10 Days Mount Elgon And Pian Upe Safari: Complete Guide for First Timers
The Mount Elgon peak hike and Pian Upe wildlife reserve safari lasts for ten days, during which time you’ll visit Mount Elgon National Park, Sipi Falls, and the Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve in Eastern Uganda. Mount Elgon is the fourth-highest peak in all of East Africa, rising to an altitude of 4,320 meters at its summit. The mountain is home to Africa’s biggest Caldera. Sudek Peak, at 4,303 meters, Koitobos Peak, at 4,320 meters, and Mubiyi Peak, at 4,210 meters, are some of the other notable peaks in Mount Elgon National Park. There are many other things to see and do in Mount Elgon National Park besides the crater lakes and the bamboo and montane forests. There are also a number of caves and waterfalls, as well as a variety of plant and animal life, such as bushbucks, antelopes, and even wild cats. Sipi falls, located on Mount Elgon, are its main draw. There are three separate waterfalls here, each measuring around 85, 75, and 100 meters in height. Located in Kapchorwa district, northeast of Sironko and Mbale districts, these waterfalls serve as the park’s northern boundary. The Sipi Falls provide a great trailhead.
Mount Elgon | Uganda
The Pian Upe Game Reserve is the best site to end your 10-day safari and learn about the local culture and wildlife. This park is in the Nakapiripiti district in northeastern Uganda, making it convenient to visit both Sipi Falls and Mount Elgon National Park in the same trip. Pian Upe wildlife reserve is the only area in Uganda to see Roan antelopes and the Cheetah, even though Kidepo national park was originally designated as the sole national park to see the species. Among the many species you might encounter on a guided safari through Pian Upe wildlife reserve is a particularly handsome antelope.
Travelers can be picked up from any location in Uganda and taken on a safari that visits Mount Elgon and Pian Upe before returning them to Kampala or Entebbe, depending on their schedule. Visit the Mabira forest, the tea and sugar plantations in Lugazi and Jinja, the recently built Jinja Bridge across the Nile River, beautiful Lake Victoria, and meet the friendly locals along the way.
Highlight: Mount Elgon And Pian Upe Safari
- Day 1: Transfer to Mount Elgon national park
- Day 2: Hike Sipi falls
- Day 3: Hike to Piswa Cave Camp
- Day 4: Continue to Hunters Cave Camp
- Day 5: Descend from Wagagai to Mude Cave Camp
- Day 6: Descend to Budadiri back to Sipi
- Day 7: Transfer to Pian Upe wildlife reserve
- Day 8: full day game drive
- Day 9: Karamojong community tour
- Day 10: Drive back to Kampala
Day 1: Transfer to Mount Elgon national park – Sipi falls
After a hearty breakfast at your Kampala hotel, you’ll hit the road at around 7 a.m. to make the trek to Mbale, stopping along the way to take in the breathtaking scenery and the cocoa plantation and Lake Victoria. Start your trip to Kapchorwa with a stop at the Nile’s birthplace at Jinja and a delicious meal in the town of Jinja. Trip time from Jinja to Mbale is three hours. After arriving in Kapchorwa, you can unwind at the Sipi River resort (if you’re looking for luxury), the Noah’s Ark lodge (if you’re looking for an intermediate price point), or the Lacum lodge (if you’re looking for a low-cost option).
Day 2: Hiki Sipi falls
Get linked up to the beginning of Sipi falls, where the spectacular Sipi falls may be found, after breakfast. Depending on how many stops you make along the way, a visit to the Sipi falls could take anywhere from two to three hours. The largest of Sipi Falls’ three drops is 100 meters in height, while the second and third drops are 85 and 75 meters, respectively. The number of waterfalls you can see before dark varies depending on the time of day. Get back to the starting point, where you’ll meet your driver and be taken to your lodgings for the night.
Day 3: Hike to Piswa Cave Camp through Budadiri (2,850 metres high)
Enjoy a hearty meal while the sun rises over the landscape. After that, head to the Budadiri Exploration Centre to begin your walk. You’ll be given a briefing on the hike and assigned a personal porter to help you along the way. Make sure you have all the essentials, like food, water, and camping equipment, in your bag before you set out on your hike. The Kapkwata head trail begins at 2,190 meters, and you’ll drive there. The trail is somewhat steep and passes through a montane rainforest and bamboo forest before emerging into a lunar environment and leading to Piswa Camp in the late afternoon. It will take you around 7 or 8 hours to hike to the camp, where you will spend the night and eat dinner.
Day 4: Continue to Hunters Cave Camp
After a hearty breakfast back at camp, you can resume your journey past the rare Giant Lobelia and wild everlasting flowers that form towering columns along the trail. You’ll start off at the hot springs and end up at the hunter’s cave, perched on the Caldera’s rim at an altitude of roughly 3,850 meters. Camp at Hunter’s Cave for the Night
Day 5: Descend from Wagagai peak – Mude Cave Camp
You’ll start your ascent to Mount Elgon’s 4,320-meter-high Caldera – Wagagai peak with a nice cup of tea. It takes around 4 or 5 hours to make it from the forest to the top base camp, which is at an elevation of roughly 810 meters. When you reach the top, take some time to admire the Caldera and snap some photos before beginning the descent to Mude Cave Camp, your overnight destination via Jackson Summit, at an altitude of roughly 4,200 meters, from which you’ll have equally amazing photo ops. Mud Cave Supper and Overnight
Day 7: Transfer to Pian Upe wildlife reserve – evening game drive
Explore Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
Following a refreshing cup of tea, you’ll make your way back down Mount Elgon via Jackson’s Summit, also known as Wagagai Peak, which stands at an altitude of 4,320 meters. To get back to your lodgings at Sipi falls, you’ll need to descend to Budadiri, where you’ll meet your safari driver. Enjoy a delicious meal and a comfortable night’s sleep at either the Noah’s Ark or Lacum lodges, depending on your budget.
Day 8: Explore the reserve on a game drive and community tour
In the morning, after breakfast, go on a game drive through the reserve’s savannah plains in search of the resident cheetahs, zebras, hartebeests, elands, oribis, gunther’s dik-diks, uganda kobs, buffaloes, blue duikers, common duikers, impalas, and more. After lunch, you’ll be able to discover more about the local Karamoja culture by visiting a community not far from the park where you may see traditional dance and theatrical performances. Come back to camp for dinner and the night as described above before sunset.
Day 9: Community tour experience
Connect for a second game drive after breakfast in an effort to locate any elusive critters, and then connect to meet the locals who make their homes in the immediate vicinity of the Pian Upe wildlife reserve. During this guided tour of the neighborhood, you’ll get the inside scoop on everything from the locals’ customary wedding and marriage rituals to their famous livestock raids. People with varied and deep cultural backgrounds provide for fascinating cultural experiences. Visiting a Karamojong village close to the reserve will provide you a unique opportunity to see traditional music, dance, and drama performed by residents, including the renowned Edonga dance. As described above, we stayed at a hotel for dinner and the night.
Day 10: Transfer to back Kampala
The final day of your 10-day Mount Elgon peak climbing and Pian Upe wildlife reserve safari will involve a long drive, so after a short game drive you’ll head back to Kampala via Mbale, stopping for breakfast and lunch in Jinja along the way. From there, you’ll either be dropped off at your Kampala hotel or taken to Entebbe airport for your flight home.
End of the 10 Days Mount Elgon And Pian Upe Safari