Mountain Elgon National Park is different from other parks in many ways such as elephant salt licks divided by the international border between Uganda and Kenya. Mountain Elgon has wild beauty in its isolated magnificence. The national park is extraordinary because it is cut across by the Uganda-Kenya border and is under the management of the parks ministries of each of the countries.
Tourists can explore the forest and take part in mountain climbing, hiking as well as biking. Mountain Elgon has a variety of caves that can be toured by visitors however what is most captivating about these caves are the elephants and buffaloes that move to the caves during the night to lick the salt from the walls. This is done to enrich their diet.
Kitum cave is about 200 meters into Mountain Elgon and is considered to have expanded overtime as a result of the salt-licking elephants as well as other animals. There are rock paintings found in one of the caves.
Wildlife of Mountain Elgon
Apart from buffaloes and elephants that can usually be seen on the lower slopes of Mountain Elgon, the national park inhabits monkeys such as the blue monkey, black and white colobus as well as small antelopes.
The park has also documented over 300 bird species like the Baglafecht weaver, African Goshawk, plus the endangered Lammergeier. Wangari Maathai, Kenya’s Nobel Prize winner had an endangered dragonfly named after her in 2000 after she came across it on Mountain Elgon. It is called Maathai’s Longleg. She was a Kenyan activist and conservationist that established the Greenbelt Movement. Its main purpose was to make a connection between the relevance of environment preservation and poverty eradication. Birding safari in Mt Elgon can be easily combined with a visit to Kakamega Forest Reserve in Western Kenya.
What to do on Mountain Elgon National Park
Hiking: The two major activities at Mountain Elgon are walking and hiking however the paths for cars will guide you to game viewing areas as well as to a few of the caves. While on your tour, you will come across magnificent sights like cliffs, rivers plus gorges.
Self-guided walking trails are one of the highlights at Mountain Elgon and they take you to caves that you can tour for example Kitum.
Birding in Mt Elgon NP
There are approximately two hundred and forty different birds species among which are: tacazze birds, white chinned prina, lammergeyer, chubbs cisticola, jackon’s francolin, ludhersbush shrike, cinnamon crested bee-eaters, African blue fly-catcher, eastern bronze napped-pigeon, banglafecht weaver, red-headed parrot, African goshawk, hartlaubs turaco, chin spot batis, tacazze birds and Doherty.
Other activities that you can take part in are primate trekking plus. If you are birding safari enthusiast, we can include the Mt Elgon Hiking in your next Kenya safari.
Accommodation up in Mt. Elgon National Park
Up the mountain, accommodation is mainly offered in Bandas and several public camping grounds. you will find toilets, bathrooms and a communal kitchen at the campsite.
When to take a safari | Best time to visit Mt. Elgon National Park
Although the park can be visited all year round, the most recommended time to take a safari is during the dry month season. Majority of the trails leading to the caves become very slippery in the rainy season which makes access rather challenging.
How to get there | Access to Mount Elgon
Mt. Elgon National Park can be accessed either through road transport or Air transport. There is an airstrip located at headwater of the park. People using road transport can enter into the part through any of its different gates which include: Chorlim, kassawai, Kiptogot and Kimoton.