If you have been looking for something to take your breath away, then the Mountain Elgon Hike will do it ...
Firstly, I hope you've got sometime on you; A four-day, three-nights hike, perhaps five-days will do for planning purpose. Anything less would be a scratch on the iceberg and perhaps not worth it to take on this hike!
I will now let you yearn for the Wagagai (4,321m) and the Jackson Summit (4,160m). These two peaks are the climbers' favourite and they truly sum up the Mountain Elgon hike. They are quite easily accessible - no special climbing equipment needed or skills required.
Once the rubber hits the road, there are three trailheads to choose from; Piswa trailhead at Kapkwata, Sasa trailhead at Budadiri and the Sipi trailhead at Kapkwai.
The Sasa trail is the more direct course to the peaks - quite steep though, with a rugged climb for the first 1,600m and takes you through the park's largest bamboo forest. The Mude cave is long this route.
Along the Sipi trail is the Tutum Cave - right in the midst of this extensive forest. This is one spot you will enjoy (that's if you're into camping of course!). The sound of the Sipi falls that spill over its entrance with the resonance of squeaking bats as they get in and out of this massive cave as dusk falls is out of this world ...
Hello! ... Some of these sounds and scenes will forever live with you and remind you of that unforgettable Mountain Elgon hike.
The Piswa trail, known for the lofty Podpcarpus forest is one I would recommend for wildlife viewing ... not that you will not see any with Sipi and Sasa!
... And then, here is what makes me wonder; do climbers ever get worried about the return journey - after the satisfaction kicks in and there is no more peaks to conquer? The beauty about this place is that you could decide to descend using a totally different route - giving you much more to see on your way back.
There are camping sites along the trails - which should come in handy after a long day's trek. However, remember to bring your own camping equipment. These sites have a water source close by (not for drinking! Therefore, have enough stock.) and tent pads. There are house rules to follow - please respect them! Only camp in the designated areas and protect our environment.
To make your Mountain Elgon hike even more splendid, you will be pleased to know that Mt Elgon Park - Uganda has got an arrangement for cross border tourism with Mt Elgon Park - Kenya. That is something that could excite you! You will be handed over to the other team at the hot springs. That's food for thought!
Trained ranger guides are available at the start points. And as a requirement, you will require one to show you the way - ensuring your safety and reading the environment. If you have lots to carry, local porters will be at hand to help you carry your stuff ... but only to a maximum of 18kgs.
Without doubt, someone out there will want to know what to expect; what to bring for the Mountain Elgon Hike. I therefore prepared this for you well ahead for your Mountain Hiking planning, read on ...
You will find the Elgon a challenging, but not exhausting hike ... and perhaps to cover up for that will be the various landscapes that quite capture every moment as you go along.
... And here is my last one on the Mountain Elgon hike; there will be some quite cold and wet moments - just don't expect to stay dry all through, especially in the rainy season! 'fore-warned, fore-armed', so they say ...
Come and do the hike and experience it yourself, you will love it!
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