Mount Elgon is the fourth highest mountain in Africa and an ideal starting point for anyone who is new to hiking and mountaineering.
The 3-day Sasa trail takes you to Wagagai Peak (4,321 asl)
Pre-hike: Arrive in Budadiri
Day 1: We will arrive in Budadiri Village any time of the day to prepare for the hike. We recommend staying somewhere close to the park gate to make it easier to get to the UWA office to register and pay (credit cards are accepted). We will organize for a chef and porters from this point. We shall also organize Your daily mountain two armed rangers for the duration of our trip.
Day 2: Park gate to Sasa River Camp (2,900m)
Wake up early and organise for boda bodas, the road is not sufficient for cars to pass, to take you to the trailhead at Bumasola Village (1,770 m). The trail starts with a walk through the surrounding farms and village up to the perimeter of the national park. Already sweating, you reach the park and look up at the intimidating Mudange cliffs (2,290 m) also known as the “Wall of Death”. Be aware that while the climb has metal stairs, landslides have taken out some of them and those sections can be very slippery.
After scaling the cliffs, you have an easy walk through the regenerating forest zone to Sasa River Camp (2,900 m).
We shall set up our camp where we will enjoy our first night in this mountain.
Shortly after breakfast, we shall continue up into the pure tropical rain forest. This area is beautiful and used to be a home to buffalo, elephants and big cats, but they have migrated to the Kenyan side that was made into a wildlife refuge much earlier than the Ugandan side. However, you will still meet troops of monkeys. After a few tough inclines, you will get to the Sasa Patrol Hut (3,300 m) where we will register with the ranger before we continue into the heathland zone. This part of the trek, which takes us to the incline to the caldera, is full of stunning peculiar plants which include: giant lobelia, everlasting flowers and several species of lichen.
We will arrive at Mude Cave Camp (3,500 m) which offers one of the most spectacular sunsets/sunrise spots in Uganda in time for lunch. We will pitch our tents for the night. Be warned, despite good temperatures during the day, nights at Mude Cave can drop down to very low temperatures. We recommend you pack accordingly!
Day 3: Mude Cave Camp to Wagagai Peak (4,321 m) then return to Sasa River Camp
The day begins before sunrise, grabbing a quick breakfast; we shake the cold out of our bones, and get on the trail heading for the summit.
Today, we will pass through the alpine zone to reach the lip of the largest mountain caldera in the world.
We will meet a junction (left takes you to hot springs, but we will continue straight) before reaching Jackson’s Pool (4,050 m). Here, we will take water / snack break, as we admire Jackson’s Table, a geological formation, and Jackson’s Peak (4,165 m). We will pass around Jackson’s Peak and traverse the ridge of the caldera heading east towards Wagagai Summit Peak. On the way, we will have spectacular views of the massive caldera, where we can see various lakes and the Suam gorge. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Kenya in the distance. Scramble up the rocky ridge to reach the summit. Wagagai Peak (4,321 m) is not our traditional summit, but rather the highest point of the calderas ridge.
We will turn around and retrace our steps back to Jackson’s Pool. If you want to make a detour, we can summit Jackson’s Peak by crossing the ridge and scramble up the rocky side of the peak.
We will continue all the way down to Mude Cave camp, where we shall have our lunch. We will thereafter pack up our stuff and continue down to Sasa River camp where we will fall asleep to the sound of the river rushing by.
Day 4: Sasa River Camp back to the trailhead
We will take our time getting up and packing up our stuff. After having a hearty breakfast, we will begin the steep descent back down to Bumasola. Keep in mind that the descent is quite steep and heavy on the knees. This is where the hiking poles become useful! Despite the short distance, you should take your time to avoid the fall.
We continue the downward trajectory to UWA’s Budadiri office. We will receive the certificates to certify that we have summited Wagagai Peak!
End of the tour!
Traverse Africa and Mountaineering Service comprises a team of well-Motivated, Dedicated, Experienced, Knowledgeable, Trustworthy Guides, Chefs, Porters, Drivers and Office Staff.
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