Mount Elgon national park is found in the east part of Uganda a few meters from mbale town with an area cover of 1145 square kilometers which cover the volcanic mountain. The national park got its name from the mountain Elgon which is the second-highest mountain in uganda after mountain Rwenzori. Its elevated at a height of 4321 meters and it’s a volcanic mountain which was formed by the vulcanicity process. It’s a dormant volcanic mountain and is shared by Uganda and Kenya and it’s the top hiking national park in Uganda. The national park was gazetted twice that is in 1968 in Kenya and in Uganda it was gazetted in 1992.
Mount elgon is known to have erupted 24 million years ago and is said to have 4 high peaks where wagagai is the highest with 4321 meters. Other peaks include Jackson’s summit standing at 4165 meters, kiongo summit standing at 4303 and mubiyi peak standing at 4210 meters.
ATTRACTIONS IN MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
The national park has a vegetation cover which is an ideal place for the various bird species to live in. The national park is a home to over 299 bird species where 12 are natives and cannot be found anywhere else in Uganda. These include moorland francolin, marsh widowbird, alpine chat, Wyn’s weaver, moustached green tinker bird, Jackson’s francolin, hunters cisticola, black-collared apalis, red-throated wryneck among others. Other birds include tacazze sunbird, eastern bronze-naped pigeon, white-starred forest robin, black-shouldered kite, lammergeier vultures among others
Mountain elgon is the major attraction within the national park and thus the park was named after the volcanic mountain which is located at the center of the park. Therefore, a biggest number of the forest is covered by the mountain Elgon. The mountain is the highest mountain within east Africa and the 8th in Africa. Tourists can have access to the mountain through Kenya and getting entry permits from Kenya wildlife services or through Uganda and getting the permits from uganda wildlife authority. The hike takes 3 to 5 days depending on the fitness of the individuals.
The falls are as well a major attraction within mount elgon national park. The presence of spectacular tutum cave is hidden within the middle of the forest. The falls are formed when the sipi river meets at the end of the volcanic rock at the end of the cave.
The national park is home to over wildlife species such as waterbucks, duiker, oribi, monkeys, spotted hyena among others. The national park has a forest cover which makes it an ideal home to wildlife.
ACTIVITIES IN MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Hiking within mount Elgon is the major activity that is carried out. The national park has 4 major hiking trails such as sipi trail, piswa trail, sasa trail and suam trail. The hike takes the tourists to the highest peak of wagagai summit whereas the other trails take the tourists to sipi waterfalls. Hiking to mount Elgon takes 4 to 7 days depending on the trail the tourists take on as well as the physical fitness of the tourists.
The national park is blessed with over 299 bird species where 12 are natives which include the moorland francolin, wyns weaver, moustache green tinker bird, marsh widowbird, alpine chat, black-collared apalis, red-throated wryneck, hunters cisticola among others. Other birds include eastern bronze-naped pigeon, black-shouldered kite, tacazze sunbird, lammergeier vultures, and white-starred forest robin among others.