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5-Day Mt Elgon Climb

5-Day Mt. Elgon Climb, Mt Elgon has five major peaks, with only one in Kenya, Koitobos (4,222m). In Uganda, Wagagai is 4,321m, Sudek is 4,302m, Mubiyi is 4,211m, and Masaba is 4,161m.


The name is derived from Maasai, “Ol Doinyo Ilgoon” (Breast Mountain). The local residents refer to it as “Masaba” on the Ugandan side, by the Bamasaba Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano with the largest surface area in the world. It has an enormous crater that covers 40 kilometres at the top of the mountain. Mount Elgon is a massive, solitary volcanic mountain on the border of eastern Uganda and western Kenya. Its vast form, 80 kilometres in diameter, rises 3,070 metres above the surrounding plains. Contrarily, its cooler heights offer respite for humans from the hot plains below, and its higher altitudes provide a refuge for flora and fauna.

Mt. Elgon consists of five major peaks, with markedly only one in Kenya. The Koitobos is rising 4,222m. This is the third highest after Wagagai at 4,321m and Sudek at 4,302m at the border of Kenya and Uganda. The other two include Mubiyi at 4,211m and Masaba at 4,161m.

Other features to note are:

– Elgon is one of the largest intact calderas in the world.

-The warm springs by the river Suam

– Endebess Bluff – 2,563 metres

– Ngwarisha, Makingeny, Chepnyalil, and Kitum caves:

Kiptum Cave is over 60m wide and 200m long. The cave contains salt deposits, and it is frequented by wild game, including elephants, that converge to lick the salt exposed by gouging the walls with their tusks. It was featured in Richard Preston’s book “The Hot Zone” in 1994 for its association with the Ebola-like virus.


The diverse terrain and dramatic ascents of altitude, combined with the vagaries of rainfall and weather, subsequently produce four distinct vegetation zones on Mt. Elgon. They include:-

The Lush Montane Forest (2,000–2,500 m): The forest is of the dry highland evergreen type and includes over 100 species, as well as epiphytic orchids, ferns, and trailing lianas. The best place to see this type of forest is on the Chelulus Circuit.

Mixed Bamboo and Podocarpus Zone (3,000–3,500 m): Together with the forest, it contains the highest biodiversity on the mountain.

Heath Zone (3,000–3,500 m) is characterised by dense scrub and brilliant wildflowers Moorland Zone (3,500 m–4,321 m): It boasts the highest number of endemic plant species on the mountain. The open moorland grassland is dotted with clusters of peculiar giant-ground plus lobelia plants, which are unique to East Africa. 

The mountain is the water tower for several rivers, such as the Suam River, which feeds Lake Turkana as well as the river Turkwel. The rivers Nzoia and Lwakhaka feed Lake Victoria. The park has earned the status of an Important Bird Area (IBA) and, secondly, as a UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) site.

Day 1: Nairobi – Kitale

Our driver will pick you up from your residential house or hotel at 7:00 a.m. This will be a long day drive that will take close to 7 hours. Our first stopover is in Nakuru Nakumatt Shopping Mall for early lunch, as we will not have any other point for lunch. This will take about 45 minutes for a lunch break; thereafter, proceed on to Kitale on the main highway. From Nakuru to Eldoret, it will take like 3 hours and then 2 hours to reach Kitale Town.

Upon arrival, you will check in at the Westside Hotel, which is about 1 km before you get to the town. The hotel is built in a quiet and very cool place, and it has a swimming pool that welcomes you after a long day’s drive. Familiarise yourself with the people around you as well as have time to refresh yourself in the swimming pool. Dinner and overnight at a hotel

Day 2: Kitale – Chorlim Gate {Kapkuro campsite}

Wake-up call at 07:30hrs, then you will have your breakfast served in the restaurant, thereafter checking out of the hotel at 09:30 am accompanied by a guide and crew. Last-minute supplies will be bought before heading for the Mt Elgon National Park. The drive from Kitale to the Chorlim gate will take like 45 minutes to an hour. Upon arrival at the gate, the check-in formalities and park entrance fees are done at the gate. To sum up, we pitch our tents at Kapkuro campsite. The afternoon will be spent exploring the surrounding forest. Dinner and overnight at the camp

Day 3: Kapkuro camp – Mutamaiyo camp

Soon after having breakfast, we start our hike with a picnic lunch served at Endebess Bluff. After lunch, head for the next 2 hours to reach Mutamaiyo camp. The trek from the gate to the camp normally takes 6 hours, and we will arrive at the camp in the afternoon. The overall distance covered is 14km at 2,950m. Dinner and overnight at Mutamaiyo camp

Day 4: Mutamaiyo Camp – Roadhead

Wake-up call at around 07:00hrs, after refreshing up, breakfast will be served at 07:30hrs, and then after the breakfast, each guest will be packed with a picnic lunch, which will be taken along the way at any picnic site. The day will unfold, and you will be able to walk in the forest. For birdwatchers, you will be able to spot many types of birds along the way.

The trek from Mutamaiyo Camp to Roadhead normally takes 4–5 hours. Shortly upon arrival at the camp, you will be welcomed with a cup of coffee, juice, or African tea and snacks. Our cooks will have prepared these, who always walk ahead of us. Your tents will have been pitched by our crew. The rest of the afternoon will be spent in this camp, which is on a high level as we wait to attempt the summit the following morning. Dinner will be served at 18:30 hrs. at Roadhead Camp. After dinner, the bonfire will be available to make the night warm for those who will be freezing

Day 5: Road head – Koitobos – Summit

The wake-up call will be at 4:00 a.m. Meanwhile, you will be served hot coffee or chocolate and some biscuits. The trekking to the summits starts at 4:45 a.m. We will pass through the plain land, and a bit of descent will be experienced. In addition, you will have the opportunity to see the sunrise. Then, at about 4000m, we will have a steep walk up for about 220m to get to the top. The ascent is almost similar to the Barranco Wall in Kilimanjaro. Guests are advised to walk at their own pace to avoid mountain altitude.

The trek from Roadhead to Koitobos (summit) is 8km. Normally, it takes like 3 hours to hit the summit of 4,222 metres. After taking the photos, we then descend to Roadhead Camp for lunch and relax for a few hours. Thereafter, descend further down to Mutamaiyo which takes another 3 hours. Upon arrival, you will be served snacks and hot coffee, as well as tea. Dinner and overnight are served at 19:30 hrs.

Day 6: Mutamaiyo – Kitale – Nairobi

This being the last day in the mountain, breakfast will be served around 05:30 hrs. Then prepare to descend down for another 2 hours. For this early walk, you will be accompanied by the rangers since you might encounter elephants or buffalos along the way. Visit Kitum Cave, which is the biggest cave in Africa. Makkingeny caves, then you will exit Chorlim Gate. You will be served lunch at the campsite before you embark on the journey back to Nairobi. It takes 6-7 hours with a drop-off to your respective places of residence where the adventure comes to an end.

What to bring:

Mountains have their own climate on account of their height. Rain clouds can appear without warning and be gone hours later. An early morning frost is possible at any time of the year, and guests should bring a fleece and light rain jacket, although, during the heat of the day, shorts and T-shirts should suffice.

Sleeping bag: one rated for four (4) seasons is fine. The bag should be a snug fit since if it is too large, there will be more cool air for the body to warm

      • Rain Trouser
      • Rain Jacket [Poncho]
      • Balaclava [Hat Woollen]
      • Warm Clothes down jacket
      • Thermal underwear
      • Fleece Jacket
      • Hiking Boots
      • Gloves
      • Walking Sticks
      • Head Torch
      • Sunglasses
      • First Aid box
      • Ruck Suck 65L (duffel bags are unacceptable) to be carried by porters
      • Day Pack 35 [For your personal effects]
      1. Optional comfort accessories;

Walking poles, hot water bottle, Bivy bag

Wet wipes; ideal for those who want to stay fresh but are unable to bear dips in the freezing mountain weather

4: Passport/Identification Card {ID}

5: Personal travel/ medical insurance

Options are, of course, many and varied and in many cases, we can be flexible about the itinerary for accommodation facilities and the extension of the safari destinations.


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