It is an extinct volcano located on the border of Uganda with Kenya. It covers an area of 3,500 sq km. It is the 8th highest mountain in Africa and its tallest peak is called ‘Wagagai’ and rises to the height of 4,321m. Mount Elgon is about 235km east of Kampala City.
The mountain vegetation in ascending order includes grassland, tall Afro-montane forest, low-canopy montane forest, bamboo, heather belt and Afro-Alpine vegetation.
The mountain is a catchment area for the following rivers:
- Suam River downstream becomes Turkwel River and drains into Lake Turkana
- Nzoia River flows to Lake Victoria
- Lwakhakha River flows to Lake Victoria.
The mountain is the home of black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkey, de brazza monkey, Leopard, Buffalo, Sitatungas and Duiker. The mountain is also a home to s a rich variety of forest birds such as Jackson’s francolin, green tinker bird, Alpine chat, red-throated wryneck among others.
The area around the mountain is protected by two Mount Elgon National Parks one on each side of the international border.
The mountain has the following caves:
Kitum is over 60 meters wide and penetrates 200 meters and it is frequented by elephants to lick the salt’
There are rare plants are found on the mountain. These include Ardisiandra wettsteinii, Carduus afromontanus, Echinops hoehnelii, Ranunculus keniensis, and Romulea keniensis
Mt. Elgon consists of five major peaks:
Wagagai (4,321m), being in Uganda.
Sudek (4,302m or 14,140;ft) in Kenya
Koitobos (4,222m or 13,851;ft), a flat topped basalt column (Kenya)
Mubiyi (4,211m or 13,816;ft)
Masaba (4,161m or 13,650;ft)