About Mount Elgon National Park; is situated in the Eastern part of Uganda close to the district of Mbale. Historically, the Ugandan side of mountain Elgon was first gazetted in 1938 as the forest reserve however because of the desire to strengthen the ecological conservation of the parks, the government of Uganda declared the Mount Elgon Forest reserve as a national park in October, the year 1993. Mount Elgon National park covers an area with a total of 1,145 km² with its boundary stretching to 211 kilometers long. The border with Kenya splits Mount Elgon and the National Parks in both countries to conserve and protect the flora and fauna on the higher contours. This Trans- border conservation and management of these parks have been declared as UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve.
Further, the Mount Elgon national park shelters the magnificent higher slopes of the 4321m Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano on the Uganda-Kenya border. This mountain is one of the East African oldest landforms /physical features which first erupted around 20 million years ago. The journey to the top of the mountain passes via the distinguishing altitudinal vegetation zones which are only restricted and can only be found in east Africans highest mountains restricted to Eastern Africa’s highest mountains. With its massive extinct volcano with about 80km in diameter, mountain Elgon is more on the higher elevation that mountain Kilimanjaro’s 5900meters. However, the mountain Elgon height was reduced when the volcanic eruptions happened that led to the pushing of magma and the cone could be supported by the underlying rocks that molten which collapsed inwards thus reducing the size.
Although the mountain is shared by the two states of Uganda and Rwanda, it’s famous and the highest peak known as Wagagai which is about 4321 meters high is located on the Uganda side and tourists are free to come and hike this peak in Uganda. Other than this prominent peak on Mountain Elgon, there are other different striking peaks on Mount Elgon with mountain Elton National park sand these include; Kiogo, Muyiyi, and Jackson’s peak at 4303, 4210 and 4165 meters respectively.
Importantly, Mount Elgon within Elgon National Park raises 3000 meters above the dusty plains of the Karamoja region which allows for a cool relief for people living nearby and an anchorage to wildlife in addition to provide a regional water catchment area. Tourist activities on the mountain cater to various levels of ambition of various travelers. Visitors tourism activities are done on mountain Elgon National Park fulfills different travelers as visitors can hike the topmost peak for a minimum of three days, taking forest walks on and or half-day or simply relax in resorts while overlooking delightful waterfalls just outside the park at Sipi.
Mountain Elgon National Park is locally known as Mountain Masaba by the local people in the districts adjacent to the park such as Mbale, Bududa, Budadari, Manafwa among others all on Uganda side. The originality of this name is that one of the founding ancestors of the adjacent Bagisu people originated from one of the major caves found on the slopes of mountain Elgon centuries ago. Generally, Mountain Elgon National Park is Mt. Elgon is harboring two tribes of local people which are known as, the Bagisu and the Sabiny. The former lives on the southern and western slopes of Mount Elgon who are greatly known for organizing the stunni9ng biannual Imbalu ceremony which attracts several tourists. They are also known as the Bamasaba and take Mountain Elgon preciously due to the embodiment of their founding father Masaba and refer to the mountain by this name.
Tourism attraction in Mount Elgon National park
Tourism attraction in Mountain Elgon National park; Tourism attraction in Mt. Elgon park includes unique features both natural and manmade that make Mount Elgon National Park more pleasant for the visitors who visit it. Mountain Elgon is the center for adventure tourism among other ten national parks found in Uganda. As earlier indicated, the park is located in the eastern part of Uganda and has varied interesting features and attractions that are of interest to travelers or tourists who visit the park. Among the attractions include the extinct volcano Elgon Mountain that offers opportunities for cycling and hiking, animal species among others.
The following are among the major tourist’s attractions in detail that you don’t need to miss while visiting Uganda in Mountain Elgon National park located in Uganda several national parks;
Mountain Elgon; Mountain Elgon is the one of the major adventure attraction found in Mt Elgon that tourism vising the park cannot fail to see. The mountain was once highest in Africa but because of volcanic eruptions that made the collapse of the cone inwards made the park lose this highest elevation, as of now the Mount Elgon is monger active and is the largest caldera that is still intact on the globe. The mountain still is branded with various vegetation plant species such as Ardisiandrawettsteinii, Echinopshoehinelii, Romuleakeniesis, and other unique plant species which be seen on slopes of the mountain. Similar, the thick shrubs and luminous wild eternal flowers covering Mt. Elgon is another major attraction that you can relish while of your safari tour to Mountain Elgon National Park in Uganda.
Distinguished peaks and calderas; Mountain Elgon in Elgon National park has got several peaks which you as the tourists can climb and hike withenjoying stunning sceneries. Mountain Elgon’s highest peaks are formed by high points around a serrated rim that forms the circumference of an enormous caldera which, is 8km across, it is one of the world’s largest. The tallest peak is Wagagai (4,521meters) followed then Sudek (4,503 meters), Koitobos (4,222 meters), and the least Mubiyi (4,210 meters). A successful climbing of these peaks will expose you to different species in mountain Elgon National Park such as plants and different animal species such as Dessafa waterbuck, Elephants, Oribi among others.
Wildlife species; Wildlife species in Mountain Elgon National Park are influential in making the park a popular choice for adventure travelers in Uganda. Large species of mammals located in Mountain Elgon Nation Park include elephant and buffalo, live in the forests of Mount Elgon but are rarely seen. Primates such as black and white monkeys, Colobus monkeys can be spotted by tourists whole on the tour to Mount Elgon National Park. Besides, Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the African Goshawk, Chubb’s cisticola, white chinned Prinia, African blue flycatcher, and the endangered lammergeyer.
Caves and cliffs; While on your tour in mountain Elgon National park, you will explore different caves that were formed as the result of volcanic eruptions several landslides that have occurred in recent years. Some of these caves were once used by people and their animals for shelter but because of constant landslides, they were abandoned. The major caves that tourists can visit include the Kapkwai cave which is near the forest exploration center and Khauka cave situated at Wanale ridge. As the map shows, a narrow corridor of parkland extends 25km west from the Mount Elgon massif towards Mbale town. This follows the Nkokenjeru Ridge, a 25 km-long tongue of lava that burst out of the side of the volcano after the cone had collapsed to block the main vent. Camping has as well been established on these camps to make the experience very interesting so u can as well spend the whole night on this on camping mission as you prepare or after energetic hiking/climbing.
Convenient time of the year to visit Mt. Elgon National Park
Convenient time to visit Mt Elgon National Park describes the months of the year when tourists can effectively visit the park without hindrances.Mount Elgon Mountain Elgon National Park can be climbed and visited respectively through the year however the dry seasons between June-August and December-March are most enjoyable. During the rainy seasons which usually occur long in April and May, the trails become slimy, slow, and dreary. The dry seasons (June-August and November to March) are best, especially in the spring months of November to December when the wildflowers are in bloom. Additionally, the Mount Elgon National Park receives rain all the years so even in the dry season you can still see some rains so you need to prepare accordingly.