Mount Elgon National Park is unique in a number of ways, from Elephant salt licks to been bisected by the international boundary between Kenya and Uganda.
Mount Elgon offers untamed wilderness, in secluded splendour. The park is unique in that it is split by the Kenya Uganda boundary, and is managed by the parks departments of the individual countries. It has been declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve. Visitors can explore the forest and enjoy hiking, biking and climbing Mount Elgon.
Elephant Salt Licks
The Mountain has a number of large caves that can be explored by visitors but one of the more fascinating aspects of the caves is the Elephant, and Buffalo, that walk to the caves at night to lick the salt from the walls. They do this as a nutritional supplement.
One of the caves, Kitum, stretches almost 200 meters into Mount Elgon and it is believed that the salt-licking Elephants and other animals have contributed over time in the expansion of the caves. Rock paintings can be found in one of the caves.
Wildlife of Mount Elgon
Besides the Elephants and Buffalo found on the lower slopes the park is also home to a number of small antelope and monkeys including the Black-and-white Colobus and Blue Monkey. The area is also home to over 300 bird species including the endangered Lammergeier, African Goshawk and Baglafecht Weaver.
Kenya's Nobel Prize winner Wangari Mathaai has an endangered dragonfly that was discovered on Mount Elgon in 2000 named after her, Maathai's Longleg . Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan activist and conservationist who founded of the Greenbelt Movement. The aim of the movement is to link the importance of conserving natural resources, including forests with poverty alleviation.
Mount Elgon Activities
Hiking and walking is one of the highlights of a visit to Mount Elgon, although the vehicle routes lead to animal viewing areas and to some of the caves. Along the routes there are spectacular views of the escarpments, gorges and rivers.
Self guided walking trails are popular and the routes lead to the caves that can be explored including Kitum. Besides the cave exploration other activities include birding and primate viewing.