Mount Elgon National Park was named after the Mount Elgon which was caused by an extinct shield volcano on the border of both Uganda and Kenya.

Location of Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon National Park is found in the Eastern part of Uganda and its about 140 km North East of Lake Victoria the second Largest Lake in the world. Mount Elgon National Park is a very important water catchment for River Nzoia flowing to Lake Victoria and also River Turkwel that flows into Lake Turkana.
Mount Elgon National Park covers an area of about 1279 km² which is found on the borders of Kenya and Uganda with the Ugandan part covering about 1110 km² and the Kenyan part covering about 169 km². As the Ugandan part was gazetted in 1992, the Kenyan part of this park was gazetted earlier in 1968.

Climate of Mount Elgon National Park

The climate of Mount Elgon National Park is the moist to moderate dry type of climate and the annual rainfall is about 1,270mm running from December to March and the dry season run between June and August.

Vegetation in Mount Elgon National Park

Because of Mount Elgon's slopes, it supports different types of vegetation which differs with altitude and is between montane forest and high open moorland studded with both the giant lobelia and groundsel plants.  Mount Elgon slopes are covered with Aningueria adolfi-friedericii wet montane forest and olive Olea hochstetteri.
At higher altitudes, there are changes to olive and the Podocarpus gracilior forest, then a bamboo Arundinaria alpina zone, moorland with heaths Erica arborea, Podocarpus zone, herbs such as Alchemilla, Hagenia abyssinica zone, Philippia trimera, tussock grasses such as Agrostis gracilifolia and Festuca pilgeri, Helichrysum, Lobelia and the giant groundsels Senecio barbatipes and Senecio elgonensis.

Wildlife in Mount Elgon National Park

At the lower slopes of Mount Elgon, you find the Buffalo, Elephants, antelope, forest monkeys like the Blue Monkey and Black-and-white Colobus. Besides the mammals, there are also about 300 bird species found in Mount Elgon National Park like the African Goshawk, Lammergeier and Baglafecht Weaver. Also in 2000, the endangered dragonfly known as the Maathai's Longleg was discovered in the park and it was named after Wangari Mathaai the Nobel Prize winner.

Attractions in Mount Elgon National Park

With both the fauna and flora in Mount Elgon National Park, there are different types of scenery like waterfalls, cliffs, caves, calderas, gorges, the mountain peaks, mesas and hot springs. Four explorable areas that are most popular like the caves like Chepnyali, Kitum and Mackingeny that attract animals like the elephants and buffaloes which usually come for the natural salt that is found on the cave walls. The Kitum cave with the hanging crystalline walls goes 200 m inside the side of Mt. Elgon.

Also There is a panoramic view of the areas' escarpments, rivers, gorge and mesas at the Endebess Bluff. Also Koitoboss the highest peak of Mt. Elgon found on the Kenya side measures about 4,155 m easily be reached by mountain hikers in only two hours from the road.

Activities in Mount Elgon National Park

  • Primate and bird watching in Mount Elgon National Park
  • Game drive circuits searching for animals in viewing areas, the caves and Koitoboss peak.
  • Mountain climbing to Endebess Bluff and Koitoboss Peak
  • Camping photography
  • Guided walking trails
  • Cave explorations
  • ancient cave paintings near the trailhead at Budadiri
  • hot springs in the former volcano's crater which bubble at temperatures of up to 48 °C.