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5 Days Mt Elgon Trekking.

Overview.

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 which 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. It’s 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 only one in Kenya. The Koitobos rising 4,222m asl. This is the third highest after Wagagai at 4,321m and Sudek 4,302m at the border of Kenya/Uganda. The other two include Mubiyi at 4,211m and Masaba at 4,161m asl.

Other features of note are:

– Elgon’s 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 by Richard Preston’s book “The Hot Zone” in 1994 for its association with the Ebola-like virus.

Vegetation

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

The Lush Montane Forest (2,000m-2,500m): 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 (3,000m-3,500m): Together with the forest contain the highest biodiversity on the mountain.

Heath Zone (3,000m-3,500m): is characterized by dense scrub, brilliant wildflowers Moorland Zone (3,500m-4,321m): Boasts of the highest number of endemic plants species on the mountain. The open moorland grassland is dotted with clusters of peculiar Giant grounded plus Lobelia plants which are unique to East Africa. 

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

Itinerary.

Day 1: Nairobi – Kitale

Our driver will pick up from your residential house or hotel at 07:00hrs. This will be a long day drive which 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 like 45min for lunch break, thereafter proceed on to Kitale on the main Highway. From Nakuru to Eldoret will take like 3 hours and then 2 hours to reach to Kitale Town. Upon arrival you will check in West-side Hotel which is about 1 km before you get to the town, the hotel is built on a silent and very cool place and it has a swimming pool which welcomes you after a long day drive. Familiarize with the people around as well as have time to refresh yourself in the swimming pool. Dinner and overnight 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, there after checking out the hotel at 09:30 am accompanied by guide and crews. Last minutes supplies will be bought before heading for the national park. The drive from Kitale to the Chorlim gate will take like 45min to 1 hour. Upon arrival at the gate, the check-in formalities and park fees entrance fees are done at the gate. We pitch our tents at Kapkuro campsite. Dinner and overnight at the camp.

Day 3: Kapkuro camp – Mutamaiyo camp

After taking breakfast, we start our hike with picnic lunch served at the Endebess Bluff. After lunch, head for the next 2 hours to reach to Mutamaiyo camp, the trekking from the gate to the camp normally take 6 hours and we will arrive at the camp in the afternoon. Distance covered is 14km at 2,950m asl. Dinner and overnight at the camp Kitale.

Day 4: Mutamaiyo camp – Roadhead

Wake up call at around 07:00hrs, after refreshing up, breakfast will be served as from 07:30hrs, then after the breakfast each guest will be packed with 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 and for the birdwatchers, you will be able to spot many types of birds along the way. The trekking from Mutamaiyo Camp to Road head normally take 4-5 hours. Upon arrival at the camp, you will be welcomed by a cup of coffee or juice or African tea and snacks which will have been prepared by our cooks who always walks ahead of us. Your tents will have been pitched by our crews, 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 18:30hrs at Road head Camp. After the dinner, the bonfire will be available to make the night warm for those who will be freezing

Day 5: Road head – Koitobos – Summit

Wake up call will be 04:00hrs, you will be served with hot coffee or chocolate and some biscuits, the trekking to the summits starts at 04:45hrs, we will pass through the plain land and a bit of descent will be experienced. At about 06:30hrs you will have an 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, the guests are advised to walk at each pace to avoid mount altitude. The trek from Road head to Koitobos (summit) 4km, this normally takes like 3hrs to hit the summit  4222m, after taking the photos we then descend down to Road head Camp for lunch and relaxing for few hours, thereafter descending further down to  Mutamaiyo which takes another 3 hours to get to Mutamaiyo. Upon arrival, you will be served with snacks and hot coffee as well as tea. Dinner and overnight are served at 19:30hrs.

Day 6: Mutamaiyo – Kitale – Nairobi

This being the last day in the mountain, the breakfast will be served around 05:30hrs, then prepare to descend down for another 2 hours, this early walk you will be accompanied by the Rangers since early morning walk might encounter with the 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 with lunch at the campsite which is at the gate before you embark with the journey back to Nairobi which 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 its 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.

1: Sleeping bag; one rated four (4) season 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,

2: Clothing;

  • Rain Trouser
  • Rain Jacket [Poncho]
  • Balaclava [Hat Woollen]
  • Warm Clothes down jacket
  • Thermal underwear
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Hiking Boots
  • Gloves
  • Walking Sticks
  • Head Torch
  • Sunglasses
  • Ruck Suck 65L [Carried by porters]
  • Day Pack 35 [For your personal effects]

3: Optional comfort accessories;

Walking poles, hot water bottle, sleeping mat for campers,

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

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