Early morning we left from Kapwora to meet up at Budadiri Gate, one of the the entrances to Mt Elgon National Park. After a scenic Boda Boda ride up to Bumasola Village, we started our hike.
Through fields and villages the path keeps getting steeper and steeper, before hitting the so called ‘wall of life’ including some stair climbs. After a lunch break at Sasa Camp we traversed to Mude Camp at 3500masl for our first night.
After a very cold night with short breath due to the altitude (or the limited air in our tents – we will never know) we started the hike to the summit, passing through Jackson Pool (it’s not a pool but a dry field – don’t expect a refreshing swim), Jackson Peak and a view of Jackson table.
Walking along the Caldera rim, we proceeded to the Wagagai Peak, the highest peak on Mt. Elgon with 4321 masl.
After a good rest with stunning views on the peak we descended all the way down to Sasa Camp where we stayed for our second night.
Day three was a descend only day which spoilt us again with blue sky and not too muddy paths. (Note on this: If there is rain during the descend, this could get very muddy and slippery!). Back at the Budadiri Gate around noon, we were “awarded” with certificates and of course good new friendships, stories to tell and lasting memories.
Conclusion: Great hike, stunning views, well maintained paths, and great testing opportunity to check on your altitude capability. This is the shortest and steepest way to the peak and definitely requires some fitness level but it is really doable for all who enjoy hiking and nature.
Starting Point and Timing: We left from Rose’s Last Chance on Friday at around 09.30am and came back down to the same spot on Monday at around 11.30am.
Recommendations and Learnings:
- Pack warm stuff as the nights do get really cold
- Pack altitude pills, just in case
- For the night before: Try to stay close to the actual park entrance (Budadiri Gate) and push for an early start from there (calculate at least 30min for payments, briefings, getting ready)
- Not all porters have own backpacks – make sure you pack your day bag and the porter’s bag ahead of time and make sure both are waterproof
Walking polls can safe you at the descent – not only your joints but also in case of rain and mud.
By Sabine Ebner, April 2021