Mount Elgon National Reserve

The Mount Elgon National Reserve is one of Kenya's most beautiful, wild and intact, with vast areas of untouched forest.

The Mount, on the Kenya-Uganda border is a volcanic mountain, formed when the earth's crust erupted, creating the Great Rift Valley.

Game viewing is excellent: the park is home to about 400 elephants, buffalos, leopard, the protected colobus and blue monkeys, the giant forest hog, waterbuck and other types of antelope. Over 240 species of birds have been recorded. The huge Elgon teak and cedar trees, some over 80ft. tall dominate the forest scenery.

A major attraction is a series of four caves: Kitum, Makingeni, Chepnyalil and Ngwarisha, all of which are explorable. Kitum is the largest, extending horizontally for 200m into the heart of the mountain. In Maasai, its name means Place of Ceremonies.

The caves are favourite gathering places for elephants. Every night, long convoys venture deep into the caves to feed on the salt rich deposits. This phenomenon has earned them the title "underground elephants".

Mount Elgon also offers excellent climbing and walking opportunities. No special equipment for hiking is required and the park management provides guides.

The highest peak on the Kenyan side is Koitobos (4,200m). It is accessed through beautiful moorlands and springs that can be seen along the way.

The Park is criss-crossed by four rivers, leading to Lake Turkana: the Nzoia, Suam, Kerio and Turkwell. Sport fishing is possible in the Suam River.

Three short nature trails lead to Kitum Cave, Makingeni cave and the Elephant Bluff.

Mount Elgon National Reserve Facts

  • Altitude 8,000 - 13,800ft.
  • Area 169 sq. kms
  • Distance from Nairobi 470 kms
  • Airstrip at Park Headquarters
  • Opened April 1968
  • Third Highest Mountain in East Africa
  • Kitum 'Underground' Elephant caves
  • Wide variety of game to view, bird & primate watching
  • Nature Trails, hiking, picnics, fishing
  • Cave exploration & geological safaris

Reference: Kenya Wildlife Services

Return from Mount Elgon National Reserve to the Kenya National Park