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Mount Elgon West
is the area of eastern Uganda
which includes the eponymous and rather impressive volcano.
The town of Mbale is primarily an agricultural centre, pleasant enough in passing, but of little specific interest to the majority of travellers.
Mount Elgon itself is the eighth highest peak in Africa and straddles the border between Uganda and Kenya.
Like Mount Kilimanjaro
and Mount Kenya, it is another vast free-standing volcano. Although now extinct, it is thought to have originally been the tallest of them all.
The summit contains a stunning 8km diameter caldera, the undulating floor of which is dotted with forests and lakes.
The main point of interest in the area is the modest Sipi Falls, on the lower slopes of the mountain, where there are some simple lodges which can be used as bases for trekking.
Despite the excellent potential for trekking, Mount Elgon has never managed to quite capture the imagination of a significant number of visitors.
This is partly because it does not have the same mythical status of other African peaks, but also because of periodic security issues. We certainly don't recommend it very often.Sipi River Lodge
... is situated to the north-west of the mountain and is probably the best base for trekking.Protea Mbale
... is probably the most reliable hotel in the area and may be the best option for business and other travellers to the town of Mbale.
Here in Uganda we tend to focus trips more commonly on areas such as Bwindi Forest
, Queen Elizabeth
, Kibale Forest
, Murchison Falls
and Kidepo Valley