Mountain Elgon National Park Uganda

Mountain Elgon National Park Uganda- Mountain Elgon is an extinct volcano with an enormous caldera covering 40 sq km at its top. Its highest Peak, Wagagi which is surrounded by a series of rugged peaks, stands at the height of 4,321 metres above sea level.

Mountain Elgon first erupted more than 24 million years ago and is known to have stood higher than Mountain Kilimanjaro which Africa’s highest mountain in its earlier days. 

Mountain Elgon is also locally known as Mountain Masaba. Masaba is the name of the founding ancestor of the Bagisu people, and he is said to have emerged from a cave on the slopes of Mount Elgon several centuries ago. Mount Elgon is an essential watershed with various rivers including the Sipi which forms the famous Sipi falls. The slopes support a wide variety of altitudinal vegetation zones ranging from montane forest to high open moorland studded with the other-worldly giant lobelia and groundsel plants.

Mountain Elgon National Park Uganda
Von Hohnel’s Chameleon

Though the spectacular scenery is a primary attraction, the park has a variety of flora and fauna. These include forest Monkeys, small Antelopes, Elephants, Buffaloes, among others.

Mountain Elgon National Park Uganda Birding

Mount Elgon’s forests are rich in birds, with a total of 300 species. The park harbours 43 of the 144 species of Guinea–Congo Forests biome and 56 of the 88 species of Afro-tropical Highland biome that occur in Uganda. There are isolated records of the near-threatened species, the Taita Falcon. Mount Elgon represents the western range limit of some species or races that occur in the highlands of Kenya and northern Tanzania, such as Hunter’s Cisticola and JacksonFrancolin. Notable of the species restricted to the Afro-tropical Highlands biome; the Moorland Francolin, Green Tinkerbird, and the Alpine Chat. There is also an endemic race of the White-starred Robin.

Others to look out for include; Cape Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Little Rock-Thrush, Northern Anteater Chat, Nightingale, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Mountain Yellow Warbler, African Reed Warbler, Little Rush Warbler, Upcher’s Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, the Uganda and Brown Woodland Warblers, Green Hylia, White-browed Crombec, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, the Stout, Thrilling, and Rattling Cisticolas. Chances of seeing the Banded Prinia, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Yellow-billed Shrike, Ludher’s Bush-shrike, Cape Rock, Fan-tailed and White-naped Raven, Chestnut Sparrow, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, White-headed Buffaloe-Weaver and many more are very high.

Blue Monkey

Other attractions found in the park include ancient cave paintings close to the trailhead at Budadiri, spectacular caves and hot springs within the crater, as well as the famous Imbalu dances and ceremonies held by the local people during manhood initiation ceremonies.

Mountain Elgon National Park Uganda Birding

  • Size: 1,145 sq km
  • District: Mbale
  • Geographical Location: Eastern Uganda along the Uganda-Kenya border.
  • Altitude: The highest point at 4,321 metres above sea level

Mountain Elgon National Park Uganda Tourist Activities

  • Mountain hiking
  • Game Viewing
  • Birding
  • Nature walks
  • Archaeological Sites Viewing
  • Cultural Tours (Circumcision Dance Ceremonies/Street Carnivals)



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A Mantled Guereza monkey perched thoughtfully among the green foliage in Uganda's forest.