A Guide To Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Elgon National Park is 196km square park, 420km from Nairobi on the western border of Kenya and Uganda in Trans-Nzoia county. Mt Elgon, a volcanic mountain, is one of Kenya’s most beautiful parks, still wild and intact, with vast areas of untouched forest
Facts About Mount Elgon National Park
Area: 169 sq. km
Altitude: 2,100 – 4,301 m above sea level
Location: Astride the Kenya/Uganda border in Western Province.
Distance from Nairobi: 470 km north of Nairobi
Gazetted: Mt. El;gon was gazetted as a National Park in 1968
Climate: Wettest March to October. Driest November to February.
Rainfall: 1500-2000 mm pa Hail and freezing temperatures may be encountered at any time of the year on the upper slopes.
Flora: Ranges from wet montane and bamboo forests to Afro-alpine moorlands.
Fauna: Includes; elephant, leopard, giant forest hog, bushbuck, eland, buffalo, duiker, black and white colobus, blue monkey and golden cat.
Birds: There are more than 240 species of birds within the Park
Roads: Largely well-maintained dirt roads, suitable for 2WD for most of the year. 4WD is advisable in the wet season.
What To See At Mount Elgon National Park
The key attractions, besides the fauna and flora, is a variety of breathtaking scenery, including cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, calderas, hot springs and mountain peaks. The most popular areas are the four vast caves where elephants and buffaloes are frequent night visitors and lick the natural salt on the cave walls. The Kitum Cave, with overhanging crystalline walls, goes 200m into the side of Mt Elgon. The breathtaking natural beauty of the park is best seen at Endebess Bluff, where a panoramic view of escarpments, gorges and rivers is perfect.
Wildlife inhabiting the park includes the elephant, leopard, giant forest hog, bushbuck,buffalo, duiker, black colobus and white colobus, blue monkeys and golden cat, among others. Some 340 bird species have been recorded – 230 forest dependent and 110 forest specialist. They include the African-crowned eagle, Ross’ turaco and red-fronted parrot.
The park can be accessed by road through Kitale
and to the Chorlim Gate. An airstrip in the park comes in handy for visitors who fly. At present, the park does not operate the Safari Card system and entry is by cash.
In the park, there are no lodges or tented campsites. But KWS offers self-catering accommodation at Koitoboss Guesthouse, which can take in six people. Kapkuro Bandas have four units each, which can accommodate three people each. Camping facilities are available at Nyati, Chorlim and Rongai campsites There is a Saltlick Special Campsite.
Mt. Elgon is dotted with caves formed from ancient lava tubes namely Kitum, Making’eny, Chepnyalil ,Ngwarisha and many others some of which are outside protected areas
Salt-Mining Elephants of Kitum Cave
Kitum Cave is regularly visited by herds of elephants, dubbed the troglodyte tuskers, as well as bushbuck, Red Duiker, Grey Duiker and buffalo, all in search of the salts that abound in the mineral-rich earth of the caves.
Making’eny Cave, located 1.5km from Kitum, has a spectacular waterfall over its mouth.
- Important bird area (IBA)
- UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) site
Accommodation and hotels in Mount Elgon National Park
KWS Self Catering
Campsites Mount Elgon National Park
How to get to Mount Elgon National Park
- By Road: One route leads from Kitale town, while there are two options leading from Eldoret. Both lead by murram (dirt) road to Mt.Elgon Lodge and Chorlim gate. Chorlim gate is the main gate which also leads to the park headquarters
- By Air: Visitors can fly to the Eldoret airport (70 KM away) or the airstrip within the park. Please contact the warden for airstrip details. Kitale airstrip, located 10km outside Kitale town on the main Kitale–Bungoma road, is 30 km from the park.
Mount Elgon National Park fees
Adults KSH: 350
Child KSH: 250
Adults KSH: 700
Child KSH: 350
Non – Resident
Mount Elgon National Park Contacts
Attraction Type: Wildlife, Scenery & Landscapes
Category: National Park, Birding Site, Waterfalls
City / Town: Kitale
Telephone: 254 20 353 9903