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Mount Elgon National Park
chimpanzee (Picture: Michael Nikolai)
chimpanzee (Picture: Michael Nikolai)
Mt. Elgon is Kenya's second highest mountain. It lies 140km North East of Lake Victoria and is bisected by the Kenya-Uganda border. It is an ancient eroded volcano with a huge caldera and, on its summit, the spectacular flat topped basalt column known as Kotiobos. Another unique feature of the mountain is the lava tube caves, some over 60m wide and frequented by elephants (and other animals) digging for salts. The mountain soils the red laterite. Mt. Elgon is an important water catchment for the Nzoia River which flows into Lake Victoria and for the Turkwel River which flows into Lake Turkana.

Mt. Elgon National Park was gazetted in 1968 and covers a narrow transect up the North Eastern slopes of the mountain, from lower montane forest to the caldera edge. The remaining forest and moorland is part of the Mt Elgon Forest Reserve. The Uganda side of the mountain is protected within Uganda's Mt Elgon National Park.


elephants (Picture: Gerhard Wagner)
elephants (Picture: Gerhard Wagner)
Together with the fauna and flora, the park is endued with variety and breathtaking scenery of cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas, hot springs, and the mountain peaks.

The most popular areas are the four explorable, vast caves where frequent night visitors such as elephants and buffaloes come to lick the natural salt found on the cave walls. Kitum cave, with over hanging crystalline walls, enter 200m into the side of Mt Elgon.

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