Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon National Park is located in Eastern Uganda close to Mbale district, where it sits on an area of about 1121 square kilometres. Mount Elgon is an extinct volcanic Mountain found on Uganda’s border with Kenya.

High lights

  • Size:1121 square kilometres.
  • Designation Status: National Park & UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve since 1993.
  • Tree Species:300 tree species.
  • Mammal Species:23 Small mammals.
  • Bird Species:300 species
  • Highest Elevation:4321 metres above sea level
  • Popular activities: Mountain Climbing, Bird Watching, Hiking, Community Visits, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing.
  • Ownership: Uganda Wildlife Authority (Government of Uganda).

The park was named after the most significant natural feature Mount Elgon that stands at a height of 4321 meters above the sea level. Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano that first erupted more than 24 million years ago.

With the largest surface area of an extinct volcano in the world (50 km by 80 km), Mt. Elgon is the fourth highest mountain in Eastern Africa, with the second-highest peak in Uganda (Wagagai Peak – 4321 meters). Mt. Elgon contains crater covering over 40 km at the top of the mountain, surrounded by a series of rugged peaks.


Mt. Elgon Park has a diversity of mammal species among which are buffaloes, tinny antelopes, forest monkeys and elephants of fauna species found in the park. This country has prolific wildlife which attracts many tourists that come to experience this wonderful gift of nature of the country.

You can watch many animals in their habitats, a rewarding experience that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Bird Watching

The park hosts more than 300 bird species with a couple of them not being seen in any other part of the country. These birds include forest species and many endemic species specifically adapted to the montane moorlands of East Africa, among many others.

12 of the bird species found in Mt. Elgon have not been recorded in any other park in Uganda; among these are: Weyn’s weaver, Jackson’s francolin, Marsh Widowbird, Moorland Francolin, Alpine chat, Moustached green tin.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Mount Elgon National Park is during the dry (June – August and December – March) seasons. It is important to note that hiking to the top of the mountain and all other park activities continue even during the wet/rainy season.


Accommodation at Mount Elgon offers you best comfort facilities include Mbale resort hotel – luxury, Sipi river lodge -luxury, Lacam lodge – mid range, Mount Elgon hotel and spa – midrange, Masha hotel – midrange, Noah’s ark hotel – midrange, Sipi falls resort hotel – midrange and Crow nest rest camp – budget, Kapkwata guest house – budget, Rose last chance – budget and Suam guest house – budget


1. Climbing Mount Elgon

There are two main trailheads which lead to Wagagai:

Salsa Trail (Buddukiro trailhead) is the most easily accessible from Mbale and is the most direct route to the peaks. It passes through the Park’s largest area of bamboo forest. However, it is also a steep and rugged climb of over 1600m on the first day. Pisa trail (Kapkwata trailhead). Along with this route, you can explore a vast Podocarpus forest, an excellent place for wildlife viewing.

2. Hiking

The Forest Exploration Centre has three-day trails ranging between 3 and 7 km. These trails offer an excellent opportunity to experience Mt. Elgon’s unique plants and wildlife in a shorter time period. A fourth trail has recently been opened to reach the enormous Tutum Cave, 11 km from the centre.

This trail also passes through a range of vegetation types and offers opportunities to see wildlife such as Black and White Colobus Monkeys and a variety of birds.

3. Sip Falls

These falls are found on the foothills of Mountain Elgon just at the edge of Mount Elgon National park nearing the Kenyan border to Uganda. It is comprised of 3 waterfalls each flowing from a different altitude such offers you thrilling experience.

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