Mountain Elgon an extinct volcano is one of Uganda’s oldest physical features, first erupting around 24 million years ago.
Mt Elgon was once Africa’s highest mountain, far exceeding Kilimanjaro’s current 5,895m. Millennia of erosion have reduced its height to 4,321m, relegating it to the 4th highest peak in East Africa and 8th on the continent.
Mt Elgon is home to two tribes, the Bagisu and the Sabiny, with the marginalized Ndorobos forced to dwell deep within the forest of Benet.
The Bagisu, also known as the BaMasaba, consider Mount Elgon to be the embodiment of their founding father Masaba and refer to the mountain by this name.
At 4,000km² Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the world. Located on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding plains. The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna.
Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer. The higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya, creating an extensive trans-boundary conservation area which has been declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve.
A climb on Mt. Elgon’s deserted moorlands unveils a magnificent and uncluttered wilderness without the summit-oriented approach common to many mountains: the ultimate goal on reaching the top of Mt. Elgon is not the final ascent to the 4321m Wagagai Peak, but the descent into the vast 40km² caldera.
The mammalian fauna of Mount Elgon is poorly known.The most common secies,or atleast the most visible to hikers,are blue monkeys and black and white columbus.A small number of Elephants are residents of forests and several montane moorland endemics.
There are 3 main trails to hike to the Mountain summit; The Sasa trailhead at Budadiri, Sipi trailhead at Forest Exploration center-Kapkwai and Piswa trailhead at Kapkwata. Mount Elgon is the prime trekking mountain in East Africa and it is a huge volcano with the largest crater of the major peaks in Africa with the caldera being one of the world’s largest.
Welcome to Uganda the Pearl of Africa
On your arrival at Entebbe International airport, you will be welcomed by our safari guide who will then drive you to a guesthouse or hotel in Entebbe for a briefing about the safari, dinner and overnight rest.
After breakfast at 6am, your driver guide will drive to Mbale via Jinja a 5 hours’ journey on paved road. Along the way, you will have bathroom breaks.
From Budadiri to Sasa Camp (2.900m)
In the morning after breajfast at 6am, you will you drive to Budadiri (1250 m), nearby Mbale town, at the gate of the Mount Elgon National Park. After organizing the food supplies and camping gear, you will start trekking to Sasa River Camp (2.900 m) for the dinner and overnight. Distance covered: 8 km Altitude of the day: 1.700m.
From Sasa camp to Mude Camp (3.500m)
After breakfast proceeds through the forest to Mude Cave Campsite for dinner and overnight. Distance covered: 5 km Altitude of the day: 600m.
From Mude Camp to Wagagay Peak (4321 m) and return to Mude
After breakfast, you walk through the moorland zone up to the main peak, Wagagai, and return to the Mude campsite for dinner and overnight.
Distance covered: 18 km Altitude of the day: 820m.
From Mude Camp back to Budadiri
After breakfast descends to Budadiri and back to Mbale for the dinner and overnight sleep.
After breakfast at 8am, you will be driven back to Entebbe for your flight back home.
Required equipment and organization of the hike
rucksack, sleeping bag for low temperature and sleeping mat, trekking shoes, poncho or raincoat, heavy warm jacket, hand gloves, scarf and hat, one jumper, a torch. * Drinking water will be found in the mountain, however, it is advised to bring disinfecting tablets.