Mount Elgon National Park is 140 kilometers (87 miles) northeast of Lake Victoria. The park covers an area of 1,279 square kilometers (494 sq. miles) and is bisected by the border of Kenya and Uganda. The Ugandan part of the park covers 1,110 square kilometers (430 sq. mi) while the Kenyan part covers 169 square kilometers (65 sq. mi).The Kenyan part of the park was gazetted in 1968, the Ugandan part in 1992.
At 4,000km² Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the world. Located on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa. Its vast form, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding plains. The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna.
Mount Elgon National Park is home to over 300 species of birds, including the endangered Lammergeyer. Small antelopes, forest monkeys, elephants and buffalos also live on the mountainside. The higher slopes are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya, creating an extensive trans-boundary conservation area which has been declared a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve.
A climb on Mt. Elgon’s deserted moorlands unveils a magnificent and uncluttered wilderness without the summit-oriented approach common to many mountains: the ultimate goal on reaching the top of Mt. Elgon is not the final ascent to the 4321m Wagagai Peak, but the descent into the vast 40km² caldera.
The major tourist activities in the park include; game viewing, caves exploration especially Kitum, Chepnyali, and Mackingeny, primates and bird watching, butterfly watching, Hiking to the peaks, self-guided walking trails, and camping photography. There are also visits to the hot springs in the former volcano's crater which bubble at temperatures of up to 48 °C.
Available tourist accommodation include; Lacaam Lodge, Sipi River Lodge, the UWA Bandas, and a number of accommodation facilities in Mbale town which is not distant from Mt. Elgon