Mount Elgon Cross Border Hike

Mount Elgon Cross Border Hike

The name is derived from Maasai word “Ol Doinyo Iigoon“(Breast Mountain).The local residents refer it as “ Masaba“ On the Uganda side by Bamasaba. Mt.Elgon is a massive solitary volcanic mountain on the border of Eastern Uganda and Western Kenya.Its vast 80kms in diameter,rises 3,070 metres above the sorrounding plains.Its cooler heights offer respite for humans from the hot plains below,and its higher altitudes provide a refuge for flora and fauna.

Mt.Elgon consist of 5 major peaks withonly one in Kenya.The Koitobos rising 4,222m asl.This is the third highest after Wagagai at 4,321 and Sudek 4,302 at the border of Kenya/Uganda.The other two include Mubiyi at 4,211m and Masaba at 4,161m asl.

Other features of note are:
-Elgon’s is one of the largest intact calderas in the world.
-The warm springs by the river Suam.
-Endebess Bluff -2,563 metres.
-Ngwarisha,Makingeny,Chepnyalil,and Kitum caves.
Kiptum caves is over 60metres wide and 200m long.The cave contains salt deposits and it is frequented by wild game including elephants that converge to lick the salt exposed by gouging the walls with their trucks.It was featured by Richard Prestons book ‘‘The Hot Zone‘‘ in 1994 for its associated with the Ebola-loike virus.

Vegetation


The diverse terrain and dramatic ascents of qaltitude combined with the vegaries of rainfall and weqather produce four distinct vegetation zones on Mt,Elgon. They include:
The Lusha Montane Forest (2000m-2500m): The forest is of dry,highland evergreen type and includes over 100 species as well as epiphytic orchids,ferns and trailling lianas.The bestb place to see this type of forest is on the chelulus circuit.

Mixed Bamboo and Podocopus Zone (3000m-3500m):Together with the forest contain the highest biodiversity on the mountain.
Health 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.

The mountain is the water tower for the several rivers such as the Suam river which feeds Lake Turkana as river Turkwel.River Nzoia and the Lwakhaka feeds Lake Victoria.
The park has earned the status of important Bird Area (IBA) and UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB)site.

Itinerary: Mt. Elgon Cross Border Hiking.

Day 1.
Pick up from Eldoret or Kitale Airport and drive to Mt. Elgon national park, Chorlim gate for Registration formalities and park fees payment. We drive further through the vegetation belts to Road-head. Dinner and overnight at campsite.
Day 2.
Early breakfast, hike to the highest peak in Kenya, Koitobos 4,222m asl. Descend to the Caldera passing Suam River, the border crossing point to Uganda. We hike further in the caldera to Mude caves campsite for dinner and overnight.
Day 3.
After early breakfast, we hike to the highest peak, Wagagai 4,321m Asl before descending back to Mude caves for lunch. We descend further to Sasa River camp for dinner and Overnight.
Day 4.
Breakfast is served before we descend through the bamboo forest to Mundamba cliff. We enter Bumasola village where our vehicle will be waiting. We drive to Mbale town for lunch. We drive through Tororo, Malaba border for immigration formalities. Proceed to Nairobi to
arrive early morning. 

5 Days Trekking Mount Elgon

Day 1: Eldoret Town -Chorlim Gate
Leave Nairobi through you flight/Bus arrive in Eldoret. Proceed to Kitale from where will do our last supplies before heading to Chorlim gate of Mt. Elgon national park. Upon arrival at the gate,the park formalities and fees are done ,we start our hike through the dense forest.Picnic lunch will be served at the Endebess Bluff.After lunch head up for next 2 hours to reach to Mutamaiyo camp,the trekking from the gate to the camp normally takes about five to six (5-6)hours and we will arrive at the camp in the afternoon.The distance covered is 14km and 2950m dinner and overnight at the camp.

Day 2: Mutamaiyo camp-Road head
Wake up 07:00hrs, after refreshing up,breakfast will be served as from 07:30hrs. Armed with picnic lunch we start our hike.The day will unfold and you will be able to walk in the forest and for the birdwatchers you will be to spots many types of birds along the way.The distance from Mutamaiyo camp to Road head normally take 5-6 hours.Upon arrival at the camp you will be welcomed by a cup of coffee/tea and snacks which will have been prepared by our chefs who always walks ahead of us.Your tents will have been pitched by our crew.The rest of the will be spent in this camp which is on a high level as we await to attempt the summit the following morning.Dinner will be served early as the camp is cold and windy.After the dinner we retire in tents to keep us warm.

Day 3: Road head –Koitobos-Mutamaiyo Camp
Wake up at 04:30 hrs, hot tea /coffee or chocolate and some biscuits will be served.The ascent to the summits starts atb 05:00hrs,we will converse through the moorland.At about 06:30 hrs you will have an opportunity to capture the sunrise.Then final stretch is a steep climb up for about 220m to get to the summit.The trek from Road head to Koitobos (summit) 4km,this normally takes like 3hrs to hit the summit 4222m,after taking the photos we then descend down to Road head Camp for lunch and relaxing for few hours,there after descend further down to Mutamaiyo which takes another 3 hours to get to mutamaiyo. Upon arrival you will be served snacks and hot coffee as well as tea.
Dinner and overnight at the camp.

Day 4: Mutamaiyo-Kapkuro camp
Breakfast will served at 7:00pm then descend down for another two(2)hours.The group will still be accompanied by the rangers since in early morning walk might encounter with the elephants or buffaloes along the way,visit kitum cave{400m}which is the biggest cave in Africa and the Makingemny caves.Arrive at the Kapkuro camp late afternoon for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Kapkuro-Kitale-Iten-Nairobi
After breakfast we exit Chorlim gate. Drive through Kitale to Eldoret and back to Nairobi.