On this page I will tell you how to get to and around Mountain Elgon Park, accommodation facilities, camping, best times to visit and more ... Just about all you need to know about this place.
Mountain Elgon Park is located in eastern Uganda - right at the border with Kenya. Getting here is quite easy ... and fortunately, there is only one option; by road.
You could have flown into Entebbe and found your way to Kampala and you are now trying to find your way to Mountain Elgon Park ... OR you could be anywhere within Uganda - wherever you are, it's quite easy to get here.
... But for purposes of this guide, we will use the Capital, Kampala as our starting point.
Mountain Elgon National Park is about 240km east of Kampala. It is served by tarmac roads, follow the Kampala-Jinja highway. You could decide to go through Jinja town (if you wish! Lots of activities here to enjoy) or you could save it for you return.
From Jinja head east onto the Jinja-Iganga highway to Iganga town. Follow on to the Tirinyi road on your way to Mbale town. Mbale town is right at the foot of the Elgon ranges. You are as good as there - this is ideally suited for a day trip. If you plan to hike the Elgon, you could freshen up here, restock and make any final preps.
To get to the trailheads of Mountain Elgon Park, follow the Mbale - Kapchorwa road. You will go off to dirt roads that lead to the trailheads. There are three trailheads; the Sasa trailhead at Budadiri - this is probably the most direct route to the peaks that is accessed by many, the Piswa trailhead at Kapkwata and the Sipi trailhead at Kapkwai. The choice is yours on where you want to start.
There will be information on the trails at the information centres at the start ... and porters to help you carry anything above 15kg at a fee.
Mountain Elgon National Park can be visited all year round ... But so that you know, the dry seasons to look out for are; June to August and December to March. It could get quite wet, soggy and chilly in the rainy season ... but you think the eyes care?! The wet season is actually a good time to see most of the attractions here. The falls will be thundering, not just dribbling.
It does and quite often rain any time here anyway! - which is also pretty much the same in many parts of the country.
A small fee will be charged for most of the activities and sites within the park which is different from the entrance to the park and which will normally be subject to change. See current fees for National Parks in Uganda here ...
There is quite decent accommodation at the forest cottages at Kapkwai. The wooded bandas here are naturally air-conditioned with a good ambience and that warm shower that will come in handy after your day's trek. You can grab yourself a cold refreshing Ugandan beer at the 'bamboo groove' canteen any time. lots of soft drinks as well.
Suam and Kapkwata guesthouses are the other options. For larger groups, the Forest Exploration Centre offers dormitory style accommodation - quite ideal for students travelling on string budgets!
... Otherwise on your hike, all you will get is camping sites along the trails. My favourite is the one at the Tutum cave - very interesting place to camp. The sounds of the waterfall spilling over the entrance and the squeaking bats as they fly in and out ... amazing!
Outside the Park, Mbale town gives you a selection across the board. Top end would be; the Mount Elgon Hotel, Sunrise Inn, Mbale Resort Hotel and more ...You will certainly find something within budget.
I have made a whole page where I tell you more about the attractions ... and stuff to do in the Park, so I'll keep this short:
Most people come here for the Elgon hike, but there is a lot more this place offers ...
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