Mount Elgon is the oldest and largest free standing volcano in East Africa, the eighth highest mountain in Africa and is protected by two national parks. It sits on the Uganda – Kenya border, 4321m tall, offering spectacular scenery and great hiking at a variety of levels.

Its 3500 km2 host a variety of altitudinal plants from mountain forest to strange giant lobelia, 300 species of bird, hot springs, caves and beautiful waterfalls.



Mt. Elgon is accessible from both Uganda and Kenya, although its highest peak, Wagagai (4,321m), lies within Ugandan territory. Despite the altitude, this is not an incredibly difficult climb and does not require specialist mountaineering equipment.

There are five major peaks in the park: Wagagai (4,321m)

Sudek (4,302m)
Koitobos (4,222m)
Mubiyi (4,211m)
Masaba (4,161m)

Elgon’s caldera is one of the largest intact calderas in the world.

Mount Elgon Wildlife & Birds

  • Elgon supports 24 species of mammal, including blue monkeys, black-and-white colobus, De Brazza’s monkey, leopard, buffalo and sitatunga.
  • 305 bird species are present with a rich variety of forest birds and several endemics, including moorland francolin, moustached green tinkerbird, Hunter’s cristicola, Alpine chat, marsh widowbird and bearded vulture. Twelve of these are found nowhere else.
  • Kitum Cave is a lava tube over 60m wide and 200m long. It is famed for the elephants that come to lick the salt that they gouge out of the walls with their tusks.
  • Sipi waterfall is a spectacular series of three waterfalls and described by many as the most beautiful waterfall in Uganda.

Activities at the Park

Hiking is the main attraction at Elgon. Day and four day hikes across the peaks are superb. Most trails now include the Sipi Falls, hot springs in the caldera and the cave paintings at Budadiri.

When to visit

The lower slopes are fine throughout the year.

The drier months (June – August and December – March) are best for hiking.