Mount Elgon National Park

“Untamed Wilderness, Secluded Splendor” 

High in the mist-wreathed hills of western Kenya is a towering volcanic giant, crowned by a vast caldera etched by glacial tarns, honeycombed by labyrinthine caves, fissured by valleys and cascaded by streams. Visitors can explore the forest, see the elephant caves and also enjoy biking, hiking, and rock on the eighth highest mountain in Africa, Mount Elgon.

Key features

Vegetation

The diverse terrain and dramatic ascents of altitude combined with the vagaries of rainfall and weather produce four distinct vegetation zones on Mt. Elgon. They include:-

  • The Lush Montane Forest (2000m-2500m): The forest is of the dry, highland evergreen type and includes over 100 species as well as epiphytic orchids, ferns and trailing lianas. The best place to see this type of forest is on the Chelulus circuit.
  • Mixed Bamboo and Podocapus Zone (3000m-3500m): Together with the forest contain the highest biodiversity on the mountain.
  • Heath Zone (3000m-3500m): is characterized by dense scrub, brilliant wildflowers
  • Moorland Zone (3500m-4321m): Boasts of the highest number of endemic plants species on the mountain. The open moorland grassland is dotted with clusters of peculiar Giant grounded plus Lobelia plants which are unique to East Africa.

Protected Area Type

Park Size

169 sq. Km

When to go

Open year round; the Mt. Elgon area can be wet throughout the year. The driest months are December to February. There is cross-border tourism initiative where tourists climb on the Kenyan side and descend on the Ugandan side or vise-versa for convenience.

What to take with you

  • Plenty of water, picnic items, waterproof gear, warm clothing, walking boots, camera, camping equipment( if you intend to stay overnight) plus insect repellant.
  • Also useful are binoculars, hat, sunscreen and field guides.
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Game viewing
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Scenic

How to get there

  • 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.

Attractions

Caves

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.

Spectacular Waterfall

Making’eny Cave, located 1.5km from Kitum, has a spectacular waterfall over its mouth.

International designations

  • Important bird area (IBA)
  • UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) site

Park Entry Fee

Mt. Elgon National Park

Citizen

Resident

Non - Resident

Adults

KSH

Child

KSH

Adults

KSH

Child

KSH

Adults

USD

Child

USD

300

215

600

300

26

17

* Kindly refer to the document Conservation Fees 2015 below for other services and charges 

Park Resources

Postal Address:

Mobile+254 20 3539903

The Senior Warden,

Mt. Elgon National Park

P.O.Box 753, Kitale

Email: menp@swiftkenya.com; elgonnp@kws.go.ke;

Park Gallery