Mount Elgon is Kenya’s second highest mountain. It lies 140 km north-east of Lake Victoria and is bisected by the Kenya-Uganda border. An ancient eroded volcano with a huge caldera, its summit has the spectacular flat-topped basalt column known as Koitobos. Another unique feature of the mountain is the lava tube caves, some over 60 metres wide and only caves in the world frequented by elephants (and other animals) digging for salts. Mount Elgon National Park was gazetted in 1968 and covers a narrow transect on its north-eastern slopes. The remaining forest and moorland is part of the Mount Elgon Forest Reserve.
Attractions - Together with the fauna and flora, the park is endowed with variety and breathtaking scenery of cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas, hot springs, and the mountain peaks
Wildlife - Elephant, leopard, giant forest hog, bushback, buffalo, duiker, black and white colobus, blue monkeys, and golden cat, among others. Birds: More than 240 bird species in the area, including the African crowned eagle, Ross’ turaco and red-fronted parrot.
Access - Road: Access is via tarmac road to Kitale, branch to murram road and then to the Chorlim Gate. Two routes to the gate can be used, either via Endebess or take the tarmac road 15 km past Kitale and turn left onto a murrum road leading to the gate.
Accommodation - Lodges: Mount Elgon Lodge, 0.5 km outside the park gate. KWS Self-Catering Accommodation: Kapkuro Bandas, Koitoboss Guesthouse, Kitum Guesthouse
Best time to visit - All year round
Activities - Vehicle circuits leading to animal viewing areas, the caves and Koitoboss peak; self-guided walking trails (ask for the Kitum Cave guide book at the gate); hiking to Endebess Bluff and Koitoboss Peak; primate and bird watching; cave explorations; camping; horse-riding; photography.