Mount Elgon National Park


Mt. Elgon is a dormant volcano that erupted around 20 million years ago. It boasts the world’s biggest complete Caldera, measuring 40km2. It was originally Africa’s tallest peak, but erosion lowered its height to 4321m, making it the fourth highest in East Africa. Mt Elgon has the world’s biggest base at 3840km2. It is also East Africa’s biggest isolated volcanic peak, located in Eastern Uganda near the Kenyan border. Mt Elgon National Park spans 1145 square kilometers.

The national park has been designated as a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve. Mountain trekking to the caldera is the primary tourist attraction, with the highest peaks being Wagagai at 4321m, Sudek at 4303m, Koitobos at 4222m, and Mubiyi at 4210m.

Wildlife in Mt Elgon national park


Defassa waterbuck, Elephants, Oribi, Bushbucks, Buffaloes, and Spotted Hyenas, as well as black-and-white monkeys and Colobus monkeys, are mostly found on the lower slopes but are rarely observed in the forest environment.


Mt Elgon National Park is home to 296 bird species and 40 Ugandan species with limited ranges, such the black-collared Apalis, Jackson’s Francolin, Lammergeyer, Black-shouldered Kite, and Tacazze sunbird. Mt Elgon should go on your bucket list if you want to see rare birds and magnificent landscapes.

Activities in Mt Elgon National Park

Mountain Hiking

Mt Elgon is a less demanding climb than other East African mountains, yet it has the same spectacular vistas. The park is visited on foot via many routes and trailheads ranging from day walks to multi-day excursions. The Sasa track – bamboo grove and Jackson’s pool – is the fastest but steepest route to the summits, requiring only four days. The Sipi trek takes four to six days to complete and begins at the Kapkwai – tutum cave woodland exploration center. The Piswa route is a seven-day round trek that begins in a community near the Kapkwata podocarps forest. You may also combine the different paths, rising by the Sipi trail and descending via the Sasa trail, to enjoy more of the mountain’s attractions.

There are native porters who may help you with your walk by carrying supplies, gathering water, cooking, and setting up camp. Hikers should think about hypothermia and other kinds of altitude sickness, as well as how to cure them. Altitude sickness can affect anybody over 2500m, regardless of age, fitness, or previous mountain trekking experience. Descent to a lower altitude is the most effective therapy.


This exhilarating activity takes place on one of the Sipi Falls’ cliffs. You descend 100 meters, passing close to a pool of water from one of the Sipi falls. As you abseil down the rock, take a swim in the pool before going back up the cliff to the top of the hill to take in the diverse landscape.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is another enjoyable sport outside of Mt Elgon National Park. This takes place at Sipi and includes 14 climbs using rock-scaling methods. The hardest climb is 35m, while the simplest is 15m – everyone interested in rock climbing should do this.

Bird watching

Birding at Mt Elgon National Park can provide you with species that you will not find elsewhere. The most frequent path is one in the Kapkwai Forest Exploration Center which extends down the Chebonet River. The white-chinned Prinia, Luhders and Doherty’s Bush-shrikes, Chubb’s Cisticola, African Goshawk, African Blue Flycatcher, and Baglafetcht weaver are all common here.

Sport fishing

Sport fishing is available at the highest point of the Sipi Falls, which will keep you occupied while some locals join you. Anyone interested in rainbow trout will find it a nice challenge. Bring your own equipment and get permission from Sipi River Lodge.

Nature walks and Hiking

There are various routes both inside and outside the park that go through the Mt Elgon forest. At Sipi Falls, community guides lead you on excursions that might range from two hours to a whole day, including vistas of the Karamajong and Sebei regions.

There is a whole trek from Budadiri to the Mudange cliffs, often known as the Walls of Death. These cliffs are located near the national park’s perimeter amid a tropical forest. Along the way, you’ll see black-and-white Colobus monkeys and baboons.

Water Falls

Mountain rivers cascade over gigantic cliffs on Mt Elgon’s northern and western slopes, generating some of the most magnificent waterfalls. Among these are three stunning waterfalls known as the Sipi Falls. These are located outside the park, and a trek to all three is a rewarding experience. The lowest of the falls cascades over a 100-meter cliff, followed by Simba at 69 meters and Ngasire at 87 meters. There are other waterfalls at Wanale, Chebonet, Bulago, and Sisyi.

Mountain Biking

Kapchorwa and the entire Mt Elgon region provide excellent mountain riding courses that will have your adrenaline pumping as you travel around the area. The mountain riding paths begin at Sipi Trading Center and end at Chema Hill in Kapchorwa. En way, you may see the Karamoja grasslands and various waterfalls.


Mt Elgon’s slopes, like other mountains, include caverns left by moving lava when the peak was constructed many years ago. On Wanale Ridge, the most accessible are Kapkwai cave and Khauka cave. Hikers used the caverns for refuge, and they are now used as camp sites.

Agro-tourism, Cultural encounters and Community trails

Mt Elgon’s beautiful and verdant terrain produces the greatest coffee in Uganda. Take a guided stroll through the coffee shambas on the slopes of Mt Elgon to learn about the full coffee process. You will visit shambas and households to observe coffee planting, picking, grinding, storing, and washing. The Arabic coffee served here is also known as Sipi or Bugisu coffee.

Getting there

The park is accessible by the Kampala-Mbale-Kachorwa route. Alternatively, you might take a chartered airplane from Entebbe to Soroti and then drive back.