MT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Mount Elgon National Park is a national park 140 kilometres northeast of Lake Victoria. The park covers an area of 1,279 square kilometres and is bisected by the border of Kenya and Uganda. The Ugandan part of the park covers 1,110 km2 while the Kenyan part covers 169 km2.
The park is named after Mount Elgon, an extinct shield volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya
Mount Elgon is an important water catchment for the Nzoia River, which flows to Lake Victoria, and for the Turkwel River (known as the Suam River in Uganda), which flows into Lake Turkana.
Elgon’s slopes support a rich variety of vegetation ranging from montane forest to high open moorland studded with the giant lobelia, groundsel and heather plants The vegetation varies with altitude.
Elephants and buffalo can be found on the lower slopes. The park is also home to a variety of small antelope and duiker, as well forest monkeys, including the black-and-white colobus and blue monkey. red-tailed monkey have been reported after being thought to be locally extinct. Both leopard and hyena exist there.
The park is home to at least 144 bird species. Of particular interest are Jackson’s spurfowl, the eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Hartlaub’s turaco, the Tacazze sunbird and the endangered lammergeier, due to their restricted range.
More the park can offer
Together with the fauna and flora, the park has a variety of scenery; this includes cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas, hot springs, and the mountain peaks. The most popular areas are the four explorable, vast caves where frequent night visitors such as elephants and buffaloes come to lick the natural salt found on the cave walls. Kitum cave, with overhanging crystalline walls, enters 200 m into the side of Mt. Elgon.
At the Endebess Bluff there a panoramic view of the areas’ escarpments, gorges, mesas, and rivers. Other attractions include ancient cave paintings near the trailhead at Budadiri, and hot springs in the former volcano’s crater.
The park has many routes for hiking, there is Piswa trail, sasa trail, sipi tail and the Suam trail. The highest peak on this mountain is called wagagai.
Among the lodges around the park include, sipi travellers lodges, mount Elgon guest house, mbale resort hotel etc.