Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon National Park is a conservation area to protect Mount Elgon at 4,321 meters (14,177 ft) which covers an area of 1,279 sq kilometers (494 sq mi) and is cleaved by the border of Uganda and Kenya. The Ugandan section of the park set in 1992 included 1,110 sq kilometers (430 sq mi) and parts of Kenya in 1968 covering 169 sq kilometers (65 sq mi).

Mount Elgon National Park is uniquely split in the middle of the Ugandan-Kenyan border as an important water catchment for the 257 kilometer (160 mile) Nzoia River that flows into Lake Victoria and for the Suam River or Turkwel River that flows into Lake Turkana.

Xvlor Mount Elgon National Park is volcano reserve on Uganda and Kenya Mount Elgon National Park is volcano reserve on Uganda and Kenya

Pre-colonial rule, the land around Mount Elgon is managed by the structure and rule of indigenous power which prohibits excessive use of natural resources at communally owned altitudes. The need for natural resources is fulfilled sustainably where the density of the human population in the surrounding area is many times smaller than it is now.

The Ugandan Protectorate Government confirmed Mount Elgon as a Forest Reserve administered by the Ministry of Forestry in 1929. The area became Mount Elgon Crown Forest in 1940 and became Central Forest Reserve in 1951. In January 1994, the reserve was converted into a national park, although logging continues in some areas.


Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano shield north of Kisumu and west of Kitale. The diameter of 80 kilometers (50 miles) and the highest point of the mountain is Wagagai located entirely in Uganda. There is no verifiable evidence of the earliest volcanic activity, but geologists estimate red laterite soil to be at least 24 million years old as the oldest volcano in East Africa.

Mt. Elgon consists of five main peaks:
  • Wagagai (4,321 meters, 14,177 feet) in Uganda
  • Sudek (4,302 meters, 14,114 feet) in Uganda-Kenya
  • Koitobos (4,222 meters, 13,852 ft) in Kenya
  • Mubiyi (4,211 meters, 13,816 ft) in Uganda
  • Masaba (4,161 meters, 13,652 ft) in Uganda


Elgon slopes support a variety of vegetation ranging from montane ecosystems to open moorlands overgrown with Lobelia telekii and Dendrosenecio. The slopes are covered with Olea hochstetteri olives and Aningueria friedericii. At higher altitudes turn into Podocarpus gracilior and Yushania alpina zones.

The higher is Hagenia abyssinica and then moorland with 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.

The botanical diversity of the park also includes Juniperus procera, Cassipourea malosana, Sambucus adnata, Ardisiandra wettsteinii, Carduus afromontanus, Echinops hoehnelii, Ranunculus keniensis, Romulea keniensis and many orchids.

Low-slope mammals include Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), antelope, duiker, black-and-white colobuses (Piliocolobus), blue monkey (Cercopithecus myitis), and red-tailed monkey (Cercopithecus ascanius). Birds include Jackson's francolin (Pternistis jacksoni), eastern bronze-naped pigeon (Columba delegorguei), Hartlaub's turaco (Tauraco hartlaubi), Tacazze sunbird (Nectarinia tacazze) and bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus). Mount Elgon National Park is volcano reserve on Uganda and Kenya

Xvlor Mount Elgon National Park is volcano reserve on Uganda and Kenya

Location: Uganda and Kenya.

Routes and public transport: The Ugandan route is a flight to Tororo Airport in Tororo City, then drive to Mbale City and to the park gate. Another alternative is a flight to Entebbe International Airport in Entebbe City near Kampala, then drive to Mbale. The Kenyan route is a flight to Kitale Airport in Kitale City to the park gate.

Advice: Mount Elgon and its tributaries are a cultural splendor for the tribes of Bagisu, Sapiinjak, Sabaot or Elgon Masai and Ogiek. Natural splendor includes fauna and flora, cliffs, caves, waterfalls, canyons, mesas, caldera, hot springs, and mountain peaks.

Parks can be visited throughout the year, but June to August and December to March may be the best. The park is only camped at the campsite provided, no camping is allowed inside the caldera. Some items such as tents, sleeping bags and other equipment can be rented through the park office at Mbale and Kitale.

Certified guides and porters have received training in natural and cultural history, first emergency assistance and communication. Porter will help you carry up to 18kg of equipment, prepare food, prepare a tent and collect water.

Hiking and camping to the Holy Lake under the Sudek, Elgon caldera, warm springs at Suam River, Endebess Bluff (2,563 meters, 8,409 feet) and Koitoboss Peak (4,155 meters, 13,852 feet) are within easy reach in two hours.

The Kitum Cave is 60 meters (200 feet) wide and 200 meters (660 feet) long which contains salt deposits and is often visited by wild elephants that pry the walls using ivory. Observations of primates and birds.