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Visiting Uganda’s East: Mount Elgon

Visiting Uganda's East: Mount Elgon


With the breathtaking western regions of Uganda, the east is often neglected by tour companies and most travelers who visit the Pearl of Africa. With the Sipi Falls, Mount Elgon, and Kidepo Valley National Park in the far north east of the country, eastern Uganda has its beautiful spots which are worth being visited! This is our first entry in the series, Mt. Elgon.

Mount Elgon is the fourth highest massif in eastern Africa after Mount Kenya, Kilimanjaro, and the western Ugandan Rwenzori mountains. The mountain is, like the Virungas in the south western region of Uganda, an extinct volcano. The crater, close to the Kenyan border in the east, measures twelve kilometers in diameter. Its location is about 100 kilometers north east of Lake Victoria and the park can be reached by public means or your safari vehicle with Instinct Safaris. In fact, the size of Mt. Elgon measures 50 kilometers width from west to east, and no less than 80 kilometers north to south.

Mount Elgon’s highest peak, Waragai, reaches up to 4,321 meters and can be hiked to on three days. For people who wish to either hike at a slower pace or spend more time on the mountain, we offer to extend our hikes. Only few people know that Mount Elgon was once Africa’s highest mountain and it was far exceeding Kilimanjaro’s current 5,895m. Thousands of years of erosion have reduced its height to the 4th highest peak in East Africa and 8th on the continent.

This is the first article in the “Visiting Uganda’s East” series. To learn about Sipi Falls, please read our previous article “Visiting Uganda’s East: Sipi Falls”. To find out more about tourism in eastern uganda, please read our previous article on the region: “Eastern Uganda – Rich in Cultural and Natural Treasures”

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About Niels Sievertsen

I first came to Uganda in 2010. As a volunteer working for the German government, I have been implementing projects in Rubuguri, a small village bordering Bwindi Forest. These projects included coaching a local dancing group, giving computer classes to community members, opening a public library, and doing research about endangered species in the area. Now, I am partnering with Turyasingura Rabani to make quality tours available in Uganda, a beautiful destination for every ambitious traveler.

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  1. Visiting Uganda’s East: Sipi Falls | Instinct Safaris Uganda LimitedApril 9, 2013 at 6:09 amReply

    […] East” series. To read about Mt. Elgon National Park, please read our previous article “Visiting Uganda’s East: Mt. Elgon”. To find out more about tourism in eastern uganda, please read our previous article on the region: […]

  2. Hans JaegerMay 17, 2013 at 7:25 pmReply

    Thanks for the great trip to Uganda’s eastern territories. My wife and I really loved Emma, our guide and driver, as well as the falls at Sipi!


  3. James FrantonMay 19, 2013 at 12:37 pmReply

    Which hotels and lodges can you recommend in the area? We are planning a backpacker’s safari there in december. I guess that Mbale is a good hub to set off to the mountains?

    • Niels SievertsenMay 19, 2013 at 12:45 pmReplyAuthor

      In Mbale, we recommend the Protea hotel, for example. The rooms are clean and have a nice style. The view from the balconies is gorgeous, because you might be able to peek a view of some of the falls in the east, already!

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