In Uganda, tourism on Mount Elgon is centred on hiking, bird watching and the stunning scenery. A range of top end to backpacker facilities close to the beautiful Sipi Falls form an excellent starting point for visitors to Mount Elgon. Bunk houses higher up on the mountain provide over-night stops for longer hikes. At Sipi there are three falls with the largest and most striking being 87m. Sipi is easily accessible by car on a tarmac road and can be reached from Kampala, depending on traffic and conditions, in approximately 5 hours.
At Chorlim Gate in Kenya’s Mount Elgon Park, there are self-catering bandas, a self-catering guest house and a number of camping sites. A four-wheel drive vehicle is necessary in the wet season and advisable in the dry season. Further afield in Kitale and the region there are hotels, resorts and other places for visitors to stay. The Kenya park offers visits to its well-known Kitum Cave frequented at night by elephants. Also on offer are visits to lesser known caves plus hiking, bird watching and some wildlife viewing on several road circuits through the forest. Nearby are the Cherangani Hills and Saiwa Swamp National Park. Mount Elgon is a long day’s drive from Nairobi but Kitale, the local district capital, is well served with scheduled flights.
Trans-boundary tourism provides a memorable experience. A hike from the Chorlim Gate of the National Park in Kenya up to the caldera and down out of the Uganda park (or the other way) can be done fairly comfortably in four days. Border formalities must be maintained with trips to the relevant border post before departure. Guides, porters and security can be readily arranged.
Banner photo: trans-boundary hike towards the peaks, Kenya. Above: top left – driving in Mount Elgon National Park, Kenya; top middle – guides at Chorlim Gate, Mount Elgon Park, Kenya; top right – Koitoboss guest house, Chorlim Gate, Mount Elgon National Park, Kenya; bottom left – accommodation at Sipi Falls, Uganda; bottom right – descending from the caldera, Uganda. (Credits: Christopher Powles and Stephen Powles.)