Are you planning a hiking/Mountain safari climbing in Uganda? Are in need of any related information for the different mountains in Uganda? Uganda is the best place for mountain climbing/Hiking, book an Uganda hiking safari and you will enjoy a memorable mountaineering experience. Here are FAQ about Mountain Elgon Hiking Safaris and all related information answering all your questions that you may have and more.
About Mountain Elgon and its Height.
Mountain Elgon National park is located in Eastern Uganda on the border between Uganda and Kenya, in Mbale district. The top of mountain Elgon has the largest volcanic caldera in the world which is 40km wide, The Mountain has a local name called Mountain Masaba referring to an ancestor believed to have come from one the caves. The park was named after the most significant natural attraction called Mountain Elgon that has a height of 4321 meters and it is an extinct Volcanic Mountain. Mountain Elgon park has a diversity of animal species among which are buffaloes, tinny antelopes, forest monkeys and elephants of fauna species, tree species, it is as well habitat to more than 299 bird species with a couple of them not being seen in any other part of the country. These birds include forest species and many endemic species specifically adapted to the montane moorlands of East Africa.
There are local people living on the slopes of Mountain Elgon with Unique culture that complete your whole experience of Mountaineering. Mountain Elgon is an important water pool for a number of rivers such as River Sipi that forms the famous spectacular Sipi falls. The mountain slopes support a great array of altitudinal vegetation zones that range from the montane forest to the towering open moorland scattered with the huge groundsel plus lobelia.
Mountain Elgon highest peak is the Wagagai peak found at 4321 meters above sea level, the Jackson’s summit at 4165 meters above sea level, Kiongo at 4303 meters above sea level and Mubiyi at 4210 meters above sea level. There are three routes up the mountain peaks and these are named trails, you can opt to combine different routes going up and down for a maximum variety of things to see. The trails are namely;
The Sasa Trail is the original route to Wagagai, It’s a 3 to 4 days walk/Climb to the summit with a 1650m ascent on day one. From Budadari, which is considered the trailhead, you reach Mudangi Cliffs, which are scaled via ladders, then it’s about 3 hours of pure bamboo forest. The second day is an easier walk, the on the third day, you can reach the summit and it’s about 4 hours from your campsite to Wagagai peak of Mountain Elgon.
The Sipi trail begins at the Forest Exploration Centre in Kapkwai, it gives you an opportunity to chill out at Sipi Falls following your trip to the top. It’s a 4 day to 7-day round-trip. On the first day, you can camp inside the huge Tutum Cave, which has a small waterfall over its entrance and once attracted elephants who dug salt out of the rock. You can opt to descend by the sasa trail which is considered easier.
It is considered the best wildlife-watching route as it doesn’t pass through bamboo stands, and it also offers the longest pass through the other-worldly moorland in the caldera. It is a 6-day trip when returning by the Sasa Trail and seven days when descending via the Sipi Trail. Piswa Trail is also considered to be more difficult to trek as it is high.
Mountain Elgon trekking activity is under the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority and according to the 2020-2021 Tariff, Hiking costs USD50 per person per day for foreign non-residents and foreign residents, Uganda shillings 50.000 per person per day for East African citizens. The cost is inclusive of Entrance fees and guiding fees but excludes Porter and cook fees. Hiking Permits are issued at UWA offices at each trailhead. The total cost for a hiking trip to Mountain Elgon includes Hiking fees, transport, accommodation, guide fees and all services. Encounter Africa safaris will tailor your trip and send you an all-inclusive package.
Booking Mountain Elgon trekking safari is the same as booking any safari in Uganda, the procedures are the same though demand is different. The booking process is very easy as hiking takes place throughout the year, Contact us about your planned hiking trip and we tailor a package that suits your budget, time and interest. Once you confirm you’re booking with us, we shall send you an invoice for payment so that we secure your hiking permits, book cook and potters, book your accommodation and transport and all services for your trip in advance.
Encounter Africa safaris organizes from budgets, mid-range to luxury trip options to Mountain Elgon National park, we have our popular trips that you can choose from below to visit hike Mountain Elgon and visit the Eastern part of Uganda. We as well consider highly customizing all trips to best match our clients’ needs, please feel free to visit our website and we will customize for you a tour that will suit your interest budget and time.
Booking a hiking trip to Mountain Elgon is can be done at any time of the year because climbing is done year-round. We advise booking the trip in months or weeks in advance for a convenient preparation, the best time is from June to August or December to March though this coincides with the rainy season. However, seasons are unpredictable and it can rain at any time. Visit our website for tour packages to mountain Elgon to select from or even request to tailor your dream adventure.
Mountain Elgon can be assessed from Entebbe/Kampala by road transport via Jinja-Sipi road, your journey will start early morning at 7:00am to escape the traffic Jam and you will stop in Jinja for Lunch and later continue to Mbale/Kapchorwa for overnight. The road trip is approximately 5 hours’ drive with a lot to see on the road namely; River Nile, Mabira forest, Plantations and the hospitable people. You can also access Mountain Elgon from Kenya via the Uganda-Kenya border and you will be required to secure an Uganda Visa of USD50 or East African Visa at the Airport in Kenya or online.
There are various options for accommodation before the hike and during the climb on the mountain. Before and after the hike, there are lodge/hotels/camps ranging from Budget to Midrange where you can stay. You can stay at Mbale Resort Hotel, Sipi river lodge and Mountain Elgon for Midrange and Luxury option, for the budget option you can stay at Noah’s Ark Hotel, Kayegi Hotel Budget rooms at Sipi Lodge and many others.
While on the hike, the only option is Camping, there are nine basic campsites that are located at strategic points along the trekking circuit. We advise you to respect park regulations by camping only at designated campsites for your safety and also protect the biodiversity. Camping equipment must be carried with you reason we recommend porters per day to help carry your luggage, the equipment can be hired or you can purchase them in Uganda
It is very safe to hike Mountain Elgon, Mountain climbing is one the major tourism activities in Uganda and therefore your safety is guaranteed. For all the days on your hike to the peak of mountain Elgon, you are allocated armed rangers to protect you and the guides from wild animals and any uncertainty. Mountain climbing has been happening for years on Mountain Elgon and other activities and safety is our priority for you to have an incredible experience. Since Mountain Elgon is shared by Uganda and Kenya, The two governments have combined efforts for the safety of the tourism activities happening on both sides, Climbers have the option of continuing their trek into Kenya, Park staff at the headquarters will take you to the immigration office in Mbale for the requisite paperwork and then hand you off to the Kenya Wildlife Service at the hot springs on the caldera, It is a two-day hike to the Kenyan side.
Encounter Africa safaris offers amazing Mountain hiking experiences to Mountain Elgon and the rest of the hiking places. We have conducted several Mountain climbing safaris to Mountain in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and DR Congo. Contact us for our discounted packages and also tailor-made trips. Our magic in organizing authentic experience stems from the fact that we have overtime assembled a team mixed with young and energetic staff guided by well experienced mature managers and directors who are Ugandans and passionate about what they do. Encounter Africa Safaris is highly rated and reviewed on trip Advisor and safari bookings to help you learn on the experiences of the other travellers who have travelled with us specifically for Mountain hiking.
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