6 Days 5 Nights Mount Elgon Hiking Safari Uganda

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6 Days 5 Nights Mount Elgon Hiking Safari Uganda
6 Days 5 Nights Mount Elgon Hiking Safari Uganda
6 Days 5 Nights Mount Elgon Hiking Safari Uganda
6 Days 5 Nights Mount Elgon Hiking Safari Uganda

6 Days 5 Nights Mount Elgon Hiking Safari UgandaMount Elgon is an extinct volcano located in Mount Elgon National Park on the border of Uganda and Kenya. The mountain’s highest point, named “Wagagi”, is located entirely within Uganda and is at 4,321 meters (14,043 feet).

Mt Elgon, the fifth highest in East Africa, straddles Uganda and Kenya, about 140 km northeast of Lake Victoria and 280 km from Kampala with estimated driving time of about 6 hours.

Measuring 80 km from north to south and 50 km from east to west, more than half of it lies on the Ugandan side. Its caldera in particular is almost entirely in Uganda.

The ascent traverses fertile cultivated foothills (coffee and fruits), montage forest, bamboo and low canopy forest, heath and, above 3,800 meters (12,350 feet), Afro-alpine moorland, supporting rare plants.

The larger animal residents are rarely spotted, though the forest abounds in monkeys and, of the hundreds of bird species, many are restricted to this location.

There are 3 climbing trails; The Sasa River trail (Western side of the mountain), The Sipi trail (northwestern side of the mountain) and the Piswa trail (northern side of the mountain).

Our Mt Elgon Hiking Safari Uganda begins at Budadiri and ends at Budadiri. Budadiri centre/ town is located within Mount Elgon National Park and is situated at 1,240 meters (4,070 feet) above sea level, at the foothills of Mount Elgon.

The town is a popular staging area and base camp for climbers who would like to scale Mount Elgon. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) offices are located here and that is where we make payments and arrangements for the Mt Elgon climb.

The drive from Kampala to Mbale is 4 hours then from Mbale to Budadiri is a 1 hour drive (30 km). The road can be muddy and slippery in wet season). The hike takes about 4 to 5 Nights.

6 Days 5 Nights Mount Elgon Hiking Safari Uganda Trip Summary

Day 1: Kampala – Transfer to Mbale, Budadiri Tourism Center
Day 2: Hike to Sasa Camp (2,900 meters)
Day 3: Hike from Sasa to Mude Camp (3,500 meters)
Day 4: Hike from Mude Camp to Wagagai Peak (4321 meters)
Day 5: Descend from Mude Camp to Budadiri. Stay at Lacam Lodge or Similar
Day 6: Return Trip to Kampala

6 Days 5 Nights Mount Elgon Hiking Safari Uganda Rates

Dates From  Dates To  Price Per Adult  Price Per Child
1st January 2021 31st December 2021  Request for Rates Request for Rates


  • Bring your own warm clothing, hiking boots
  • All visitors will be required to produce valid ID’s in order to determine their resident status
  • The most popular route is the Sasa Trail, which starts in Bumasola, about 40 km from Mbale and 75 km from Sipi Falls
  • 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

6 Days 5 Nights Mount Elgon Hiking Safari Uganda Prices include:

  • Cook
  • Guides allowances
  • Park Entrance fees
  • Accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Full board and meals during the hike
  • Transportation in fueled safari vehicle
  • Guide and one porter, carrying maximum 18 kgs

6 Days 5 Nights Mount Elgon Hiking Safari Uganda Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Kampala – Transfer to Mbale City (Mbale District)

0700 hours: Our driver guide will pick you from your residence/ Hotel in Kampala to drive and transfer to Mt Elgon in Eastern Uganda.  On the way you will visit the Ssezibwa falls and then Nile, to arrive in the afternoon.

Overight Accommodation:  Mt. Elgon Hotel & Spa, Mbale Resort Hotel, Lucia Villas Mbale, Wash & Wills Hotel, Westend Inn
Meal Plan: {Lunch & Dinner}

Day 2: Budadiri to Sasa River Camp (2900 Meters)

On the second day, in the morning, you’ll be driven 6 km from Budadiri (1250 meters) to the trailhead at Bumasola (1711 meters). Budadiri is nearby Mbale town, at the gate of the Mount Elgon National Park. After arranging the guide and porters, with food and camping gear, you start walking to Sasa River Camp (2900 meters) for the dinner and overnight.

The trail goes through community farmlands for about 3 km to the national park boundary. It then ascends sharply for 2 km to the Wall of Death, the 300m high Mudange Cliffs that used to be climbed by ropes some years back.

Today, metal stairs have been put in place, making it easier to get past this hurdle. After climbing three sets of stairs, the trail continues along the cliff edge for a sort distance, with a frail wooden barrier as the only protection from the sheer cliff drop to the boulder-strewn fields below.

Rock falls and landslides from these cliffs have occasionally befallen the communities living below. As you make your way further up the trail, the tropical forest gets thicker with tree species like the medicinal Prunus Africana, Elgon Teak, Podocarpus and Cedar among others.

Higher up past 2500 meters, the Hagenia abyssinica becomes predominant. It will take you about 7 to 8 km hours hiking from Bumasola to Sasa River Camp at 2,900 meters. Altitude in a day: 1711 meters

Overight Accommodation: Sasa River Camp
Meal Plan: {Brakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 3: Hike from Sasa River Camp to Mude Cave Camp (3,500 Meters)

This is a short 4 to 5 hours hike that could be done on the first day, or tackled after a night over at the Sasa River campsite. Half of the trail is still under forest cover, primarily Hagenia abyssinica, hypericum, and bamboo, though the bamboo on this side of Mt Elgon is sparse.

On the second half, the forest is replaced by moorland species like the giant heather, tussock grass and white and pink everlasting flowers.

About 2 km before Mude Cave Camp, UWA rangers stationed at the Sasa River patrol base  will verify your park entry receipts. You’ll get to the Mude Cave Camp at 3,500m asl within 45m minutes after the patrol base.

Although the surrounding moorland landscape is open, the camp location is in a depression under a canopy of giant heather trees. If you climb a small hill to one side of the camp, you’ll get a view of the cliffs framing the Simu Gorge in the distant east, as well as the Sasa River patrol base on the opposite west side.

Altitude of the day: 600 meters

Overight Accommodation: Mude Cave Camp
Meal Plan: {Brakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 4: Mude Cave Camp to Wagagai Summit (4321 Meters) & Return to Mude Cave Camp

Mt Elgon has one of the world’s largest calderas, 8km in diameter, with a number of summits on its rim. The highest of these is Wagagai on the Ugandan side at 4,321 meters above sea level.

The second highest, Sudek at 4,302 meters is on the Uganda/ Kenya border, while the third highest, Koitobos at 4,222m, is on the Kenyan side. From Mude Cave camp, the trail to Wagagai summit heads towards the distinctive Jackson’s summit and Jackson’s table.

Various species of white and pink everlasting flowers, and tussock grass are the predominant vegetation on this trail, with a few Senecio trees dotting the landscape.

About 3 km along the way, you’ll encounter a signpost for the Hot Springs to the left; keep going straight ahead. Next, you’ll come upon the shallow Jackson’s Pool, its surface shimmering in the sun.

The trail then circumvents the Jackson’s summit, keeping to the left of this peak. If you look closely at the back view of this peak to your right, you might notice what appears to be the likeness of a Gorilla head curved into the rock.

The trail then descends into a small valley, before climbing to the caldera rim, and your first view of the impressive caldera floor.

As you follow the trail anti-clockwise along the rim, you’ll get different views of the undulating landscape and crater lakes on the caldera floor, other peaks across the caldera, as well as the Suam Gorge breech on the far side of the caldera rim.

The final part of the trail is a short rocky climb to the small plateau on which Wagagai summit is located. There is a small signpost marking the summit at the top, panoramic views of the caldera, and hills and valleys stretching into the distance on all sides.

The return trip for this hike is about 18 km, and should take you about 8 to 9 hours to complete.

Altitude of the day: 820 meters.

Overight Accommodation: Mude Cave Camp
Meal Plan: {Brakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 5: Mude Cave Camp back to Budadiri

Most of the route for this hike is an old smuggler’s trail used during Idi Amin’s rule in the 1970’s. Amin’s repressive regime disrupted Uganda’s market structures, leaving coffee farmers on Mt Elgon’s slopes with no means to sell their black gold.

They braved the freezing conditions on the mountain, and risked getting shot if caught, to sell their produce in Kenya. Follow the common trail to Wagagai and the Hot springs. At the signpost 3km from Mude Cave camp, turn left and follow the trail as it contours along the steep slope on one side of the Simu Gorge.

You’ll go past the Mang’ong’o Caves to your right, where smugglers used to break for the night on their way to Kenya. The trail then makes its way to the head of the Simu Gorge, one of the two breeches on the caldera rim, before going over a low saddle onto the caldera floor.

At this point, you’ll probably feel like you are walking on an alien planet as you find yourself going through a forest of the endemic Dendrosenecio Elgonensis trees. As you get further into the caldera, you’ll get excellent views of Wagagai, Koitobos and other summits on the caldera rim.

Along the way, you’ll go past the intersections for Sipi trail, Piswa trails, and other trails used by poachers on the mountain. Eventually, you’ll get to an intersection where trans-boundary hikes to Kenya normally pass on their way to the handover point.

Turn left at this junction, and descend till you see a small waterfall to your right. The river you’ll cross at this location is one of the tributaries feeding the Suam River further ahead at the Hot springs. The start of Suam Gorge is a short distance ahead after the waterfalls.

Cross the river and follow it’s course towards the cliffs with white streaks; those are chemical deposits from the hot water at the springs. You’ll notice the smell of the chemicals in the spring water, as you explore the area, or soak your feet in the delightfully warm pools in the vicinity.

The return trip for this hike is about 24 km, and should take you about 8 to 10 hours to complete.

Overight Accommodation: Wagagai hotel, Roses’ Last Chance, The Crows NestSipi Falls Resort
Meal Plan: {Brakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 6: Return Trip to Kampala

Transfer back to Kampala
Meal Plan: {Brakfast}

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