Mount Elgon National Park is the largest volcanic caldera on the planet Earth and is located in western Uganda straddling the Kenyan border. Mount Elgon was the tallest mountain in East Africa, today this inactive mountain is the fourth tallest in East Africa with 4,321 meters above sea level it boasts the largest base of any extinct volcano in the world, covers a total area of 1279 square kilometers, 69 of which are in Kenya. Mount Elgon was formed many years ago it was formed as a process of vulcanicity. The mountain is divided into four vegetation zones and each vegetation zone has its own attractions, very beautiful. You reach the mountain forest you hear the birds singing in the morning they wake you up. At mount Elgon there about 273 trees and shrub species namely; whistling thorn acacia, wait a bit thorn, grewia, giant cactus, African pencil cedar, spiny tree fern, broad leaved croton, flat top acacia, river acacia, red thorn acacia, black thorn acacia, white-galled acacia, umbrella acacia, red thorn acacia, large leaved albizia, red-hot poker tree(lucky bean tree, flame tree, casuarinas, sycamore fig, teclea, giant heath, large leaved gardenia, gardenia, giant groundsel, giant lobelia, sausage tree, jacaranda, African wild date palm and many others so the eco system is very, very rich.
The major issues affecting Mount Elgon National Park stem from the population pressure, the population density around Mount Elgon is about 600 people per square kilometer and the population is highly dependent on land. So you find that the landholdings per person is very small, so the population look at Mount Elgon National Park as alternative land that can be availed for farming. And therefore the park has a big problem of encroachment, communities because of land shortage have invaded the national park, cut down the trees and they have established plantations of bananas, cassava maize and many other food crops.
Mount Elgon is a rain forested park and has got very good trees.
Flora and Fauna
Mount Elgon vegetation zones are similar to those of other large East African mountains. The contour of the mountain supports a contagious belt of ever green forest extending over roughly 750 km2 with in Uganda. The forest belt is divided into two broad strata. A tall Afro montane forest below 2500m, low canopy montane and bamboo between 2500m to 3000m the slopes below the 2000 contour.
The most common species visible to hikers are blue monkey and white and black colobus. A small number of elephants are residents in the forest, animals like Zebras, Buffalos, sitatunga and common duiker(antelopes) and lions. The bird checklist stands at more than 300 species like mustached green thinker bird, red throated, wryneck, hunter’s cisticola, alpine chat, marsh widow bird, weyn’s weaver.
To Things to Do and See around Mount Elgon and Sipi falls.
Rock climbing takes place outside the park at Sipi falls. There are 14 climbs requiring various levels of rock scaling techniques, the toughest is a 35m climb while the easiest is 15m. This is guided and supervised activity that is the most enjoyable adventure.
Since a high proportion of the 300 species is highly rewarding for birders. The lovely bronze mannkin, African cuckoo, black and white casqued hornbill, montane oriole, mountain greenbul, golden winged sunbird, greater honeyguide, taita fscal, barn swallow, red rumped swallow, hunters cisticola and black collared apalis.
Birding at Mount Elgon is remarkable to visitors with a variety of colorful birds and by their relative tameness
This pretty waterfall is visible for miles as it plunges over a cliff from the direction of bulago village. Tourists focus on the trading centre which lies at an altitude of 1,775monly 40km from Mbale along a good surfaced road.
The Abayudaya Jews of Uganda:
The isolated community of the Ugandan Jews known as the Abayudaya. The most prominent of these religious dissident was Malaki Musajakawa whose Aficanist Christian sect called Malakities managed to attract up to 100,000 ugandans away from more convectional denominations during its short lived heydays.
Bagisu Circumcision rights:
The bantu speaking people who live on the slopes of Mount Elgon. Circumcision of the bagisu takes place in August and December , a man can not married without being circumcised. Travelers who visit Mbale, the Sipi and Kapchorwa during the circumcision are welcome to attend any local ceremonies that take place. Females also come looking at the newly bachelors.
The waterfall streaked cliffs of wanale ridges dominate Mbale’s eastern skyline, making the end of the 2,348m Nkokonjeru arm a ridge of lava extruded through a parasitic vent on the western flank of Mount Elgon. A 20 km road from Mbale climbs up on the ridge through a cleft in the cliffs, meandering through superb mountain scenery.
A stretch of the sipi river above the top of the waterfall near Kapkwai about 20 minutes drive from the Sipi trading centre trout fishing is practiced. the Nile Perch and the cat fish are among the more alluring fish that inhabit sipi river.
The Nyero Rock Painting:
The finest of several rock art sites scattered around eastern Uganda. The site comprises six discrete painted panels set within a few hundred meters of each prominent granite outcrop called Moru Ikara. The age of the rock is a matter for conjecture, as is the identity of the artist, the Iteso people who have inhabited the region for the last 300 years reckon that the art has always been there.
Where To Stay
Sipi River Lodge
Set with I the grounds of a unique restored former residence, sipi river lodge consists of main house and seven detached accommodation for the guest. Set I lovely wooded grounds at the foot of the middle waterfall the terrific little lodge is comfortably the best in the Mount Elgon region. The main lodge occupies a transformed bungalow with a cosy lounge, bar and excellent library. Activities include sipi walks, mountain biking, coffee tours, archery ascents of Mount Elgon and fly fishing in the river.
The Sipi Falls region is a hiker’s paradise! Choose from among a series of popular waterfall walks or talk to our guides about custom options to craft the ultimate scenic
It’s built on the slopes of mountain Elgon in Eastern Uganda. Enjoy a place of sublime natural beauty and rustic charm. Staying amongst the friendly Sabine people, Perched on the cliff edge with unparalleled views of Sipi falls. So close to that the waterfall is mostly heard than seen. Though the steep cliff below the site will give visitors the willies, the sudden drop makes the view down sipi valley to the Kyoga Basin particularly dramatic
Restaurant and Bar
A place for relaxation or adventure
- Stay in one of our wooden bandas or in your tent.
- Enjoy a four course candle-lit dinner.
- Go hiking, abseiling and rock climbing
Accommodation is provided in;
- Made of local Timber
- Grass thatch is extracted from the plains below.
- 2 double beds in each Banda
- Spacious Verandahs
- En suite shower and toilet
Lacam Lodge also has 3 non self-contained Bandas with shared facilities and are cheaper than the self-contained. The lodge allows self-camping where the guests are allowed to pitch their tents. Lacam Lodge also features a restaurant and bar.
Noah’s Ark Resort
Noah’s Ark Hotels located on the Mount Elgon Slopes present all category accommodation ranging from Luxury to Midrange and Budget accommodation the Uganda safari undertakers. The Hotel features three branches with the capacity to take more than 100 clients with the price range of $10 – $100 depending on the client’s preference.
Noah’s Ark Hotels offers mid range accommodation to travelers and is situated along the slopes of Mt. Elgon and this varies from luxury-midrange as well as budget depending on how much one has prepared to spend. The hotel has three different divisions and these have the capability to accommodate more than 100 clients from different destinations and fall into the price range of $10 – $100.
The Main Hotel includes;
- Bedroom with Living Room
- Living room
- 2 beds