Elgon Trekking Services has won the concession to manage the Sasa trail in the Mt. Elgon National Park. The concession agreement has been handed over by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the agency in charge of all Uganda’s national parks and game reserves.
Elgon Trekking is a sister company to the Kasese-based Rwenzori Trekking Services which operates hikes in the Rwenzori mountains.
Currently, only a trickle of hikers trek or even know about this majestic mountain located on the Uganda-Kenya border. This extinct volcano stands at a height of 4,321m (14,176 ft).
Mt. Elgon is one of Uganda’s oldest physical features, first erupting around 24 million years ago. Though Mt. Elgon was once the highest mountain in Africa, far exceeding Kilimanjaro, today it stands at 4th highest peak in East Africa, and 8th in Africa.
Even then Mt. Elgon still holds its own as the world’s largest volcanic base at 4,000km². It is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa.
Five of Elgon’s peaks rise over the 4,000 metre mark. These are: Wagagai at 4,321m, Sudek at 4,302m Koitobos at 4,222m, Mubiyi at 4,211m and Masaba at 4,161m.
Mt. Elgon National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer (bearded vulture). 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. 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.
Mt. Elgon can be hiked from either the Ugandan or Kenyan side over a period of 3-5 days to the highest peak of Wagagai depending on the hikers’ pace and route chosen.