Pian Upe wildlife reserve is located in the north eastern part of Uganda covering and area of about 2,043 square kilo meters north of mountain Elgon national park. it is one of the newly recognized tourist attractions in Uganda and the second largest protected area and the largest wildlife reserve. It is joined to the other two reserves of Bokora wildlife reserve, mountain Elgon national park and Matheniko wildlife reserve in the districts of Bulambuli, Bukedea, Kumi, Kween, Napak, Katakwi, Moroto, Amudat, and Nakapiripiriti.

Pian Upe wildlife reserve was ounce a battle ground for the Karamojong pastoralists before it was gazzetted as a wildlife reserve. It was gazzetted in 1958 as Debasien animal sanctuary.

Attractions in Pian Upe wildlife reserve.


Pian Upe wildlife reserve harbors a wide range of mammals that stay in the rocks, mountains. While in pian Upe, there are higher chances of you spotting cheetahs.  Mammals in pian Upe include, cheetahs, lions, leopards, serval cats, cape buffalos, patas monkeys, vervet monkeys, elands, zebras, olive baboon, four toed hedgehogs, aardvarks, crested porcupine, rock hyrax, wildcats, civets, jackals, blur, Gunther’s dik-dik, hartebeests, water bucks, klipspringers, spotted hyena among others.

Bird watching.

Its on record that pian Upe is a birder’s haven with over 242 bird species. The reserve is partly dominated by Loporokocho swamp which harbors all these birds. Birds here include; the ostrich, shoe bill, Karamoja apalis, green bitta, Abyssinian ground hornbill, secretary birds, fox weaver bird, superb sterling, great hartlaub’s bustard, white headed buffalo weaver, Jackson hornbill among others.

Primate tracking.

These live in the forest inside the reserve, these include; patas monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, African hare, crested porcupine, four toed hedgehogs, rick hyrax among others.

Cheposukunya hot springs.

These beautiful hot springs are found in the reserve, they are also a home to many bird species that you can spot in this area. Cheposukunya hot springs have beautiful sceneries for photography.


Pian Upe wildlife reserve harbors a lot of reptiles that stay in the wooden savanna, plains and river Girik. These include; crocodiles, savannah monitors, common agama, puff adders, skinks, rock pythons, geckos among others.


You can visit the Karamojong homesteads called the Manyattas, participate in their traditional dances, see their jewelry, stools, bows and arrows, spears and their traditional knives. You can graze or milk cows with them. Karamojong and the Ik still live a true African life style, they have not fully embraced modernity. This is a great opportunity for you to experience a true African live style. They tell you stories about their history and culture. You can as well purchase their traditional items as souvenirs. You will be welcomed to the sound of their music and unique dancing moves, you are free to join them and get a feeling of being a Karamojong.

The Karamoja people are similar to the masasi in Kenya and Tanzania because of their pastoralist nature. The communities like the Lorukul village and the Ik people have gained in these community tours. The Karamojong lived in the park, but later got settlements near the park after the government gazzetted it. The Karamojong people have interesting stories about their marriage and marriage ceremonies and raising children. These people value cows a lot, ones’ wealthy is determined by the number of cows one has.

A visit to the IK people will give you a great experience of the true African life. As earlier noted, they are one of the smallest group of people in Uganda, they live near the Karamojong and have a little similar lifestyle. They also have polygamous marriages and leave around mountain morungole ranges. They have interesting stories about their lifestyles like marriage, harvesting bees among others. The Ik are mainly hunters and fruit gatherers, they are good at harvesting honey and have a strong connection with the bees.

Lake opeta

Lake opeta is found in the southern part of pian Upe wildlife reserve. The lake has a wetland system which makes it a good place for birds, reptiles and other animals.

Mountain kadam and rock hills.

The reserve consists of hills which include mountain kadam situated on the Karamoja boarder. Hills and rocks in pian Upe wildlife reserve enables rock climbing, hiking and mountain climbing.

How to reach pian Upe wildlife reserve.

The reserve is found 90 kilo meters away from Kampala city. You can reach there via mbale moroto road.

Accommodation facilities in pian Upe wildlife reserve.

There are a lot of accommodation facilities that range from budget, mid-range to luxury facilities.

These include Karamoja safari camp, mount moroto hotel, lavender inn, hotel leslona, shalosa hotel among others.












0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *