10 Days Mount Elgon peak hike and Pian Upe wildlife reserve safari
10 Days Mount Elgon peak hike and Pian Upe wildlife reserve safari : The 10 Days Uganda safari to Mount Elgon national park, Sipi falls and Pian Upe wildlife reserve takes you to the Eastern part of Uganda where you will participant in mountain climbing on East Africa’s fourth highest standing at a height of 4,320 meters where you will reach the peak of Wagagai. The peak contains the largest Caldera in Africa. Other peaks on Mount Elgon national park include; Sudek peak at 4,303 meters, Koitobos peak at 4,320 meters and Mubiyi peak at 4,210. Mount Elgon national park contains many other attractions including the montane and bamboo forests, Crater lakes, several caves, waterfalls, different vegetation zones, different bird species and animals including the bushbucks, Antelopes, wild cats to mention a few. The most significant attraction on Mount Elgon is the Sipi falls. These falls consist of three falls with heights of about 100meters, 85 meters and 75meters respectively. These falls lie at the edge pf Mount Elgon national park in Kapchorwa district, North East of Sironko and Mbale districts. Hiking can also start from this Sipi falls.
Pian Upe game reserve as the last destination of this 10 days safari, is the perfect place for you to go for wildlife and cultural experiences. This park is located in the North Eastern part of Uganda in Nakapiripiti district strategically located to combine with visit Sipi falls and Mount Elgon national park in Eastern Uganda. Pian Upe wildlife reserve is the only place in Uganda where we find Roan antelopes and the Cheetah even though Kidepo national park had been marked as the only national park to find the animals thus Pian Upe wildlife reserve is the second place in Uganda where we find the cheetah. While on a guided safari to Pian Upe wildlife reserve, expect to see a variety of animals, it is only in Pian Upe wildlife reserve where we can find this fine looking antelope.
This safari starts from Kampala through Jinja and ends back in Kampala or Entebbe depending on your schedule, however, travellers can be picked up at any location in Uganda they wish to. The journey will reward you with great views of the landscape such as Mabira forest, tea and sugar plantation in Lugazi and Jinja, the newly constructed Jinja Bridge on the Nile River, Lake Victoria and the people of the land.
Highlight of 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 early morning breakfast at your hotel in Kampala, depart Kampala at around 7 am and embark on your journey to Mbale with en-route views of the beautiful landscape and the rewarding plantation and Lake Victoria. En-route visit the source of the Nile in Jinja and have a delicious lunch in Jinja town then embark on your journey to Kapchorwa. It’s a 3 hours from Jinja to Mbale. Upon arrival at Kapchorwa, connect to your lodge to relax, dinner and overnight stay at Sipi River lodge for Luxury/Noah’s Ark lodge for mid-range/Lacum lodge for budget
Day 2: Hiki Sipi falls
After breakfast, connect to the starting point of Sipi falls where we find magnificent Sipi falls. This activity may take about 2-3 hours’, get a local guide who will guide you to the Sipi falls. There are 3 levels of Sipi falls, the highest fall being at 100 meters, second at 85 meters and the third falls at 75 meters. Depending on the time, you may visit all of the falls or one or two of them before night fall. Return to the starting where you will meet your driver to connect to your accommodation for dinner and overnight stay accommodation as above
Day 3: Hike to Piswa Cave Camp through Budadiri (2,850 metres high)
Wake up to a delicious breakfast and the morning views of the landscape. Thereafter transfer to the Budadiri exploration Centre where you will start the hike. You will be briefed about the hike and also get a porter for yourself. Ensure you have your backpack containing what you will need to use during the hike including food, water and camping gears. You will drive to Kapkwata head trail which starts at 2,190 meters. This trail is a bit steep and crosses through the montane rainforest and bamboo forest until you reach the lunar landscape and thus arriving Piswa Camp late afternoon. This hike takes about 7 to 8 hours reaching the Camp and it’s from this camp you will have your dinner and dinner overnight.
Day 4: Continue to Hunters Cave Camp
Wake up to continue the hike, first have your breakfast at the campsite, and then resume the hike through the beautiful columns of the rare species like Giant Lobelia and wild everlasting flowers. On your way, you will visit the hot springs then connect on the rim of the Caldera at the hunter’s cave which is at about 3,850 meters. Overnight at Hunters Cave Camp
Day 5: Descend from Wagagai peak – Mude Cave Camp
After a cup of tea, you will ascend to the top of the Caldera – Wagagai peak which sits at 4,320 meters high on Mount Elgon. The forest to the summit base camp which is about 810 meters elevation taking about 4 to 5 hours to reach the peak. On reaching the peak, relax and take pictures of the Caldera before you start descending to your overnight camp that is Mude Cave Camp through Jackson summit of about 4,200 meters which also provides fascinating views of the scenery for pictures. Dinner and overnight stay Mude Cave
Day 6: Descend to Budadiri – Sipi falls
After a cup of tea, you will descend from the top through the Jackson’s summit – Wagagai peak which sits at 4,320 meters high on Mount Elgon. You will start descending back to Budadiri where you will meet your safari driver to connect back to your accommodation near Sipi falls. Dinner and overnight stay at Sipi River lodge for Luxury/Noah’s Ark lodge for mid-range/Lacum lodge for budget
Day 7: Transfer to Pian Upe wildlife reserve – evening game drive
Wake up very early, have breakfast, and transfer to Pian Upe wildlife reserve. It is about 4-5 hours’ drive with en-route lunch. Upon arrival at Pian Upe wildlife reserve, connect for an evening game drive before you continue to your accommodation for dinner and overnight stay at your own set up tent near the park headquarters or Uganda Wildlife Authority Bandas for budget option or stay at Karamojong Overland Camp for mid-range option.
Day 8: Explore the reserve on a game drive and community tour
After your breakfast, set off for a morning game drive in the savannah plains to search for reserve residents including the cheetahs, Uganda’s only population of the Roan antelopes, the Elands, Zebras, Hartebeests, Oribis, Gunther’s Dik Dik, Uganda Kobs, Buffaloes, blue and Common Duiker and Impalas to mention a few. Return for lunch and later afternoon; visit a local Karamoja community close to the park for a rare cultural experience in dance and drama performances and also be able to learn more about the community. Before nightfall, return to your camp for dinner and overnight stay as above
Day 9: Community tour experience
After getting breakfast, connect for yet another game drive to find any of the missed animals then connect to visit the people who reside close to the park to learn about the culture and ways of the people living around Pian Upe wildlife reserve. This will be a guided community visit where you will learn about their traditional weddings and marriages, traditional dances that you can take part in, and their raiding activities for cattle. The cultural experiences are very interesting with people of rich cultural and tradition experiences. The cultural visit to one of the local Karamojong community near the reserve will offer you an exciting cultural experience on a rare cultural music, dance and drama performance by the locals most especially the famous Edonga dance. Dinner and overnight stay at accommodation as above
Day 10: Transfer to back Kampala
On the last day of your 10 Days Mount Elgon peak hike and Pian Upe wildlife reserve safari , Since you have a long day drive, connect for a brief game drive then embark on your journey back to Kampala via Mbale where you will have en-route breakfast and lunch in Jinja for before you proceed to Kampala/Entebbe where you will check-in at your reserved hotel or be dropped off at Entebbe airport for your own flight back home. End of safari