Birding in Mt. Elgon
The forest Exploration Center at Kapkwai is an excellent birding site where tourists have many opportunities of watching the birds. The regenerating forest characterized with thick shrub along the loop routes extends to cover Cheptui Falls and these cool green environment favors the survival of the various bird species such as White-chinned Prina, African Goshawk, Chinspot Batis ,Chubb’s Cisticola, African Blue Fly-catcher, Dohertys and Luhders Bush-shrikes, Baglafecht Weaver, Cinnamon Bee Eater, Moustached Tinkerbird, Hartloub`s Turaco, Tacazze Sunbird, Olive- and Bronze-naped pigeons, Black Kite and Black-collared Apalis.
Different bird species found at Mt.Elgon NP
The encounter comes with the pride of meeting the Sipi Widows’ Group that can take the interested visitors on guided walk passing through the plantations of coffee and they also keep illustrating how coffee is planted, picked, grinded and finally washed making it ready for sell. Finding out where the Arabic coffee comes from is very much interesting and these comes about through an encounter between Bugisu farmers who grow on the Mt Elgon gardens who are well known for producing the best washed Arabica in Uganda and Kenya.
Cultural encounter with the Sabiny local exposes the visitors to the local’s private life style and participating in traditional activities like weaving, Learning about African cuisine through getting involved in cooking and tasting of local dishes. A visit to the women’s handcraft shop in the trading Centre is also highly recommended and here visitor can continue to shop and also invest in maintaining the coffee trees, helping the orphans by paying for their school fees, raising awareness about the dangers of traditional practiced female circumcision.
Contact Julius Twahire 0n Tel: +256 771 453105
Budadiri Community Walks Ecotourism Experience.
Interacting with this community group which is based in Budadiri is of significant valve to travellers. The community provides different services and facilities to tourists and these range from cultural dances, accommodation, guided coffee tours accompanied with community nature walk, car hire. The activity makes Visitors know more about the region’s cultural traditions in regard to dances, values, and food among others. The community walk will also give the tourists to chance to visit the famous Arabica coffee processing plants, which is playing great role in supporting the local farmers. For visitors who love Nature can get involved in the folklore, preparation and the famous malewa bamboo shoots.
There is also a tour of Mt Elgon’s in one of the three trails – the full-day Namugabwe Cave Trail, passing through BaMasaba community land and banana plantations to reach a historical cave filled with bones; the Dirigana Loop Trail to the Dirigsana Falls and Gabushana Cave past local markets and the “Walls of Death”; or the three day walk to Sipi Falls which reveals the culture of two neighboring tribes.
Tel: +256 772 623206 / +256 752 203292
Mountain hiking and biking in mountain Elgon
Mountain biking trail runs from Sipi trading Centre to Chema Hill in Kapchorwa town. It should take 1.5 hours and provides views of various waterfalls and the Karamoja plains. Bikes can be hired from Sipi River Lodge. Over the past few years of exploring, a few main routes have been opened in the area, the nature of the routes are a downhill single track-mostly compacted local trials which are perfect for riding and most of the times always empty of people, Whilst mountain biking in Sipi falls is still in its infancy there is unlimited potential since it has the perfect terrain for all types of biking, another exciting possibility is to climb Mt.Elgon with bike. So if you are into your biking get yourself here for great unforgettable experience.
Mountain Biking in mountain Elgon
Mountain /Volcano Climbing in Mt. Elgon.
Many travellers find Mt. Elgon an exciting alternative to the more strenuous climbs in East Africa. It is easier to access throughout the year, less congested and has many of the same attractions, with a milder climate and lower elevation. Climbing the peaks requires no special equipment or technical experience.
The Sasa trail is the shortest but toughest route to the peaks, traversing the community land and allowing you to explore BaMasaba farming settlements and culture. The round trip takes four days and starts at Budadiri town at an elevation of 1,250m. The toughest climb of over 1,600m is completed on the first day, before crossing the park's largest area of bamboo forest and passing Jackson's Pool on the way to Wagagai Peak.
The Sipi trail (four to six days, 56km round trip) starts at 2,050m at the Kapkwai Forest Exploration Centre. It is the longest trail to the peaks, passing through the northwestern mountainside through Tutum Cave to enter the caldera and reach Wagagai Peak. The trail begins gently, but becomes tougher on the third day from Kajeri Camp.
The Piswa trail (seven days, 49km round trip) is long and the gentlest trail. Starting at the village of Kapkwata on the north side of the mountain, it traverses the soft wood plantation to the Podocarpus forest. It’s notable for its rich wildlife and spectacular views of the Karamoja plains in Uganda and the Nandi and Kapeguria hills in Kenya. The Piswa trail also passes the hot springs on the way to the caldera and the peaks.
There are also other Alternative hiking options and here the various routes can be combined, ascending the Sipi/Piswa/Sasa Trail and descending along the Sasa/Sipi Trail for example. This allows a traverse of the caldera and a visit to the hot springs.
Transboundary hike/cross border tourism: The higher slopes of Mount Elgon are shared with an adjacent national park in Kenya and a transboundary hike can be arranged. After ascending to the caldera with a UWA guide, climbers cross the border to descend with a Kenya Wildlife Service escort.
The best time to climb the park is during the dry season of June to August and December – March and also when preparing for mountain climbing, rain gear and both cool and warm clothing are required as the area is subjected to sudden weather changes. Visitors should also take camera, binoculars, hat, torch, wildlife guidebooks and insect repellant.
For health and safety reasons hikers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the symptoms and treatment of hypothermia and the various forms of altitude sickness .Be aware that a above 2500m,altitude sickness can affect any ,irrespective of fitness, previous mountain experience, or age,. The risk is reduced by slow ascents to enable acclimatization, while the most effective treatment is immediate withdrawal to a lower altitude. Therefore affected hikers should not descend into calderas, which one must climb upwards to leave.
Nature walks in Mt. Elgon
A full-day nature hike leads from Budadiri to the Mudange cliffs, known as the Walls of Death, at the boundary of the national park. These cliffs are located in the tropical forest, and blue monkeys, black-and-white colobus and baboons are likely to cross your tracks. At Sipi Falls, guides from the local community can organize walks of a few hours up to a full day around local viewpoints. In Kapchorwa, a 20-minute Sunrise Trek at 6am from Noah’s Ark Hotel leads to the nearby Tewei Hill to watch dawn spreading across the vast Karamoja plains at the base of the mountain.
Rock climbing in Mt. Elgon Rock
Climbing takes place outside the park at Sipi. There are 14 climbs requiring various levels of rock scaling techniques, and all equipment can be hired from the Sipi Falls Tourist Guides Association. The toughest is a 35m climb while the easiest is 15m. Both command a picturesque view of the main falls and the Karamoja plains.