Mount Elgon, a 4,320 metres high mountain is the second highest in Kenya and the fourth highest in the whole of Africa. It is a dormant volcano which is situated in the border of Uganda and Kenya. It stood taller than Kilimanjaro as of today. Elgon’s loftiest peaks, the Wagagai is situated within Uganda and can be best ascended from the side of Uganda.
The area of Elgon is a very important watershed with its slopes supporting a wide variety of altitudinal vegetation. These zones range from the montane forest to the open moor land decorated with groundsel plants and the giant lobelia. Although being a dormant volcano, Mount Elgon has extensive forest areas on its lower slopes. The favourable climatic conditions along with the fertile, well-drained and deep workable soils combine effectively to give a significant potential in agriculture which can be said to be one of the characteristic features of Elgon.
Mount Elgon in this sense resembles many other mountainous regions of Africa, which generally have more favourable climatic and fertile soil conditions when compared to the drier plains. This is not the condition of similar regions in other continents where the hilly regions rare less fertile when compared to the lowlands. The tribal and local people of this are consider this mountain to be traditionally important as it is a good source in collecting a number of forest products such as honey, bamboo, timber, medicinal herbs and of course, bush meat.
Mount Elgon, which is a comparatively undemanding mountain, has beautiful and spectacular sceneries which are a main attraction to the tourist and hikers. Some of the frequently seen animals on Mount Elgon include a variety of forest monkeys, buffaloes, elephants and small antelopes. Around 300 bird species are spotted here, not seen elsewhere in Uganda. Other specialities of Mount Elgon include historical cave paintings, splendid caves and hot-springs.