collared apalis, chin spot batis, mackinnon’s fiscal, Doherty’s and lahder bush-shrikes, moustached tinker bird, olive and bronze-napped pigeons among others.
This activity is one of the rare done while on a uganda safari but while at mount elgon tourists can engage in the biking activity which gives a memorable experience. The mountain biking is carried out at the trails which run from the sipi trading center to Cheema hill in kapchorwa town. The activity takes 1hour and above and the trails give amazing views of the waterfalls and Karamoja plains.