The less explored Mount Elgon National Park is found in both Uganda and Kenya. In Uganda, it is found in the districts of Kapchorwa and Mbale. The National Park is a gazetted international ecological conservation area, as a habitat to unique vegetation species.
The Park is also home to a number of endangered animal species, including buffalos and cheeters which traverse the Mount Elgon ranges on both Uganda and Kenya sides. In addition, the Park is also habitat to bird species not found in other parts of Uganda.
Established only in 1993, the Park’s tourism potential is yet to be fully harnessed. In particular, mountain climbing expedition trails are not well developed on the Mbale District side. Better accessibility is offered via Kapkwata and the ‘forest exploration Centre’ at Bumasola in Kapchorwa District.
Besides the wildlife, the Caldera found at the most top of the Elgon ranges is a key attraction of the Park. The Caldera remained as a depression on top of Mount Elgon after the volcanic activity.
The depression is 8 kilometres in diameter and has a circumference of 40 Kilometres. Other attractions within the Caldera include Hot Springs, Crater lakes, the Swam Gorge with heavy population of wild game and scenic peaks.
Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls in Eastern Uganda in the district of Kapchorwa, northeast of Sironko and Mbale. The waterfalls lie on the edge of Mount Elgon National Park near the Kenyan border.
The Sipi Falls area is the starting point for many hikes up Mt. Elgon. The most popular route starts in Budadiri and follows the Sasa trail to the summit and then descends down the Sipi trail back into the Sipi Falls.
Bufumbo and Wanale Forest Reserves are found at the ridges, located about 5 Kilometres East of Mbale town. The key attractions at the reserves include the forest walks, primate viewing, bird watching, cave exploration, cliff viewing and mountain climbing.
There is also a campsite at the Wanale ridge. The primates found include blue tailed and black and white monkeys. The shy African Civet mammals are also a common feature. Viewing of birds such as the Turakos is a common experience.
These are found about 50 Kilometres south-east of Mbale town, overlooking the Lwakaka border post. Both sites are important for Scenery and Cliff/Ridge viewing and birding. Some campsites exist at the sites and UWA are reportedly developing trails from the areas to the Caldera.
The hills are found south of the Elgon ranges. An historical campsite dating to the colonial period exists at the bottom of the hills. Infrastructure at the site includes a permanent tile-roofed shelter and toilet facilities.
The campsite has beautiful scenery of the Elgon ranges and was used as a launching point for mountain climbing expeditions. However, encroachment on the mountain slopes by human settlements has made the area prone to landslides.
Semei Kakungulu Tombs and the Mutoto Circumcision sites are the most important cultural / heritage sites in Mbale District. Semei Kakungulu Tombs are located about 5 Kilometres off the Mbale-Soroti road while the Mutoto Circumcision site is located within Mbale Municipality.
The Tombs are of the former representative of the colonial government in charge of Eastern Uganda. The Mutoto site is a place where the annual tribal circumcision ceremony is launched.
The authentic, original Source of the Nile Site, where the British Explorer Speke first discovered the River Nile (of course the Africans knew there was a river).
Stand where he stood, take a picture with the monument, go for boat rides across the river Nile and into Lake Victoria, see monkeys, monitor lizards, pythons (and maybe even an authentic African Witchdoctor).
The site also allows for camping, nature walks, parties and occasions with a truly spectacular nature setting. Ideal for Bird watching and anyone looking for 1 day tour in the Ugandan Countryside.
The Nile rafting experience takes a full or half day. You will enjoy getting soaked wet on that adventure.
Take a boat cruise on the river Nile and visit the exact spot where the Nile separates from Lake Victoria on its journey to the Mediterranean Sea.