MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Straddling the Kenyan border east of Mbale, Mount Elgon is the eight highest mountain in Africa (4321m). Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano that first erupted more than 24 million years ago and has the largest surface area of any extinct volcano in the world (50 km by 80 km). Hikers on Elgon are unlikely to see many mammals besides blue monkeys and black and white colobus. However a small number of elephants are resident on the mountain as are the striking De Brazza’s monkey in addition to leopard, bushpig and sitatunga. Mount Elgon contains 12 unique species of bird (including Jackson’s francolin, moustached green tinkerbird and the red-
Be warned that the mountain lies just below the snowline so it can be very cold at night. The national park can only be explored on foot. The most established route is at Budadiri on the western slopes. Two more trails run from Kapkwata (Piswa route) and Kapwki (Sipi route).
Budadiri, a small trading post a few kilometres outside the western park boundary is the established starting point for hikes up the mountain. It lies about 35km from Mbale by road. Several matatus and pick-
Recommended accommodation includes Rose’s Last Chance Lodge
Sipi Falls lies on the upper slopes of Mount Elgon. It consists of a series of four waterfalls culminating in a 99m drop at 1775m altitude! Outside the small trading post of Sipi, 60km from Mbalae by road. A local company called Rob’s Rolling Rock arranges abseiling down the main face (+256 (0)772 800 702).