Mt Elgon National park is located 420 kms from Nairobi. Access is via tarmac road to Kitale, branch to murram road then to the Chorlim Gate. At At 4,321 m (14,177 ft) Mt. Elgon is Kenya’s second highest mountain, an ancient eroded volcano with a huge caldera.
The park covers an area of 1279 km² and is bisected by the border of Kenya and Uganda. The Ugandan part of the park covers 1110 km² while the Kenyan part covers 169 km².The Kenyan part of the park was gazetted in 1968, the Ugandan part in 1992.

Mt Elgon National Park_Entrance

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Entrance1

 

I got the chance to visit Mt Elgon National Park while taking part in Unexpected Kenya series. Seeing as we were scouting for locations to shoot we weren’t able to explore the park as much as I would have liked to.

Mt Elgon National Park_Park gate

 

Once you drive into the park you will most likely be greeted by the sight of zebras and bushbuck grazing peacefully in a field. They seemed used to humans so I was able to get pretty close to take pictures.

Mt Elgon National Park_Bushbuck grazing

 

Mt Elgon National Park_male bushbuck

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Zebras1

 

The vegetation inside the park consist mostly of forest and the temperatures in the park are cool.

Mt Elgon National Park_Main road

 

Mt Elgon National Park_vegetation

 

The two locations we visited inside the park were the Kitum Cave and Making’eny cave. The two caves are among the three open to the public, the third is Chepnyali. You do need a vehicle to enter the park but you can walk from the gate to both Kitum and Making’eny if accompanied by a park ranger.

Mt Elgon National Park_Picnic site

If interested you can have a picnic at a site in the beginning of the Kitum Cave trail.

 

Of the 3 caves, Kitum is the most famous. The cave which extends some 600 feet into the mountain has walls covered in salt. Each night for hundreds (possibly thousands) of years animals have travelled into the cave in the dead of night to use it as a giant salt lick. You can watch part of a BBC documentary about the elephants here

Mt Elgon National Park_Path to kitum cave

 

The cave also gets a mention in Richard Preston’s book The Hot Zone. It became well known in the 1980’s when two European visitors contracted Marburg virus

Mt Elgon National Park_Kitum Cave

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Kitum Cave1

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Kitum Cave falls

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Kitum Cave2

 

I didn’t get to explore the caves since there was not much time. If you have that planned be sure to carry a powerful flashlight.

Mt Elgon National Park_Kitum Cave entrance

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Kitum Cave mouth

 

Our next stop was Making’eny cave which can be accessed via a path as you walk on the trail to/from Kitum cave or you can choose to drive to the beginning trail that leads directly to the cave from the main road. The trail to Making’eny caves is steep. We all got to the top feeling rather winded.

Mt Elgon National Park_Making'eny Cave Falls3

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Making'eny Cave Falls2

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Making'eny Cave Falls4

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Making'eny Cave Falls5

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Making'eny Cave Falls

That’s our driver at the bottom of the falls

 

Once you get to the caves you can walk down to the floor of the falls. The non-existent path is treacherous so practical footwear is a must.

Mt Elgon National Park_path to foot of falls

 

You should also consider carrying protective (water-proof) clothing. It tends to rain most afternoons. On the first day there it rained heavily on while we were at Makin’eny cave. We had been told that it might happen but we weren’t prepared at all. We covered our equipment as much as we could and made it down the trail as fast as we could. By as fast as we could, I mean at snail’s pace since the trail had gotten very slippery.

Mt Elgon National Park_muddy trail.

Apart from the zebras and bush buck I was not able to spot much else. I did spot a couple of colobus monkeys but they were too fast for me to get any pictures.

Mt Elgon National Park_Butterfly

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Butterfly1

 

Mt Elgon National Park_Female bushbuck and calf

 

Adorable,no?

Mt Elgon National Park_Female bushbuck and calf (2).

If you are interested in staying inside the park, there is accommodation inside the park and the charges are as follows.

Residents and citizens (Kshs) Non-residents (USD) No of units Capacity per unit
Kiotoboss guest house 6,000 180 1 6
Kapkuro cottage 3,000 40 4 3

 

PARK CHARGES:

EA Residents (Kshs) EA Citizens (Kshs) Non Residents (USD)
Adults 350 700 30
Children 250 350 20

 

This week Safari 254 links up with;

1. Reflections enroute #wkendtravelinspiration

2. Adelina’s Pack Me To in  #SundayTraveler

3. Noel Morata’s Travel Photo Mondays

Please visit the sites for more wonderful photos and posts.

 

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26 Comments

  1. November 3, 2014 at 3:50 am — Reply

    HI Rachel, love your photos as usual, made me feel I was in Mt. Elgon myself. Another amazing park filled with natural wonders. I love the photos where the animals seem to be posing for you; So so adorable.

  2. November 3, 2014 at 8:50 am — Reply

    Rachel, I love those bushbucks! This sounds like a great place to visit! Just wanted to let you know, there is no link to the video. Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

  3. November 3, 2014 at 9:05 am — Reply

    Beautiful…

  4. November 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm — Reply

    Haven’t been to Elgon since I was a wee lad. Thanks for taking me back.

    • November 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm — Reply

      You’re welcome

  5. November 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm — Reply

    Those bushbucks are adorable!

  6. November 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm — Reply

    Your pictures are so great ! They make me drool and makes the places come alive. This place looks so nice. I really need to make my way there soon! 🙂 . I’m hanging out in Naija for a couple of weeks right now, so feel closer to everything ..lol

    • November 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm — Reply

      That’s awesome! I hope you are having a great time. I’ve always wanted to visit.

  7. November 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm — Reply

    What an exciting national park to visit! The animals would be so interesting to see and photograph.

    I would love to go there one day. I am in the US and have visited many of our national parks–they are are all beautiful!

  8. November 4, 2014 at 1:43 am — Reply

    Gorgeous! I love the shots of the waterfall, especially from the side / behind.

  9. November 4, 2014 at 7:39 am — Reply

    What a gorgeous place!

  10. November 4, 2014 at 8:24 pm — Reply

    Adding Mount Elgon to my Kenya travel wish list. I’d love to explore those caves. And it’s so interesting that the animals use them for salt!

  11. November 6, 2014 at 10:43 am — Reply

    Gorgeous spot! I love the ability to get out and hike in these parks. 420 km is a ways, but sounds do-able for a long weekend out of Nairobi. Hope I can experience this beauty soon.

    • November 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm — Reply

      Now that you’re around you should definitely go. It is such a beautiful place.

  12. November 6, 2014 at 12:15 pm — Reply

    Beautiful! I haven’t been in Africa since 1989 when I went back to Zambia and Zimbabwe. And have never been to Kenya. The falls look beautiful and you got a great photo of the deer.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • November 12, 2014 at 3:02 pm — Reply

      1989? That is looong time ago!If you ever come back, make sure you visit Kenya.

  13. November 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm — Reply

    Such stunning pictures!! Would love to visit such an amazing place! I am pinning this on bucketlist for sure 🙂

  14. November 9, 2014 at 11:56 am — Reply

    Aaaah – this looks like a place a person could breathe deeply and be totally at peace. National parks are gems everywhere, but this one looks really lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  15. November 9, 2014 at 10:22 pm — Reply

    Although I’ve never been there, I feel like I would absolutely enjoy exploring it! Wonderful picture. Would it be possible to explore it for less than $25 a day? You know me :D!!

    • November 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm — Reply

      LOL Agness, unfortunately not. You can bargain for alot in Kenya but not park entry fees.

  16. November 10, 2014 at 10:44 am — Reply

    What an absolutely beautiful park! I would love to explore this especially the caves. Your pictures are just beautiful and they really seem to capture the essence of the park. I think th animals are adorable 🙂

  17. November 12, 2014 at 1:51 am — Reply

    Looks like an amazing spot with so many photographic opportunities – and the cute factor of the animals is very high.

  18. November 12, 2014 at 7:20 am — Reply

    You captured the most amazing photos as always. It’s ironic because just last night I watched Anthony Bourdain’s show on Tanzania and Zanzibar. I was thinking of you during the entire episode, Rachael! 🙂

    • November 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm — Reply

      Thanks Mike.

  19. November 18, 2014 at 10:25 am — Reply

    i like the nice pictures of mt. elgon

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