Location: Eastern Border of Uganda & Kenya
Area: 1,279 km2
Nearest City: Mbale District in Uganda
Gazetted: The Kenyan part of the park was gazetted in 1968, the Ugandan part in 1992.
Land Features: Together with the fauna and flora, the park has a variety of scenery; this includes cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas, hot springs, and the mountain peaks. The most popular areas are the four explorable, vast caves where frequent night visitors such as elephants and buffaloes come to lick the natural salt found on the cave walls. Kitum cave, with overhanging crystalline walls, enters 200 m into the side of Mt. Elgon.
At the Endebess Bluff there a panoramic view of the areas’ escarpments, gorges, mesas, and rivers.
Biome: Elgon’s slopes support a rich variety of vegetation ranging from montane forests to high open moorland studded with the giant lobelia and groundsel plants. The vegetation of the park varies with altitude.
Rivers: Mount Elgon is an important water catchment for the Nzoia River, which flows to Lake Victoria, and for the Turkwel River (known as the Suam River in Uganda), which flows into Lake Turkana. The most remarkable is the River Sipi which forms the specular Sipi falls.
Forests: The Benet Forest and Kapkwai Forest
Mountains: Mount Elgon
Bird Species: Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 bird species. Of particular interest are Jackson’s spurfowl, the eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Hartlaub’s turaco, the Tacazze sunbird and the endangered lammergeier, due to their restricted range.
Animal Species: The Park supports over 60 varieties of wildlife including rock and tree hyraxes, defassa waterbuck, oribi, bushbuck, duiker, forest hog, bush pig, leopard, civet and serval cats, serval cats, spotted hyena; aardvark and several rodent species. Elephants and buffalo can be found on the lower slopes. There is also a variety of small antelope and duiker, as well forest monkeys, including the black-and-white colobus and blue monkey red-tailed monkey have been reported after being thought to be locally extinct. Leopards and hyenas also exist there.
Local Tribes: 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.
Activities: Hiking, Nature Walks, Nature Biking, Rock Climbing, Abseiling Cave Explorations, River Excursions, Primate Walks, Wildlife Excursions, Bird Watching, Camping, Photography Expeditions, Tribal Excursions
Interesting Fact: The Bagisu, also known as the Bamasaba, consider Mount Elgon within the National Park to be the embodiment of their founding father Masaba and refer to the mountain by this name