MT. ELGON – THE HOME OF BAMASAABA
Mt. Elgon is home to Bamasaaba. It was first named Mt. Masaaba by our forefathers of Bamasaaba. It was called by as “Ol Doinyo Ilgoon” (Breast Mountain) by the Maasai who once lived there.
Mt. Elgon is an extinct volcano that first erupted more than 24 million years ago. It has the largest surface area of any extinct Volcano in the world (50km by 80km).
Its Wagagai peak standing at 4321 is the second highest in Uganda – after Margerita Peak of Rwenzori Mountain in western Uganda.
Other Mt. Elgon peaks are Sudeki (4301 metres) at Kenya/Uganda border, Koitobos (4,222 metres) in Kenya, Mubiyi (4211 metres) in Uganda and Masaaba (4,161 metres) in Uganda.
The mountain also contains one of the world’s largest calderas –a collapsed crater covering over 40kms – sitting at the top of the mountain. It also has many waterfalls on its slopes and hot springs that one can soak in.
It’s Flora and Fauna is beautiful and as you ascend the mountain’s slopes. You pass through dense montane forest and mixed bamboo belts. You then enter fascinating heath and moorland zones containing several interesting endemic plant species such as giant lobelia and groundsels.
At the mountain top, you can easily spot primates such as the Black and White Colobus Monkey, Blue Monkey, and a variety of fascinating bird species, including Golden Winged and Tacazze sunbirds, Ross’s and Hartlaubs Turacos, Black and White Casqued and Crowned Hornbills, the endangered Lammergeier and the Jackson’s Francolin which is found nowhere else in Uganda. There are also buffalo, hyenas and leopards.
Mt. Elgon gives food and vegetables to not only to the people of Masaabaland but also to other people living in Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan. The biggest and most succulent bananas are found on this mountain. This is home for Kamalea, a kind of bamboo that can never grow in any other part of the world. All kinds of yams – tsimbama, bitolotolo and kamanguyu are grown here. The biggest cabbages and tomatoes, that are rarely sold to far markets, are produced here.