Uganda is full of bucket list experiences, but why not take the path less trodden and enjoy the wonders of eastern Uganda. Head east over the River Nile and you will find a real gem in Mount Elgon National Park.
Mt Elgon is pretty unique in that it has the largest volcanic base of any freestanding mountain and one of the largest (8km) intact caldera in the world. Once Africa’s highest mountain – far exceeding Kilimanjaro’s 5891m – thousands of years of erosion has now left it 8th in the ranking at just 4321m, making it both safer and easier to climb.
During the trek, you will get an experience of this stunning and undiscovered wilderness. Located in the foothills are the spectacular cascades of the Sipi Falls, a series of 3 waterfalls, the highest of which plummets 100m. Explore some of the caves the largest being 200m long and seems to be constantly growing due to a population of elephants in the area who come to lick the natural salts found on the cave walls.
The highlight of this 8 day trek is the final ascent to the Wagagai summit 4321m. The scramble is easy and does not require any special mountaineering skills or equipment.
– Summiting Wagagai at 4321m
– Source of the Nile
– Sipi Falls
– One of the world’s largest calderas
– Over 300 bird species
– Panoramic views
– Community coffee experience
Day 1 – Off to the Source of the Nile.
Day 2 – Travel to Mt. Elgon.
Day 3 – Bamboo forest, heath, moorland, wild flowers.
Day 4 – Everlasting flowers and Hunters Cave.
Day 5 – Summit to Wagagai Peak 4321m.
Day 6 – Sasa Trail, back to base and Mbale Town.
Day 7 – Travel to Kampala / Entebbe.
Your guide will pick you up early from your accommodation and set off east into the sunrise. Kampala is waking up and most of the traffic will be into the city as you go out. Your journey will take you through the expansive rain forest, the Mabira. There is an extra option of taking a nature walk in Mabira. This rain forest is a major catchment area for Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water body. Lake Victoria is the source of the world longest river, the Nile. Once in Jinja, you will take a boat cruise to source of the Nile, the point when the river leaves Lake Victoria.
In the afternoon, you can take on the a number of add-ons that make this the adrenaline capital of East Africa. You could take on kayaking, whitewater rafting, quad biking or an easy horse ride along the Nile. If you are in golf, there is a golf course along the Nile River. These adds-ons come at an additional cost.
Rise early and after breakfast, drive into the sunrise to Mt. Elgon an extinct volcano, which thousands of years ago was once higher than Kilimanjaro. Today it is a humble 4321m, making it both safer and easier to climb as the 8th highest mountain in Africa.
Today our safari takes us through the Mbale Town and on to Sipi Falls. You will break off for lunch, and later your guide will take you on a cultural experience with the communities in this area. Elgon is the home of the famed Arabic coffee – a strong flavored coffee that only grows in highland areas. This is an opportunity to experience coffee from garden to cup! At the end of the day, take a cup of coffee as you enjoy the sunset and amazing views.
Wake up to a variety of bird songs, village sounds over the valleys and brisk fresh mountain air. This morning after a hearty breakfast transfer to Kapkwata at 2190 meters where you begin your trek on the Kapkwata Trail. It is a scenic route running through the bamboo, heath and moorland. As you trek along enjoy the great views, listen to the wind and the songs of birds. Elgon is home to over 300 bird species and a variety of plants. Today’s overnight dinner and rest is Piswa Camp at 2850 meters an altitude gain of 660 metres from the start point.
Wake up to the first breakfast in the mountains. Life up here is so quiet apart from the sound of birds, the wind and wildlife. Today we hike up to the rim of the the caldera through beautiful gardens of rare and endemic plant species like the giant lobelia Elgonensis. Look out for the everlasting flowers- they never really die. Trek to the hot springs, yes this is an extinct volcano, and the amazing Suam Gorge. Continue through the wilderness on to Hunters Cave at 3850 metres. This is our campsite for tonight.
This is the day for the Wagagai summit. After breakfast trek through the moorland to the top of the caldera, and on to Wagagai Peak at 4321 meters. Enjoy this moment. There are few climbers to Elgon and reaching the top literary leaves you alone on top of Uganda’s second highest peak. It is overwhelmingly so quiet and alone here. It is a moment to savor.
Goal achieved, take the trek down through the Jackson summit (4200 meter) and the Jackson pool and on to Mude Cave Camp at 3500 meters. This is our campsite for the night.
This is the last day in the Mt. Elgon National Park. After breakfast, trek down the mountain through the Sasa trail to Budadiri town at 1250 metres. Your vehicle will then transport you to Mbale Town for a break and lunch. Thereafter continue the journey west into the sunset, over the Nile and into Kampala in the early evening. Welcome back from summit Uganda’s second highest peak. You can now rest for the night at your accommodation
Depending on your flight, you can take an easy day exploring the Kampala’s art and crafts markets. Or transfer to Entebbe town and have a wildlife experience at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, commonly known as the zoo. Here you will encounter the Big 5 (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo) and other wildlife found in Uganda’s 10 national parks.
There are several options for accommodation offering different levels of comfort and pricing. These range from budget accommodation to mid-range and high end options. Sometimes, the choice of accommodation is influenced by the activities you are interested in taking. Contact us and we will work with you to choose your ideal safari accommodations within your needs and budget.