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Mt Elgon Hike 4 Days 3 Nights Sasa Sipi Trail is recommended as our most popular trip that sees the most of the mountain in the best use of time, it also sees the most beautiful parts of the mountain as you hike up the Simu valley and cross the Caldera.
Mount Elgon is a 4321 meters high extinct volcano that straddles the border between Uganda and Kenya.It is the second highest mountain in Uganda and the eighth highest in Africa. Mount Elgon is a relatively easy hike with good quality well established trails and no technical climbing or steep slopes.
With porter support Elgon is achievable by anyone with an ok level of fitness. The biggest consideration is altitude and it is recommended to be acclimatised to 1500 meters – 2000 meters for a few days before undertaking either the 3 or 4 day trip.
This trip is guided by professional guides in Mt Elgon National Park and is undertaken in conjunction with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) rangers. We offer standard 3, 4 or 5 day trips using the Sasa and Sipi trails, however we can offer a bespoke trip on other trails if you prefer a more unique experience.
Highlights include: Hiking from Mude Cave camp up through the Simu valley during sunrise, crossing the caldera and exploring rock formations and wildflowers. Being alone on a vast mountain looking out across the whole of Uganda.
Reaching Wagagai summit at 4321m. Climbing the loose boulders to ascend Jackson’s summit. Spotting a wild duiker sprinting through the caldera. Bespoke trips are available.
Difficulty: 5/ 10 Our difficulty rating takes into account both technical difficulty and fitness required. Mount Elgon trips do require a good basic level of fitness however the trip can be tailored to take into account lower fitness levels (by adding days) and therefore the mountain remains accessible to most people.
On all trips expect to have hike from between 5 – 10 hours per day in all weather conditions, consider the need to acclimatize to altitude especially if you consider yourself a little unfit. (A day or two with small hikes around Sipi Falls at 1800 meters – 2100 meters is a good option.)
The below itineraries are the most popular 3 options however we can tailor the trip to suit you and your groups needs. Please contact us for any special requests and for a personalized itinerary.
After meeting at UWA headquarters in Budadiri (1220 Meters) we take a short boda-boda ride to the trailhead at Bumosola (1770 Meters). From here it’s a strenuous few hours up to the ‘ladders’, a set of metal staircases that bring us up and into the national park and the rainforest.
These first few hours are some of the toughest of the whole trip with a steep incline, rough terrain and often hot mid-morning temperatures. After a rest and snack at the top of the ladders and a refill of our water bottles we hike on wide dirt trails through the forest and to Sasa River Camp.
Here we take a rest for tea and coffee and either lunch or snacks depending how we feel / our timing. This is our half way point for the day. As we continue up from here we move from rainforest to bamboo forest and eventually break through the forest entirely into alpine heather, shrub and giant lobelia.
We take a short rest to sign the visitor’s book as we pass the ranger’s outpost before a couple more km to our stop for the night at Mude Camp.
Summit day! Depending on prevailing weather conditions this is often an early start to get the best opportunity for a clear summit. We leave our gear and porters behind and head for the top. A strenuous day as we cross the 4000 Meters mark and start to feel the effects of altitude slowing us down.
Highlights on the way up are sunrise over the mountain, views of the Simu valley and Jacksons pool, everlasting flowers, alpine lichen and all the various Lobelia.
After reaching the summit we have the option on the descent to ascend a side summit on Jackson’s peak – this is the summit Jackson’s team in 1890 thought was the highest point due to its more striking profile but is in fact just 4160 Meters.
It is well worth the effort! We get back to camp mid to late afternoon ready for an early dinner and an early night.
Today is the day of beauty and wonder!! This is the most picturesque day of the trip. The first hour starts the same as day 2 before we take the left hand trail into the Simu Valley and follow the rocky trail and pass old smugglers caves as we ascend into the Caldera.
If the weather is being kind we get an incredible sunrise here, a truly stunning part of the natural world! As you climb up the far side of the caldera we pass stunning rock formations and huge vistas that warm the soul!!
Depending on the fitness of the group, the weather and how we are all feeling we can either finish today at Kajere Camp or Tutum Cave Camp – Tutum cave being further by around a further 3 hours of hiking, but makes for a shorter last day.
We traverse the mountain dropping down into, crossing and climbing back out of numerous streams and small rivers, passing waterfalls and seeing an abundance of wildflowers, fungi and a variety of monkeys.
As we pass back into the rainforest we descend back towards civilization, and eventually to the Forest Exploration Centre at Kapkwai. The hike to Sipi Falls is a further hour from the Park gate at Kapkwai but is very enjoyable and driving doesn’t save much time.
If you have arranged to spend the night in Sipi Falls then you can walk to your lodge and enjoy all the things you’ve missed for the last 4 days!
Mt Elgon Hike 4 Days 3 Nights Sasa Sipi Trail Price includes: Mount Elgon National Park – Uganda Wildlife Authority fee of
300 US Dollars
|Dates From||Dates To||Price Per Adult|
|1st January 2019||31st December 2019||1,350 US Dollars|
* The itinerary below starts and finishes at Mt Elgon National Park gate in Budadiri or Kapkwai
* Based on minimum of 2 guests including all meals and drinks on the mountain. Including all taxes and surcharges
* We will provide transport on all trips to and from these points for your group from either Sipi or Mbale. Let us know you accommodation requests at booking and we can book you your pre and post trip accommodation
• Water bottle 1 to 2 liters
• Hiking poles – highly recommended!
• Gaiters – optional can be useful in rainy season
• Entertainment – Camera, kindle, iPod etc to fill any dead time in camp
• Minimal gear. Try not to pack too much. If you need help just get in touch
• Personal medication and personal medical kit. You should carry your own basic
• Socks – bring at least 2 pairs of socks to hike in so one can dry while you wear the other
• Waterproofs, a rain jacket is essential and trousers optional but could be nice in rainy season
• Hiking clothing – it’s warm during the day, so lightweight shorts or trousers and t-shirt are perfect
• Day sack – around 30L is ideal to carry your jacket, fleece, lunch, snacks, water and any other essentials
• Shoes – Hiking books or hiking shoes are great – something with a good strong sole and that you have worn before are worn in to avoid blisters
• Sun protection. Hat, long sleeved clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen are a must – we will be in the elements for long hours at altitude so this is a big consideration
• Warm weather gear. During the day a lightweight fleece or base layer for easy access in you daypack. For evenings, wool socks, warm trousers, down jacket, beanie, gloves personal medical kit with plasters, blister dressings, antiseptic ointment and any personal medication