Mt. Elgon is located 420 kms from Nairobi on the Kenya/Uganda border in Trans-Nzoia District. It is a volcanic mountain; formed when the earth’s crust erupted creating the Great Rift Valley. Rising from the jungles that border Uganda, Mt Elgon is an impressively craggy extinct Volcano. This remote region makes for interesting trekking through deep forest and across broad moorlands.
- Elephant, leopard, giant forest hog, bushbuck, buffalo, duiker, black and white colobus, blue monkeys and golden cat, among others.
- More than 240 bird species in the area, including the African crowned eagle, Ross’ turaco, and red-fronted parrot.
340 bird species have been recorded around the mountain. Of these 230 are forest dependant while 110 are forest specialist.
There are a series of four caves: Kitum, Makingeni, Chepnyalil and Ngwarisha, all of which are explorable. Kitum is the largest and most famous, extending horizontally for 200 m into the heart of the mountain. In Maasai, its name means Place of the Ceremonies.
At Kitum, each night Elephant herds gather and begin a slow procession deep into the mountain. The elephants make their way through the caves, following well worn paths made by generations before them. Deep in the cave, they use their tusks to excavate the walls, seeking the natural salt which they lick from the scarred rock. This nightly phenomenon has earned them the title “underground elephants”. In these caves, known collectively as Elkony, ancient cave paintings decorate the walls, and bats and rock hyrax are found among the winding passageways.
- Wagagai (4,321m) – Uganda.
- Sudek (4,302m or 14,140;ft) – Kenya/Uganda border
- Koitobos (4,222m or 13,851;ft), a flat topped basalt column in Kenya
- Mubiyi (4,211m or 13,816;ft) – Uganda
- Masaba (4,161m or 13,650;ft) – Uganda
Mount Elgon National Reserve
The National Park is one of Kenya’s most beautiful, still wild and intact, with vast areas of untouched forest. Game viewing is excellent; the Park is home to an estimated 400 elephants, buffalo, leopard, the protected colobus and blue monkeys, giant forest hog, waterbuck and various other types of antelope. Over 240 species of birds have been recorded. Huge Elgon teak and cedar trees, some over 80 ft tall, dominate the forest scenery. The Park is criss-crossed by four rivers, leading to Lake Turkana: the Nzoia, Suam, Kerio and Turkwell. Three short nature trails lead to Kitum Cave, Makingeni Cave and the Elephant Bluff.
Kerio Valley National Reserve
Kerio Valley is a 4,000 ft deep valley with semi-tropical vegetation on the slopes leading down to dry thorn bush at the base, with impressive views. The Kerio Valley was made a national reserve in 1983 for its bio-diverse importance, covering an area of 66 sq. kms.
Saiwa Swamp National Reserve
Saiwa Swamp National Park is one of Kenya’s smallest parks, only 3 sq. kms. Opened in 1974 to protect the semi-aquatic Sitatunga Antelope notable for its wide spread hooves which allow it to walk at the surface of the swamp. It is also home of the endangered De Brazza Monkey and a variety of otter, giant forest squirrel, Black and White Colobus monkey, bushbuck and grey duiker.