Elgon in Maa language means “mountain in the form of a breast”
Mount Elgon is the second highest mountain in Kenya after Mount Kenya. (4155 m) The park was established in 1968 and covers about 169 kmq on the north west of Nairobi, straddling the border between Kenya and Uganda about 470 km from capital. It is characterized by a deep crater of about 8×6 km and surrounded by 3 big peaks: the biggest peak is Wagagai, 4321 m high, found in the territory of Uganda. The Sudek peak is 4310 m high, and the Koitobos peak is 4231 m high. The mountainous park has many cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, hot springs and many courses. The park has a vast area of natural forest, with bamboo, giant heather, everlasting flowers, hagenia, giant lobelia, huge elgon teak and cedar trees that can reach upto 24 m above the ground. Among the attractions of Mount Elgon are the four explorable caves; Kitum, Makingheny, Chepnyalil and Ngwarisha, which on arrival of the first explorer were still lived in by the El Kony, a local tribe. Now the caves have become common places for elephants, who every night venture down the narrow path insearch of salt-rich deposits with their tusks, nicknamed the “ underground elephants” The longest cave is Kitum, which means “place of ceremonies” and it extends for about 200 m inside the mountain. The wild and remote location of this park offers excellent viewing of african animals. There are over 400 elephants in the park, as well as buffalo, leopard, colobus and blue monkey’s hogs, waterbucks and various antelopes to name but a few. There are over 240 varieties of birds present; cinnamon-chested bee-eater, hartlaubs, turaco, red headed parrot among others. There are also three nature trails that lead to the caves and to the Elephant Bluff, and you can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the park from the Endebass Bluff. If you are a trekking lover, don’t miss the mountain climbing, as in about 3 to 4 hours you can arrive at the peak of mount Elgon (4155 m).