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Augur Buzzard Augur Buzzard

Mount Elgon National Park

Written by  Joomla! Jan 01, 2011
  • Size: 1,145 sq km
  • Birds Recorded: 395 Species
  • Altitude: 1,460–4,320 m
  • Geographical Location: Tororo, Mbale, Kapchorwa Districts.
  • Physical features: Mountain Elgon is an extinct volcano, with a large caldera, with Wagagai as its highest peak; the crater covers 40 km at the top of the mountain, surrounded by a series of rugged peaks.

Mount Elgon extends along Uganda’s international border with Kenya, which effectively divides the mountain into two roughly equal parts. The mountain itself extends for about 80 km north–south and 50 km east–west. It is a solitary extinct volcano, with one of the largest craters in the world at 8 km across. Elgon is the fourth highest mountain in Africa.Its highest peak, Wagagai (4321m) lies in Uganda. The mountain has got three other major peaks which are Kiongo (4303m), Mubiyi (4210m) and Jackson’s summit (4165m).On the caldera floor there are hot springs.

Mount Elgon’s forests are rich in birds, with a checklist of up to 300 species. The park harbours 43 of the 144 species of the Guinea–Congo Forests biome and 56 of the 88 species of Afro-tropical Highland biome that occur in Uganda. There are isolated records of the near-threatened species, the Taita Falcon. Mount Elgon represents the western range limit of some species or races that occur in the highlands of Kenya and northern Tanzania, such as Hunter’s Cisticolaand JacksonFrancolin. Notable of the species restricted to the Afro-tropical Highlands biome; the Moorland Francolin, Moustached Green Tinkerbird, and the Alpine Chat. There is alsoan endemic race ofthe White-starred Robin.

Others to look out for include; Cape Robin-Chat, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Little Rock-Thrush, Northern Anteater Chat, Nightingale, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Mountain Yellow Warbler, African Reed Warbler, Little Rush Warbler, Upcher’s Warbler, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff,the Uganda and Brown Woodland Warblers, Green Hylia, White-browed Crombec, Yellow-bellied Hyliota, the Stout, Thrilling, and Rattling Cisticolas. Chances of seeing the Banded Prinia, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Grey-headed Sunbird, Yellow-billed Shrike, Ludher’s Bush-shrike, Cape Rock, Fan-tailed and White-napped Raven, Chestnut Sparrow, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, White-headed Buffaloe-Weaver and many more are very high.

Mt. Elgon is also locally known as Mt. Masaba. Masaba is the name of the founding ancestor of the Bagisu who is said to have emerged from a cave on the slopes several centuries ago. Mt. Elgon is an important watershed for various rivers including the Sipi River which forms the famous Sipi falls. The slopes support a rich variety of altitudinal vegetation zones ranging from montane forest to high open moorland studded with the other-worldly giant lobelia and groundsel plants.
Though the spectacular scenery is the main attraction, the park is generally very rich in Flora and Fauna.

Among the mammals found here include; Species of forest monkeys, species of small antelopes, elephants and buffaloes.

Last modified on Thursday, 28 May 2015 08:00
  1. Uganda
  2. Kenya
  3. Rwanda