Mount Elgon national park, Uganda

Mount Elgon lies at the heart of the national park which bears its name. Covering 1279 square km or 494 square miles, it sits on the Kenyan-Ugandan border. The vast majority of the park is in Uganda. Elephants and buffalo can be found on the lower slopes. The park is also home to a variety of small antelope and duiker, as well forest monkeys, including the black-and-white colobus and blue monkey. red-tailed monkey have been reported after being thought to be locally extinct. Both leopard and hyena exist there. In terms of birds, Mount Elgon is home to at least 144 bird species. Of particular interest are Jackson’s spurfowl, the eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Hartlaub’s turaco, the Tacazze sunbird and the endangered lammergeier, due to their restricted range.

There are a wide range of places in national parks across the world where animals will travel to consume local minerals which are otherwise missing from their diets. Here, the elephants have taken this to an extreme. There are caves in the cliff face, and elephant go regularly (some as often as every night) to gorge it out of the cliff with their tusks, and then eat (in this case salts). The Elephants have been doing this over and over for so long, that they have extended these caves further into the cliff, with some of these caves running more than 200m deep.

There is nowhere else in the world like this, where with a good place to watch, you could sit still and have hundreds of elephants walk past you, on the way to the cliff, to get their fill.


See Animals Wild