Attractions in mountain elgon national park
Attractions in mountain elgon national park : Mountain elgon national park is a spectacular tourist destination and protected park located in eastern Uganda on the border of Uganda and Kenya, Mountain Elgon national park lies on mountain Elgon on the side situated in Uganda. Mountain Elgon is an extinct volcano standing an elevation of 4321 meters above the sea level, mountain elgon is ranked 4th highest mountain in east Africa and it is shared by both Uganda and Kenya stretching in the diameter of 80 kilometers.
Mountain elgon national park covers an area of 1,279 square kilometers, the park is bisected by the border of Uganda and Kenya. The Uganda part of the park covers 1,110 square kilometers and Kenyan park covers an area of 169 square kilometers.
Mountain elgon national park is a very breathtaking tourist destination endowed with many attractions which attract a huge population of tourists to this park, attractions in the park include
MOUNTAIN ELGON AND ITS MAGNIFICENT PEAKS
Mountain Elgon is a very fascination mountain ranked the 7th highest mountain standing at an elevation of 4,321 meters and covering a diameter of 80 kilometers, mountain Elgon is covered with numerous kinds of green vegetation cover at different attitude level such as Ardisiandra wettsteinii, Carduus afromontanus, Echinops hoehnelii, Ranunculus keniensis, and Romulea keniensis which fascinates tourists. Mountain ELGON consist of 5 major peaks which facilitate hiking experience, these peaks stand at different elevation levels and they include
- Wagagai peak standing at the height of 4,321 metres and found in Uganda
- Sudek peak standing at the height of 4,302 metres and situated on the Kenya/Uganda border
- Koitobos peak standing at the height of 4,222 metres, this peak lies on a flat-topped basalt column in Kenya
- Mubiyi peak standing at an elevation of 4,211 metres, it is found in Uganda
- Masaba peak standing at an elevation of 4,161 metres, and found in Uganda
Mountain Elgon and its peaks create a magnificent scenery in mountain Elgon national park.
Mountain Elgon national park is hosts many caves which can be visited by the park’s visitors while on their safari in the park, caves in the park include Ngwarisha, Makingeny, Chepnyalil and kitum caves. The most prominent of the caves is kitum cave which is 200 meters deep with a width of 60 meters, these caves provide a great chance for wildlife viewing mostly especially elephants which flock the cave. The caves contain salt deposits and animals come to the cave to lick salt.
There is cave painting near a trail head at budadiri.
Sipi falls are one of the most spectacular attractions in mountain Elgon national park situated on the upper slopes of mountain Elgon, Sipi falls is a series of three falls though two upper falls of three are most exciting and beautiful to look at. These two falls flow at different heights, the first one drops at height of 100 meters, the second drops at the height of 85 meters and last one dropping at the height of 75 meters.
While at Sipi falls you get to enjoy beautiful sightseeing experience, climbing to the top of the falls and offers spectacular chance of photography.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Mountain Elgon National Park is dotted with many types of beautiful vegetation cover approximately 400 species which ranges from montane forest to high open moorland which is intersected by giant lobelia and groundsel plants, vegetation in the park great varies with altitude. Vegetation types in the park include olive Olea hochstetteri and Aningueria adolfi-friedericii wet montane forest which are found on the slopes of the mountain, olive and Podocarpus gracilior forest, Podocarpus, bamboo Arundinaria, Hagenia abyssinica zone, moorland with heaths Erica arborea and Philippia trimera, tussock grasses such as Agrostis gracilifolia and Festuca pilgeri, herbs such as Alchemilla, Helichrysum, Lobelia, and the giant groundsels Senecio barbatipes and Senecio elgonensis found in the higher altitude.
Mammals. Mountain Elgon national park is a habitant to a variety of mammals which use the vegetation cover as their home, these mammals include forest elephants, buffalo, antelopes, dicker and primates. Primates in mountain elgon national park are found in deep forests of the park and they include black-and-white colobus and blue monkey. Red-tailed monkey and others
Birds. Mountain elgon national park is an important birding site, the park is a home to approximately 144 bird species majorly forest bird species which include Golden Winged, Hartlaub’s Black, Turacos, Tacazze sunbirds, Ross’s and White Casqued and Crowned Hornbills, endangered Lammergeier, Jackson’s Francolin, eastern bronze-naped pigeon and many more.
Mountain Elgon national park is surrounded by Gishu tribal communities living on the out skirts of the park, while in gishu community you get to encounter their extra ordinary ways of their daily life and the amazing Embalu ceremonies (circumcision ceremonies). Embalu ceremony is cultural way of initiating teenage male into man hood by circumcision.
OTHER PHYSICAL FEATURES IN MOUNTAIN ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Mountain elgon national par host numerous many attraction physical features which include
Rivers – rivers in the park include Suam River which flows to Lake Turkana, river Nzoia and river Lwakhakha which flow to Lake Victoria.
Crater Lake, hot springs, gorges, mesas and escarpments which make up the spectacular mountain elgon landscape.
HOW TO ACCESS MOUNTAIN ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Mountain elgon national park is situated on the eastern border of Uganda and Kenya stretching between Kapchorwa and Mbale district which is approximately 235 kilometers east of Kampala the capital city of Uganda and the beginning spot of most safaris to mountain elgon national park. From Kampala you can use both road and air transport means, by road you can use Kampala –Jinja –Mbale route, from Mbale you drive to Kapchorwa on a murram road which leads you to numerous climbing trails.
ACCOMMODATION IN MOUNTAIN ELGON NATIONAL PARK
While on a safari in mountain elgon national park is got from the following facilities that is Kapkwata guest house, Suam guest, Sipi River Lodge Crow’s Nest Camp, Sipi falls Resort, Moses’ Campsite, Twilight campsite, Lacam Lodge, Mbale resort, new mountain elgon view hotel, savannah guest house, Masha hotel, mountain elgon hotel, kayegi hotel Rose’s Last Chance community and many more.