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Mount Elgon National park

Mount Elgon national park is located in the eastern part of Uganda stretching to an area of 1145 square kilometers, it is named after the extinct volcano mountain Elgon situated at 4321m high above sea level its highest peak being Wagagai. The physical feature is tucked between Uganda and Kenya occupied by two indigenous tribes the Bagisu and the Kalenjin’s, the Bagisu refer the mountain to home of their first founder Masaba, deriving the Name for the mountain locally as Masaba. Mountain Elgon national park is UNESCO world heritage site gazette in 1992 on the Ugandan side and 1968 on the Kenyan side, it is home to a number of animal, tree, plant and bird species some of which are restricted to mountain Elgon region.

The national park originates the series of the beautiful Sipi falls, flowing right from the forest to form magnificent attractive water falls, there are well established trails for example the Sipi trail, the Sasa trail that can enable you reach the bottom of the water fall, not only Sipi but there are other falls in case one would be interested in a different hike like the chebonet waterfalls, the vegetative cover on mountain Elgon national park is a habitat to elephants, spotted hyenas, buffaloes, waterbucks, oribi, duikers, primates like the black and white colobus monkeys and the blue monkeys could be spotted here, it boasts with a big number of over 300 species of birds making it a prime destination for birding safaris, birds like the African reed warbler, little rush warbler, yellow bellied hylicota, African hill barbler, thick billed honey guide,  to mention a few.

The mountain was ounce the tallest mountain in Africa, however due to eruption and erosion it ceased the position, the mountain has the largest foot base in Africa being occupied by people, its caldera being the most wide compared to other volcanic mountains in Uganda, hiking the mountain is not so popular but peaking as tourists are interested in mountaineering, the national park is managed under the Uganda wildlife authority together with the pain-upe and matheniko game reserves. Trips can be organized to hike the mountain Elgon, other activities include birding, hiking, guided nature walks  visiting the local community, they have a rich cultural back ground for example the Bagisu have yearly circumcision ceremonies on every year divisible by two as known to the traditionalists, they perform this ritual as a way of transforming the teenagers into adulthood, they will show you different uses of the forest, the food that is collected from the forest to mention their staple food “malewa” gotten from bamboo shoots.

The national park is approximately 6 hours’ drive from Kampala the capital of Uganda by road, they are well maintained the route to the national; park is well situated that one can have a stopover in Jinja at the source of the Nile, climbing mountain Elgon needs fitness hence advisable to prepare in advance, there is available accommodation for example the Lacam lodge, Sipi travelers inn, Noah’s ark the few facilities available.

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