MT ELGON CLIMB, UGANDA TOUR : Climbing Mount Elgon Uganda – 8 days tour
Mount Elgon came into existence as a result of a volcanic eruption. For hundreds of years, the mountain has never erupted since its formation. With its highest peak, Wagagai, at 4,321m high, Mount Elgon’s major features are: plethora of waterfalls, hot springs and the extraordinary caldera, which is about 8 kilometres in diameter. Although Uganda is at the Equator, Mount Elgon sometimes experiences temperatures below freezing point. The blazing equatorial sun and freezing temperatures produces giant vegetation. Climbing is best done in the dry months of June to August, and December to February, but other months are also manageable.
MT ELGON CLIMB, UGANDA TOUR : CLIMBING MOUNT ELGON (8 Days)
(Tour Code VUG12) This safari starts and finishes in Entebbe.
[Approximate walking time: 6-8 hours daily]
ITINERARY TO CLIMB MT ELGON
DAY 1, Arrival
Arrive Entebbe airport. Meet, greet and transfer to Boma Guest House IN Entebbe or to Hotel Africana or Bougainviller Hotel in Kampala for overnight (BB)
DAY 2, To Mt Elgon
Briefing from your guide. Afterwards drive eastwards to Sipi Falls on the slope of Mount Elgon. Start for Jinja, via Mukono and through Mabira Forest, the largest in Central Uganda (Mabira is a local word meaning giant forest). Proceed to Jinja past the Owen Falls Dam, Uganda’s main Hydro Electricity dam. Visit the Source of the Mighty River Nile. Proceed to Mbale Park Headquarters and finalize trekking arrangements for the next day. Use opportunity to get informed about Mt. Elgon National Park, look at the map for all trails, buy souvenirs or postcards. Continue to Sipi Falls Rest Camp. Relax in the full comfort huts, with rustical dinning room, bar, the garden with a view of Sipi Falls and country side around. Short excursion to the bottom of the Sipi Falls, time allowing. Try to catch sun set from the garden. [Approximate driving time: 6 hours] O/N: Mbale Resort Hotel or Sipi Falls Rest Camp (1770m), FB.
DAY 3 To Piswa Patrol Camp (2850m).
After an early breakfast drive on murram roads to Kapkwata (2190m). At this ranger station meet the rangers and porters and start to hike the Piswa Trail. Take a gentle climb through a cultivated area until you reach the Park with its Podocarpus forest, dotted with a large host of monkeys and birds. (FB)
DAY 4 To Hunters Cave (3870m).
After breakfast start the long, steep climb to this Cave located below the rim of the caldera, set up the tents and enjoy beautiful landscape covered with giant groundsels. After dinner enjoy stars and particularly Milky Way is nicely visible. Get ready for a cold, freezing night sometimes with temperatures below freezing point. (FB)
DAY 5 To Mude Cave Camp (3500m).
Short climb to the rim of the caldera and enjoy its magnificent view. On a clear day, all the highest peaks on the Uganda/Kenya border may be seen. Long trek through a boggy area within the crater, which is covered with many streams and rivers. Continue your trek to the hot springs, whose end point on the other side is the Kenyan border. Make sure you relax your feet in the warm water at 48o C – before you join Sasa Trail through the middle of the giant caldera. Enjoy the volcanic landscape and thousands of giant groundsels, occasionally spotting dykers and/or hyrax. Reach the southwest rim of the exhilarating caldera and descend to Mude Cave Camp for overnight (FB).
DAY 6 To Sasa River Camp (2900m).
Start after an early breakfast back up to the mountain. Be careful to take only a small back-pack! After a short climb trek directly to Wagagai Peak (4321m), the second highest in Uganda after Rwenzoris’ Margherita at 5,109m. There is no steep climb and after about three hours the summit can be reached. Enjoy the beautiful view from the top, particularly of crater and the Kenyan side. For those who do not wish to climb Jackson Summit, a more restful day walking from Wagagai Peak back to Mude Camp and on to Sasa River Camp.
For those who can, depending on altitude sickness, climb Jackson Summit (4165m). This last section is rather steep and ropes and crampons may be required for climbing over loose, huge rocks. Return on a straight trail to Mude Cave Camp, collect equipment left there and descend to Sasa River Camp, directly overlooking the Sasa River in the middle of the luxuriant afro-montane forest. The trail down can be muddy and slippery so you need to be well-balanced! (FB)
DAY 7 To Budadiri Ranger Station (1250m)
Take a long, steep and very slippery way downhill, passing the “Wall of Death”. At a distance, view the beautiful terraced hills surrounding the mountain. Walk through villages and shambas, with children waving you on! Proceed to Budadiri Ranger Station (1250m). Drive to Mbale Resort Hotel or Sipi River Lodge for lunch and overnight (FB).
DAY 8 To Kampala and out
Return to Kampala. Visit Bujagali Falls on the other end of the Nile on your way. Arrive Kampala in mid afternoon and transfer to the airport in time for your flight. [Approximate driving time: 7 hours]