Kitum Cave

The Caves of Mt. Elgon

Useful Information

Location: Mt Elgon. Via tarmac road to Kitale and then to the Chorlim Gate, either via Endebess or take the tarmac road 11 km past Kitale and turn left onto a murrum road leading to the gate.
Open: All year daily.
Fee: Kenya Citicens: Adults KES 200, Children KES 100, Students KES 100.
Kenya Residents: Adults KES 500, Children KES 250, Students KES 250.
Non-Residents: Adults USD 25, Children USD 10, Students USD 10.
Non-Residents: Adults EUR 20, Children EUR 8, Students EUR 8.
Non-Residents: Adults GBP 15, Children GBP 5, Students GBP 5.
Car KES 300.
Classification: Speleologylava tube, Elephant caves.
Light: none
Dimension: L=200 m.
Guided tours:
Address: Mt. Elgon National Park, P.O. Box 753, Kitale, Kenya, Tel: +254-54-310456, Tel: +254-54-310457. E-mail: contact
Kenya Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 40241-00100, Nairobi, Kenya, Tel: +254-20-600800, Fax: +254-20-603792. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1968 Mt Elgon National Park formed.
AUG-1982 after a roof fall the path was blocked for the elephants.


Mt. Elgon is Kenya's second highest mountain, an ancient eroded volcano with a huge caldera. On its summit exists a spectacular flat topped basalt column known as Koitobos. The mountain belongs both to Kenya and Uganda, it is located on the border. At the slopes of Mount Elgon lie some caves, which are probably the most unique caves on Earth. They were formed as lava tubes by lava flows from Mt Elgon, long ago. Today only short pieces of the caves remain, erosion destroyed large parts of the caves and transformed the volcanic rock, producing numerous salts and minerals. So the walls contain large amount of salt.

At the first glimpse the caves look like natural caves with some remains of human modifications. There are long furrows, which look like traces of picks. The first explorers thought, the remains were a sign of ancient Egyptians, which were searching for gold and precious stones, far away from their home. But at night the enigma is solved: frequent night visitors such as elephants and buffaloes come to lick the natural salt from the cave walls. The elephants often have problems because of their size, so they hit the head. Thats why recommends helmets for wild caves. However, they know the path to the salt, find the walls in the total darkness of both night and cave, and then break off some salty rocks with their tusks. This are the furrows which looked like man made.

At Mt Elgon are four vast caves which are explorable. The most famous and biggest one is Kitum Cave, it extends 200 m into the mountain side. A short trail leads to the cave and there is a Kitum Cave guide book available at the gate. A second short trail leads to Makingeny Cave. The third trail of the park leads to the Elephant Bluff.