Mountain Elgon national park is one of the best tourist destinations in Eastern Uganda with a number of activities ranging from mountain climbing to community visits. Below is some of the activities and attractions visitors may under on their travel to mountain Elgon national park.
Rock climbing is practiced outside Sipi park. 14 routes require different levels of scaling techniques with 35km as the toughest and 15 as the easiest. Both have a charming/scenic view of Karamoja plains and the main falls. Visitors can hire equipment’s to use in climbing from Sipi Falls Tourist Guides Association.
I/2 hours that are spent on the mountain biking trail from trading Centre of Sipi to Kapchorwa town on the Chema hill gives visitors a chance to view different waterfalls. Will also view the wonderful Karamoja plains. Visitors can hire bikes from the Sipi River Lodge.
Mountain Elgon is well known for Arabica Coffee growing and production in Uganda and Kenya. Farmers call it Sipi or Bugisu.
Sipi Widows Group walks with visitors in the coffee plantations explaining how and when to start plating, weeding, picking, grinding and storing of coffee. Once you join the local community and participate in their traditional activities like weaving, you will surely know who the Sabiny are and their life style. African Cuisine are well known for the preparation or cooking of delicious local foods. Don’t miss to taste. Don’t also miss to visit the women’s handcraft shops in the trading Centre because the fee collected contributes much to the community. The fee is used to speak against the traditional practice of female circumcision in the region, promoting coffee growing and also paying school dues for the less privileged and orphans.
In Budadiri community, there is mountain Elgon’s Arabica Coffee processing plants that offer help to the local farmers. In the same region, there are community groups that offer car hire, community nature walks accommodation, guided coffee tours and cultural dances. Visitors also experience the wonderful regions malewa bamboo shoot, cultural dances, folklore and food preparation.
Hikers can take three trails, ie, Namugabwe Cave Trail that takes a whole day. It passes through Bamasaba community land hence reaching the historical Cave that is full of bones. The three days walk to reach the mighty Sipi Falls also helps visitors to experience the culture of the two nearby tribes. Dirigana loop trail that goes straight to Gabushana Cave and Dirigsana falls allows visitors to experience the Walls of Death and the local markets.
Nature walks in mountain Elgon enable visitors to walk to the walls of death, i.e. from Budadiri to Mudange Cliffs which is at the borders of a national park. These cliffs are found in the tropical forest. Black-and-white colobus and blue monkeys, and baboons are also viewed on the way. Get a chance to sight the Karamoja plains and the African Sunrise on an awesome walk outside the park.
Local guides at Sipi falls can also arrange walks in the local area. For example, when in Kapchorwa, you can walk for 20minutes from Noah’s Ark to Tewei Hill.
Park primates, tree species and birds are viewed by hikers in the park. You can camp during the night on the mountain slopes once you have finished the trails that led you to the past caves, waterfalls and viewpoints of the day. Mountain bamboo trail takes over 7km to finish Kapkwai Cave that goes through bamboo and tropical forest. On the trail you will view birds, primates and rare trees like Elgon Olive and Elgon teak.
A hike to Tutum Cave is 11km and a walk to the Chabonet Falls is roughly 5km. The walk to Kapkwai Caves is 3km and there is a ridge view trail that follows it. A walk to Khauka Cave which is located in Wanale takes around 3-4 hours. On Nabuyoga loop you can view Wagagai peak and Jackson’s Summit.
Chubb’s Cisticola, African Goshawk, African Blue Flycatcher and White-chinned Prinia, Chinspot Batis, Dohertys and Luhders Bush-shrikes, Mackinnon’s Fiscal, Hartloub`s Turaco, Baglafecht Weaver, Moustached Tinkerbird, Tacazze Sunbird, Olive- and Bronze-naped pigeons, Cinnamon Bee Eater, Black Kite and Black-collared Apalis are spotted well in Kapkwai Forest Exploration Centre especially along the trail to Cheptui Falls. This place supports birding because of the thick shrub and secondary forest.
Mountain Elgon is the easiest and accessible mountain in Uganda that its peak can be climbed without special technic or equipment. There is no experience that is required climb peak of mountain Elgon. Travelers like climbing this mountain because it has got lower elevation, favorable climate, less congestion and many attractions.
Once you take the Sasa trail just know you have taken the shortest but the toughest way to the peaks of Mt. Elgon. On this trail you view the Bamasaba farming and also their settlements plus exploring their culture. The trip begins from Budadiri town which is at the elevation of 1,250m. You can finish the toughest climb on the starting day since it is at 1,600m. Later you can crossover to the bamboo forest going through Jackson’s Pool as you head to Wagagai peak.
The Sipi trail starts from Kapkwai Forest Exploration Centre which is 2,050m. it is 56km round trip and it can ultimately take 4-6days. It is considered to be the longest route to the peaks because it goes via Tutum Cave to reach the Caldera and finally enter Wagagai Peak. The journey that starts softly, becomes hard and tough when you reach Kajeri Camp.
The Piswa trail is gentle trail but a long one. It is 49km round trip and it takes a traveler 7 days. The traveler starts from Kapkwata Village and passes via the soft plantations and crosses over to Podocarpus Forest. It is well known for the scenic of Karamoja plains and wildlife in Uganda plus the Kapeguria and Nandi hills located in Kenya. Piswa way passes the hot springs and joins the Caldera and the peaks of mountain Elgon
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