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At 4,000km², Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the world. Located on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding plains. The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna.
Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer. The higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya, creating an extensive trans-boundary conservation area which has been declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve.
A climb on Mt. Elgon’s deserted moorlands unveils a magnificent and uncluttered wilderness without the summit-oriented approach common to many mountains: the ultimate goal on reaching the top of Mt. Elgon is not the final ascent to the 4321m Wagagai Peak, but the descent into the vast 40km² caldera.
Siipi Falls is the most popular starting point for different hikes to Mount elgon. Hikking around the falls offers stunning views of the Eastern Rift Valley and Lake Kyoga. With a cooler climate than most of the country Sipi Falls is a nice place to unwind, relax and literally chill out away from the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities. Siipi falls is located on the foothills of Mt. Elgon and it offers a number of alternative activities to the mainstream river activities in and around Siipi falls area.
Activities and attraction: The activities and attractions within and around Mt. Elgon National Park and Siipi Falls that always offer a great experience to wildlife enthusiast and holiday travellers include;
Mount Elgon Hiking and biking. A mountain biking trail runs from Sipi trading centre to Chema Hill in Kapchorwa town. It should take 1.5 hours and provides views of various waterfalls and the Karamoja plains.
Abseiling. This trilling two-hours activity is carried out besides the lowest of the Sipi Falls. This is where you drop 100m overlooking the ridge as you descend next to a pool. You can take a dip in the pool before the ascent back to top of the hill.
Rock climbing in Mount Elgon. Rock climbing takes place outside the park at Sipi. There are 14 climbs requiring various levels of rock scaling techniques, and all equipment can be hired from the Sipi Falls Tourist Guides Association. The toughest is a 35m climb while the easiest is 15m. Both command a picturesque view of the main falls and the Karamonja plains.
Cultural encounters in Mt. Elgon. Find out where your coffee comes from! Grown on the mountain side of Mt Elgon is Arabica coffee – also named Sipi or Bugisu by the farmers – who have a reputation for producing some of the finest washed Arabica in Kenya and Uganda. Get to experience of the local traditions including their traditional dances.