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Mount Elgon National Park & Surroundings, Uganda



Mount Elgon Map PDF
Mount Elgon Map Gif

All National Park tariffs indicated below are effective 01 January 2009 through 30th June 2010
UWA New tariffs document Jan 2009 - June 2010 (148KB)Adobe Acrobat Document

 Visitor Entrance Fees  Non-Resident  Foreign Resident  East Africans
 Class - Category B  Visitation Fees US$  Visitation Fees US$  Visitation Fees Ush
 Adult  1 day/night - $25-  1 day/night - $20-  1 day/night - Ush3,000-
 Child (5-15 years)  1 day/night - $10-  1 day/night - $10-  1 day/night - Ush1,500-
 Child (0-5 years)  Free  Free  Free
Foreign Students with valid international identity cards are allowed 25% on entrance fees.
One days entrance is valid for twenty-four hours from the time of entrance.
All visitors will be required to produce valid ID's in order to determine their resident status.

t. Elgon NP Trekking Fees:
 Visitor Trekking Fees  Non-Resident/Resident  East Africans
 Class  Visitation Fees US$  Visitation Fees Ush-
 Visitation Fee  $50- per day  Ushs30,000- per day
 Porter fee per stage TBA-
Trekking fees include park visitation fees, camping fees and Ranger Guide/Escort fees.

 Guided walk Fees are per person
 Forest Exploration Ctr Sipi US$10- up to 4 hours

Commercial Filming Fees:
Commercial filming in all Protected Areas US$100- per person per day per person per day plus a refundable fee of US$1,000- when you provide UWA a copy of the film. You do not need a filming permit for non professional Analogue Video or Digital Video.

Trekking Stage Information:
Sasa Trail:

Stage 1: Budadiri - Sasa River Camp 10,5km by way of the village of Bumasola and Mudange Cliffs.
Stage 2: Sasa River camp - Mude Cave 5km via Sasa Patrol hut.
Stage 3: Mude Cave - Wagagai Summit - Mude Cave 18km
Stage 4: Return to Sasa River Camp 5km. Time permitting before leaving Mude Cave a side trek exists to Jackson Summit 8km return.
Stage 5: Sasa River Camp - Budadiri 10,5km

Sasa Trail - Piswa Trail Combination:
Stage 1: Kapkata - Piswa Patrol Hut Camp 11km
Stage 2: Piswa Patrol Hut Camp - Hunters Cave Camp 18km
Stage 3: Hunters Cave Camp - Mude Cave Camp 11km, side track to Hot Springs Hot Springs 3km.
Stage 4: Maude Cave - Wagagai Summit - Mude Cave Camp 18km
Stage 5: Mude Cave - Sasa River Camp 5km
Stage 6: Sasa River Camp - Budadiri 10,5km

Sasa Trail - Sipi Trail Combination:
This is a new route and the most popular option trekking from Budadiri to Wagagai Peak to Sipi Falls. It is possible to do the trail in the reverse direction. The route follows the Sasa Trail path via Maude Cave to Wagagai summit descending on the Sipi Trail to Sipi Falls by way of Kajeri Peak and the Forest Exploration Centre.

If you are doing a Sasa-Piswa Trail or Sasa-Sipi Trail combination you will be expected to pay for the transport of your guide and porters back to Budadiri or Kapkwata depending on which direction you make the traverse. You will also need to get your self back to the start point if you left a vehicle there.

Guides and porters are paid per stage. If you walk 2 stages in 1 day you will pay for 2 stages.

Giant Lobelia - Mt. Elgon
Giant Lobelia - Mt. Elgon

Park Access and booking:
Your climb should be organized from the Mt. Elgon National Park Headquarters in Mbale, Plot 19-21, Masaba Rd., House #84. There are trailheads at Budadiri and at Kapnarkut where park fees and trekking can also be organised

Mbale is 4 hours from Kampala via Tororo.
Kampala - Mbale via Jinja and Tirinyi Rd - 256km 3 hours.
Mbale - Budadiri - 30km 1 hour (road can be muddy and slippery in wet conditions).
Mbale - Sipi Falls - 66km 1 1/2 hours.
Sipi Falls - Kapkwata - 45km 1 1/2 hours

Matutus to Sipi Trading Centre depart from the clock tower taxi park in Mbale. The fare is Ush 4000-. The road has been completely tarred up to The Sipi Falls Trading centre with work continuing up to Kapchorwa. The road is steep in places however a pleasure to drive. This route was prior to the tar was a 6 hour hell journey after any rain.

Budadiri is accessible by public transport. Matatus for Budadiri also depart from the Clock Tower taxi park in mabale. The one way fare is Ushs 2,000-. Those with their own vehicles can be sure of finding safe parking in Budadiri or at Sipi Falls at a price obviously. Use public transport to get to the trail head at Kapkwata. Porters and guides will be found c/o the sub headquarters in Budadiri or Kapnarkut.

Guides and porters in Budadiri can be organised through the Mt. Elgon Guides and Porters Association.

Trekking Mt Elgon - Sasa Trail
Trekking Mt Elgon - Sasa Trail

On the Mountain:
Inside the park, there are simple camping sites. For those without their own equipment the National Parks office in Mbale has tents for rental at Ush 10,000- per day and sleeping bags at Ush 2000- per day. You must bring your own warm clothing. There are no rental facilities in Budadiri.

 National Park Bandas  Single  Double
 Mount Elgon Forest Cottages
 Ushs30,000-  Ushs50,000-

 Hostel & Guest Houses  Dormitory style basic accommodation provided by National Parks
 Kapkwata and Suam  Ushs10,000- per person per night

 Student Centre  Dormitory style basic accommodation provided by National Parks
 Kapkwai  Ushs10,000- per person per night

Kapchorwa: (12 kms from Sipi Falls and 40 kms from Mbale). Probably the largest settlement on Mt. Elgon when proceeding to the border at Suam. Kapchorwa has a large market, post office and more to the point is either the beginning or the end of the tarmac. Depending on whether your heading up or down the mountain. There are some panoramic views to take in along this road so time your time.

Masha Hotel: Tel. 0777 254690, email: mashahotel@yahoo.com. 23 room hotel located in a quiet residential area 1 km from Kapchorwa town centre in the direction of Sipi. Restaurant and bar.
Single: Ushs25,000-, Single self-contained Ushs40,000-
Double: Ushs30,000-, Double self-contained with TV: Ushs40,000-.
Annex single rooms Ushs25,000- non self-contained
Room rates include breakfast.

Noah's Ark Hotel: Tel. +256 (0)772 646364, Email: info@noahsarkhotel.co.ug. Growing hotel close to the town centre set back from the main road. Secure parking, DSTV services and busy restaurant/canteen and tourism services.

Non-self contained (13 Single and 15 Double Rooms)
Single US $15 (UGX25,000)
Double US $20(UGX30,000)

Self contained (52 Single and 12 Double Rooms)
Single US $20 (UGX30,000)
Double US $30 (UX50,000)

Executive Wing (Resort) (Total Occupancy 24 Guests)
Single US$ 30 (UGX50,000) (10 Single Rooms)
Double US$ 50 (UGX80,000) 5 Double Rooms)

Suite US$ 50 (UGX100,000) (4 Suites).
Room rates include breakfast.

There is no shortage of places to stay in Mbale for all pockets and all budgets. Check the Mbale page for additional details on accommodation listed below:

Mbale Resort, Sunrise Inn, Wash & Wills, Mount Elgon Hotel, Hotel Eldima, Landmark Inn, The Elgon View and Sayona Hotels in Mbale are recommended by the Parks office in town.


Shared mini bus taxis travel to and from Mbale for Ushs2,500- each way.

Wagagai hotel:
Single Ushs5,000-, Double Ushs7,000-, Camping Ushs2,000-

Roses' Last Chance: Tel. 0752 203292, 045 436172, email lastchance.hotel@yahoo.com. Ideally located long established budget venue opposite the National Parks office in Budadiri.

Camping Ushs12,000- per person inc breakfast and dinner
Dormitory bed Ushs15,000- per person inc breakfast and dinner
Single Rooms Ushs22,000- inc breakfast and dinner
Double Ushs44,000- inc breakfast and dinner
Secure parking Ushs5,000- for the duration of your trip whilst you are away trekking on the mountain.

Roses Last chance offers transfers from Mbale Ushs30,000- and to the start of the trail at Bumasola for Ushs40,000-.

Sipi Falls: (Sipi Trading Centre)

On the foothills of Mount Elgon, the small village of Sipi is host to 3 stunning waterfalls dropping over sheer cliffs on their way to the plains below. The last drop is a breathtaking 100 metres (especially if you dare to abseil it!!) and is said to be the most beautiful waterfall in all of Uganda. At an altitude of 1750metres you can expect some refreshingly chilly nights as well as ample sweeping views of the plains below. Accommodation is available to suit all tastes and budgets and it can be a great base to start or finish a hike up the mountain. Now only 3 hours drive from Jinja thanks to a new tarmac road, it is well worth a short visit to relax and enjoy this peaceful little haven.

Coffee farming makes up the main source of income for local people as the altitude and climate is perfect for growth of the world famous Arabica coffee bean and many of the household names abroad source and export their coffee from the region. The local Sabine people also have quite unique circumcision ceremonies which take place each year as a right of passage for young boys into manhood. Although the main rainy season is expected from July to October it’s best to expect some rain all year round and bring a waterproof jacket and walking shoes if you plan to go hiking.

There are many excellent hiking opportunities ranging from 1 hour to all day. Hikes will take you through local homesteads and coffee farms to bases of waterfalls, caves and numerous viewpoints. It’s advisable to take a guide from your choice of accommodation as certain landowners charge small maintenance fees to hikers for upkeep of paths and ladders, trails can be hard to find and you can learn lots from their local knowledge. Unfortunately, several young men in Sipi trading centre are often seen hailing down vehicles of tourists and offering their services as guides. It’s better to take a guide from your accommodation for the reassurance that they have been chosen for their knowledge and professionalism. There are several other activities available ranging from abseiling and archery to bird watching and Trout fly-fishing. If Rock climbing or abseiling is your type of Adventure then check out ‘Rob’s Rolling Rock Adventure Centre’ at Sipi Falls.

It is recommended when visiting Sipi you use the services of a guide from your choice of accommodation when wanting to undertake any walks to the various waterfalls.

The Crows Nest: Tel. 0772 800705. You can camp or make use of cabins. With a head on view of the main falls at Sipi the site has a nic location. Walks to the bottom of the falls, and cultural walks can be arranged with a local guide (recommended). Free coffee and tea, bar and restaurant. Pack lunches available. Hot meals and hot baths a sure deal!

Camping US$2- ea, Cabins Bunk Bed Ushs20,000-, Cabins Double Bed Ushs25,000-, Dormitory Bunk Bed Ushs10,000-
Sleeping bag rental US$1-, Tent Rental US$2-, Overnight vehicle parking US$6-

Twalight Sipi Campsite: Tel. +256 (0)772 625199, +256 (0)777 071363, email: twalightsipicampsite@yahoo.co.uk. From the terrace of the bar and restaurant a clear view of the main falls to be be experienced. Twalight is located next door to The Crows Nest. Proceed from the trading centre some 200m where the venue is well sign posted. Accommodation is available in bandas and a dormitory for those not self camping.

Dormitory (12 Beds): Ushs10,000- per person
Shared banda ( 10 Beds): Ushs15,000- per Person
Twin banda: Ushs40,000-
Self-contained banda: Ushs60,000-

Rates do not include breakfast. All meals can be ordered from the restaurant offering a range of local dishes.

Moses' Campsite: Located next door to The Volcanoes Camp 1/2 a kilometre from the Sipi Falls Trading centre. The campsite has a large grassed area with views of the main falls. There is in addition several basic banda's available for rental. There is no bar and no meals provided. Food is available in the trading centre.

Camping: Ushs3,500-, Bandas: Ushs8,000-

Sipi Falls Resort: Mobile. +256 (0)753 153000, (0)752 529040, email: sipiresort@yahoo.com.
Formally the Volcanoes Sipi Falls Lodge. Cottage rooms, bar and restaurant. Camping is not possible. The resort is situated with probably the best photographic position to capture the main falls on film.

Residents and Non Residents Room Rates 2009

Full board in a twin room Ushs88,500- per person
Full board in a triple room Ushs76,500- per person
Full board single occupancy Ushs128,500-

Half board in a twin room Ushs73,500- per person
Half board in a triple room Ushs61,500- per person
Half board single occupancy Ushs113,500-

Bed & breakfast in a twin room Ushs68,500- per person
Bed & breakfast in a triple room Ushs56,500- per person
Bed & breakfast single occupancy Ushs108,500-

Children 4- 12 years pay half the price if sharing with adults in a band.
Below 4 years – free

All prices are VAT inclusive.

Lacam Lodge: (0)752 292554. Lacam Lodge is built on slopes of Mount Elgon perched on the cliff edge with unparalleled views of Sipi Falls - The rock climbing and bird-watching mecca of East Africa! A place of sublime natural beauty and rustic charm, nearly everything at Lacam Lodge is made out of wood. Lacam means cliff in the Sabine language of the local people of the area.

The homely log cabins/ cottages are constructed out of local timber and grass thatch from the plains. Each cottage is spacious with two double beds, large verandas and en suite shower and toilet. The beds are raised so that you can lie down and soak up the wonderful view.

There is a restaurant and bar, built on stilts where you can enjoy a candle lit four course meal in the evening, or start the day with a full English breakfast whilst feasting on the view. After a sumptuous meal, just relax on the veranda.

Access to the lodge is signposted just before the Police Post about 1 km from the Sipi trading centre in the direction of Kapchorwa.

Full board rates below include full English breakfast, 2 course lunch and 4 course candle-lit dinner. Half board options also available on request.

Self contained bandas
Low Season Residents Rates 2009
Single occupancy - Ushs110,000- per person, full board
Double occupancy - Ushs90,000- per person, full board
Triple occupancy - Ushs70,000- per person, full board

High Season and Non Residents Rates
Single occupancy - Ushs130,000- per person, full board
Double occupancy - Ushs110,000- per person, full board
Triple occupancy - Ushs90,000- per person, full board

Shared facility bandas
Low Season Residents Rates
Price per bed in triple rooms - Ushs50,000- per person, full board
Single occupancy of double room - Ushs60,000- per person, full board
Double occupance of douple room - Ushs50,000- per person, full board

High Season and Non Residents Rates
Price per bed in triple rooms - Ushs60,000- per person, full board
Single occupancy of double room - Ushs70,000- per person, full board
Double occupance of douple room - Ushs60,000- per person, full board

Camping with your own tent enjoying Lacam Lodge Meals
Low Season Residents: Ushs35,000- per person, full board

High Season/Non Residents: Ushs40,000- per person, full board

NB: Rates are applicable from 1st December 2006 to 30th November 2007.
High Season Periods: 15 Dec - 5 Jan; 5 Apr - 18 Apr; 1 Jul - 31 Aug

The lodge has its own guides with guiding fees between Ushs3,000- and Ushs12,000- per person.

Sipi River Lodge: Tel. +256 (0)751 796109, email: info@sipiriverlodge.com, www.sipiriverlodge.com. This lovely venue is graced with it’s own huge waterfall and river running through the grounds of the property. The lodge is located just outside of the Sipi Falls trading centre on the long bend when proceeding to Kapchorwa. The Lodge is run with only a small number of guests at any one time and a wonderful ambience has been established where relaxation becomes second nature.

Within the main house guests will find an intimate dining room with a log fire, stylish bar, comfortable reading lounge and airy veranda. Internet access is also available for guests with laptop computers.

The food is delicious and healthy. Freshly baked bread and cakes, roast dinners with plenty of fresh vegetables and mouth watering desserts. Being located in one of the world's finest coffee growing areas the Lodge source all their coffee from the garden and prepare it in the kitchen.

Sipi River Lodge offers a variety of accommodation and activities, all located within walking distance of the Lodge, including hiking, climbing, coffee tours, archery and Trout fishing. They can also assist with planning trips to the nearby Mt Elgon National Park and further a field to other parts of Uganda.

Rates 2011

Dormitory Bed in the Suam Bunkhouse: US$50-. The dorm is set in an authentic looking thatched roundhouse next to the river, this stylish dormitory features 2 bunk beds and a day bed. Shared bathroom and shower facilities. Max 5 persons

Banda accommodation: US$85 (single occupancy), US$105 (double occupancy. Also set in authentic looking thatched roundhouses these individually styled bandas feature a giant double bed built from local stone, shared bathroom and shower facilities.

Chepkui Cottage: US$170- (2 adults), US$230- (3 adults), US$290- (4 adults), US$350- (5 adults). This cosy and romantic cottage with private garden is perched on the hillside with a stunning view of the falls. The cottage features an en-suite flushing toilet and power shower, a master bedroom with giant double bed and a separate lounge with sofas, day bed and a bunk bed tucked into one corner. Perfect for families, large groups or couples. Family rates on request

All prices include breakfast, 2 course lunch, afternoon tea and cakes and 4 course evening meal.

*East African Residents receive 10% discount on all the above rates

Mount Elgon Location:
Mount Elgon (4321 m), the 4th highest mountain in East Africa, is an extinct volcano, located in the eastern part of Uganda on the border with Kenya. The park boundaries contain 1147 kmsq of the mountain. Most of this area is covered with typical afro-montane vegetation, complete with giant groundsels and bamboo forest.

Site at Maude Cave
Site at Maude Cave

Many travelers find Mt. Elgon an exciting alternative to some of the more strenuous climbs in East Africa. It has many of the same attractions with a milder climate and lower elevation. Climbing the peak requires no special equipment or technical climbing experience. It is possible to summit the mountain in as little as three days, but a slightly longer visit will permit a more thorough exploration of all that Mt Elgon has to offer.

Its slopes enchant visitors with caves, hot springs and waterfalls. Visitors can hike to the highest peak of the mountain, Mt. Wagagi. They can circle the rim of the caldera or climb down to the crater floor to see the Suam Gorge and the hot springs.

Best time to visit:
During the dry season, from June to August and December to March, but the seasons are unpredictable and it can rain at any time.

Sipi Falls Area:
The magnificent Sipi Falls are located en-route to the Forest Exploration Centre and Kapkwata. Several day hikes pass through local villages and farming country. It is a 1,5 hour walk to the Forest Exploration Centre. Enquire for a guide. If rock climbing or abseiling is your idea of adventure then check out 'Rob's Rolling Rock Adventure Centre' at Sipi Falls. Abseil all 3 Sipi falls in day, 1/2, full day or multi-day climbing courses. Tel. 0772 800705 for bookings. Ushs50,000- full day 90 meter, Ushs30,000- half day 30 meter.

Photography at Sipi Falls
Photography at Sipi falls

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3rd Edition(October 1, 2003). David Wenk.
ISBN: 1864502894

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Terry Stevenson, John Fanshawe
Publisher: Princeton University Press; (October 2001)
ISBN: 0856610798

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