Mount Elgon is much more than seeing the mountain!
Soaring mountains rim Uganda and in the eastern direction is Mount Elgon National Park that can also be described as the “family friendly hike mountain” with hiking being the top of the activities to do at Mount Elgon National Park. This is because of its lower altitude about 4,321km above sea level compared to Mount Rwenzori in the west 5,109m above sea level. The park itself covers an area of about 1,279sq km(430sqmi) within mountain Elgon with an altitude of 4,321m(14,177ft) above sea level at the highest peak known as “Wagagai” that one can hike to on a Uganda tour.
The mountain was once Africa’s highest mountain far exceeding Kilimanjaro’s current 5,895m however, unfortunately it was constantly reduced by erosion to 4,321m ranking it as the 4th highest peak in East Africa and 8th in Africa. But anyway, more accessible than any other high peak in East Africa. In 1940 the area became the mount Elgon Crown Forest later on in 1951 made a central forest reserve and upgraded to a national park in 1992.
Named after mountain Elgon- an extinct massive shield volcano where the park is located, Mount Elgon National Park is home to the world’s largest volcanic base 50-80km with the largest intact caldera covering about 40km2. Mountain Elgon is also known as “Masaba” by the Bagisu who consider it as the embodiment of their founding father Masaba.
Mount Elgon National Park is located in the Eastern region of Uganda near the district of Mbale-the largest town in the region. Mountain Elgon is bisected by Kenya in the West and Uganda in the East. The climate of the mountain that sits here is moist to moderate with an annual rainfall of over 1,270mm(50in).
Interesting activities to do in Mount Elgon National Park
Mountain Elgon is a prime mountain climbing destination for tourists planning “friendly” mountain hiking safaris in Uganda. When one hears of Mount Elgon its always about the hike and this is because of the more favorable peaks, lower than those of Mount Rwenzori in Uganda or Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Other reasons for this being the better hiking option is the milder climate since the altitude is lower and geographically it is stated that the higher you go the cooler it becomes. Mount Elgon is also less congested since its off the beaten track therefore you enjoy the stay here and have all of the greatest moments in the company of a small crowd.
When you choose to go hiking on your Uganda safari at Mount Elgon there are options to take on one of the trails according to your interest. The trails include; the piswa trail which is long but most gentle trail that takes 7 days covering 49km, the Sipi trail which is a 56km taking 4-6days and the longest, the Sasa trail which is the shortest but toughest route taking 4 days and the combined trail hiking. The different kinds of trails therefore offer different choices on which one chooses what suits them.
Indeed, refreshing and rewarding is a tour to the sipi falls in Kapchorwa district. Welcoming you from a distance with its pulsating sound the Sipi falls is a combination of three waterfalls each flowing from a different altitude. The highest and major waterfall cascades from 100m above sea level and is taken as the main attraction of Sipi. The second waterfall flows from about 75m above sea level with upper cascades before the plunge. The third waterfall cascades from about 85km above sea level with a beautiful lush view around it. A sipi falls hike is more than just one of the activities to do in Mount Elgon National Park but something that will refresh you. On the hike, you visit the caves, pass through plantations, flowing streams and take a coffee tour or even learn how to process it locally.
Have you been wondering how to camp along with your family in a calm environment off the beaten tract, then this is actually one of the interesting activities you can do in Mount Elgon National Park.