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The Sipi Falls and Mount Elgon are located in the eastern portion of Uganda’s Mount Elgon National Park, which is elevated at 4321 metres above sea level with Wagagi as its highest peak. According to estimates, it last erupted 24 million years ago. It was initially taller than Kilimanjaro. Mount Elgon is a dormant volcano with the biggest caldera in the world and a foot base where numerous Kalenjin (sabiny) and Bantu (bagisu) people live. It is the fourth-highest volcano in East Africa and is located on the boundary between Kenya and Uganda. Its 1145 square kilometres of land were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

Mount Elgon National Park

One of the oldest mountains in East Africa, Mount Elgon is home to a variety of animals and plants, including mountain duikers, elephants, hyenas, buffaloes, deffassa waterbucks, oribi, as well as a few primate species, including black and white colobus monkeys and blue monkeys. More than 300 different bird species may be found there, some of which are unique to the region. These include the Jackson francolin, moustached tinker bird, African reed warbler, white winged sunbirds, crown hornbills, and black-colored apalis, to name a few.

The park sustains a very diverse vegetative cover that includes a montane forest, high open moorlands, and bamboo forests from which the bagisu source their primary meal, “Malewa.” The moorlands are also well-distributed with gigantic lobelia and ground plants. Orchids, floral plants, and carpet fans adorn the floor. Common tree species include cordia, cedar, and Elgon teak, to name a few. These are the native habitats of the little and large-scale forest creatures.

There are paths like the Sasa trail and Sipi trail that allow people get to the bottom of the falls in Mount Elgon National Park, which serves as a water catchment region for the Sipi River, which generates three beautiful waterfalls. Excellent views of Lake Kyoga and the lowland regions of the Karamojong region are available. It offers the chance to witness a variety of bird species.

The inhabitants of eastern Uganda, such as the Sabiny and the Bagisu, customarily practise circumcision as a means of changing youths into adults on a lucky year of the performance. The Bagisu refer to the peak Elgon as “masaba” since it is said that there is where their progenitor Masaba originated. Both races are farmers who engage in subsistence coffee and banana production. The Uganda Wildlife Authority oversees Mount Elgon National Park, Pian-Upe Game Reserve, and Matheniko Game Reserve.

The national park offers a variety of tourist activities, including as birding safaris, Sipi Falls, guided nature walks, and mountain climbing, among others. All seasons are good for visiting the national park, but December through February and June through mid-September are the driest. It should be remembered, nevertheless, that even during the dry seasons, it can rain sometimes in wooded areas, which get rain at any time. Carrying warm clothing, boots, caps, and waterproof phone and camera cases is advised.

The national park is easily accessible and six hours’ drive from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, in the east of the nation thanks to well-maintained highways.

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