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- On October 6, 2015
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Mountain is located in eastern Uganda near the border with Kenya. Standing at a height of 4,321meters above sea level, mount Elgon is the 7th highest mountain on the African continent but with the largest volcanic mountain base worldwide. The mountain is surrounded by unique ecosystems that are homes to a number of wildlife species. Because of this, it was gazetted as a national park to protect and conserve the available natural tourism attractions in has.
The mountain is a dormant volcano that stopped erupting several years ago. It however has very fertile soils that attracted various people around the slopes for agricultural purposes. As one of the leading tourist destinations in Uganda, many tourists visit mount Elgon and they engage in various tourism activities like:
Hiking mountain Elgon to its highest point Wagagai is not very easy but it offers great and unforgettable tourism experiences with great views of Mbale the nearby town. The mountain has some of the well-developed hiking trails that a group of tourists can use uphill. While on the mountain hike, there are possibilities of viewing various flora and fauna at the different vegetation layers at certain heights of the mountain.
All those interested in hiking this famous mountain should prepare well and have the necessary equipment like jackets, sleeping bags, tents, raincoats snacks and others. Sweaters are very essential because the top layers have cold temperatures that go below 0 degrees at night.
Hiking mount Elgon enables a tourist view one of the world’s largest calderas.
While around mount Elgon, tourists can engage in birding tracking some of the beautiful birds in the area. Some of the birds that can be viewed include African blue flycatchers; white chinned prinia, Jackson’s francolin, bronze napped pigeon and many others. Most of the bid species can be viewed around trees or others freely flying in the air.
The Bagishu communities that have unique African traditional cultures that offer amazing and remarkable experiences to the tourists surround Mount Elgon and therefore any tourist to the area should not miss out an activity by the Bagishu.
The Imbalu initiation ceremony is what makes the Bagishu culture very unique from other Ugandan tribes. The Imbalu initiation ceremony involves circumcising boys to transform them to real men (adulthood). This circumcision is done in the open with many on viewers and the boys being circumcised are not expected to cry or show any sign of fear to prove their braveness and manhood. A visit to the Bagishu also offers great chances of learning the local ways of life especially cooking some unique cuisines especially Kalamalewa (bamboo shoots)
Nature walks and a visit to Sipi falls
Sipi falls are located outside mount Elgon national park but are among the leading tourist attractions in the mount Elgon area. The Sipi has three major falls that pours over 69 meters, 87 meters and 100 meters high cliffs. The falls offer beautiful scenic views especially of the water while viewing it from the back in the cave.
Nature walks can be done around the forests and caves with en route views of a variety of wild life species the mountain has in stock. Those interested can visit the various caves at the mountain base for an overnight adventure.
Getting to the mount Elgon area from Kampala takes about a 2-3 hours drive through Jinja to Mbale on a well-developed tarmac. It’s about 235 kilometers from Kampala.
Where to sleep
Mbale town has well developed accommodation facilities that offer standard services to the visitor’s. Examples include Mbale resort hotel, mount Elgon hotel, green gardens, new mount Elgon view hotels and many others. For those interested in sleeping in the national park premises, there are also a number of accommodation facilities that include Kapkwata guesthouse, Suam guest house, Kapkwai forest exploration center bandas, students hostel and campsite, Sasa river camp and many others.