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Hiking Safari on Mount Elgon in Uganda

Mount Elgon Park lodging and accommodations simply basic. There are five selected campsites at Sasa River, Mude Cave, Piswa Patrol Hut, Hunters Cave and Kapkwata Rest House. Kapkwata Guest House has three main rooms with a sleeping volume for seven people and offers kitchen services, but visitors have to bring their own food supplies or provide money to buy on arrival. You may need to make arrangements ahead of time with the Mt Elgon Park office in Mbale as these facilities do not accommodate large numbers of visitors. Also, there is a forest survey Centre at Kapkwai inside the park, but this is more residence style and it takes up to 30 people. Nevertheless, there are several more attired lodging options in Mbale town.

Hiking Safari on Mount Elgon in Uganda

Hiking Safari on Mount Elgon in Uganda – Mount Elgon is the fourth highest mountain in East Africa, with the second-highest peak in Uganda (Wagagi Peak – 4321 meters). Hiking Safari on Mount Elgon in Uganda is one of the highlights for those who love to hike in Uganda.

About Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon National Park is the 7th highest mountain in Africa at 4,321m and the summit is readily accessible for climbers with limited experience. It’s the largest extinct volcano in the world that last erupted more than 24 million years ago, with a surface area of 50 km by 80 km. It is also the fourth highest mountain in East Africa, with the second-highest peak in Uganda being Wagagi Peak – 4321 meters. It contains a crater covering over 40 km at the top of the mountain, surrounded by a series of rugged peaks.

Mount Elgon National Park amongst the parks in Uganda has got the most primates, birds, and more importantly rare tree species that are not found anywhere in Africa.

Safari Attractions that are at Mt. Elgon National Park

The park has a variety of scenery Together with the fauna and flora; this includes cliffs, caves, calderas, waterfalls, gorges, mesas hot springs, and mountain peaks. The most common areas are the four explorable, enormous caves were regular night visitors such as elephants and buffaloes come to lick the natural salt found on the cave walls. Kitum cave, with pendulous crystalline walls, enters 200m into the side of Mt. Elgon.

There is a scenic view of the area’s escarpments, gorges, mesas, and rivers at the Endebess Bluff. The uppermost peak of Mt. Elgon on the Kenya side, Koitoboss, measures 4,155 m (13,632 ft) and is easily reached by hikers in about two hours from the road’s end. Activities include

  • Cave explorations
  • Camping photography
  • Self-guided walking trails
  • Primate and bird watching
  • Hiking to Endebess Bluff and Koitoboss Peak
  • Vehicle circuits leading to animal viewing areas, the caves, and Koitoboss peak.

Additional attractions include ancient cave paintings near the trailhead at Budadiri and hot springs in the former volcano’s crater which bubble at temperatures of up to 48 °C

Five Major hiking peaks of Mount Elgon on both Uganda side and Kenya side

Hike Koitobos peak (4,222 meters) on the Kenya side

Hike Mubiyi peak (4,211 meters) on the Uganda side
Hike Masaba peak (4,161 meters) on the Uganda side

Hike Wagagai peak (4,321 meters) on the Uganda side
Hike Sudek peak (4,302 meters) on the border of both Uganda and Kenya

Mt Elgon hiking trails pass through caves, different viewpoints, bamboo forest, a well-organized camping ground overlooking mountain slopes, and different waterfalls.

Mount Elgon Hiking distances from the different trails?

Hiking Mt Elgon via the Sasa trail is the shortest route but also it is the toughest route to hike to the top of the peaks, it requires hiking through different local communities and local homestays which also give you the opportunity to explore BaMasaba farming land, culture, and their settlements, Sasa trail round trip hike can take 4days hike starting from Budadiri town, on the first day you hike up to 1,600meters before crossing to the largest bamboo forest, you will also pass Jackson’s Pool before reaching Wagagai Peak.

Hiking Mt Elgon via Sipi trail, this trail is 56km for the round trip (hike) that begins at 2,050m at the Kapkwai tourists’ center. Sipi trail is the longest trail to the Elgon peaks, Sipi trail passes through the northwestern of this mountain and through Tutum Cave before reaching Wagagai Peak. Normally Sipi trail starts gently but as you continue walking it becomes tougher towards the third day.

Hiking Mt Elgon via Piswa trail, this trail is 49km and it takes 7 days, Piswa trail is the longest but also easier to hike, it begins at Kapkwata trading center on the north part of the park, on this trail you will encounter different wildlife and most beautiful views of the Karamoja plains, Nandi and Kapeguria hills on Kenya side, on your way to the peaks on this Piswa trail you will have a chance to pass via hot springs.

Uganda and Kenya cross border Mt Elgon hiking safari?

Kisoro tours Uganda also offers transboundary Mt Elgon cross-border hikes in Uganda and Kenya, mount Elgon is shared between Uganda and Kenya so a transboundary border hiking safari can be arranged, on this transboundary hiking tour, after ascending to the caldera with park rangers/guides of Uganda, you will cross the border to descend with a Kenya park ranger who will be waiting for you.

For those with little time, Kisoro tours Uganda offers a short hike from Budadiri, our short-day hikes cover the Mudagi Cliffs, Sasa River Camp, and Drigana lower falls, if interested contact Kisoro tours Uganda for more information.

Dose hiking Mt Elgon requires any experience?

Many of our clients/ tourists find mount Elgon hiking as an exciting alternative to the more strenuous hike in East Africa, Mt Elgon hiking can be added to your safari in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda, just contact us we will arrange it for you, Mt Elgon climbing has many attractions and also good climate, lower elevation and most important Mt Elgon hiking to peaks requires no special equipment and experience, in other words, anyone can hike mount Elgon as long as you have some level of fitness

When is the best time to go on a hiking safari on Mount Elgon?

Mount Elgon can be easier accessed throughout the year, Mt Elgon is also one of Uganda’s less congested national parks manning that you can book at any time and even last-minute booking is acceptable.

Lodging and Accommodations

Mount Elgon Park lodging and accommodations are simply basic. There are five selected campsites at Sasa River, Mude Cave, Piswa Patrol Hut, Hunters Cave, and Kapkwata Rest House. Kapkwata Guest House has three main rooms with a sleeping volume of seven people and offers kitchen services, but visitors have to bring their own food supplies or provide money to buy on arrival. You may need to make arrangements ahead of time with the Mt Elgon Park office in Mbale as these facilities do not accommodate large numbers of visitors.

Also, there is a forest survey Centre at Kapkwai inside the park, but this is more residence style and it takes up to 30 people. Nevertheless, there are several more attired lodging options in Mbale town.

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