The vegetation on Mount Elgon is similar to Mount Kenya’s, and equally impressive, with bamboo and podocarpus forests (the latter more accessible than Mount Kenya’s) giving way to open moorland inhabited by the strange statues of giant groundsel and lobelia. The wildlife isn’t easily seen until you get onto the moors, but some elephant and a fair few buffalo roam the forest (be extremely wary of both). The best place to see elephants used to be the Elephant Platform north of Chorlim Gate, where herds congregated to browse on the acacias, but many were wiped out by poachers in the 1980s, and the remainder became reclusive. It’s very rare to see them at the Elkony caves, where they regularly used to gouge salt. The Kenya Wildlife Service is confident that poaching is now under control, and estimates the elephant population to be around two hundred. The lions have long gone and, though there are still leopards and servals, you’re not likely to see one. The primates are more conspicuous: blue monkeys and black-and-white colobus crash through the forested areas, troops of olive baboons patrol the scrub, and along the Kimothon River that forms the lower park’s northern boundary, there’s a scattering of rare de Brazza’s monkeys.
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