August 26, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

Pian upe game reserve is located in the northeastern part of Uganda in the Karamoja dry plains with Nakapiripirit district taking the lion’s share of the game reserve. Though the game reserve is not only in the Nakapiripirit district but also shared among eight other districts including Moroto, Kween, Bukedea and so on.

How to get to Pian upe game reserve.

This game reserve can be accessed both by road and air transport although the commonly used type is road transport which is approximately a 7 hours and two minutes’ drive from Kampala capital city which also accounts for 392.9 kilometers using the Kampala – Mbale – Namalu town route. The nearest airstrip to the reserve is Amudat from where a tourist can be picked by a tourist van driver guide and then embark on the journey to the reserve.

A brief history of the game reserve.

Established in 1958, Pian upe game reserve was first demarcated as a Debasien sanctuary for wild animals in the area. Efforts were made by the government of Uganda to transform the land for agricultural purposes to help revert the famine that was staunch in the area. However, this move threatened the existence of wildlife and so it was called off. Later on in 1964, this particular area was extended to the northern parts and also rebranded to the Pian upe game reserve.

Why is this game reserve so unique and attractive?

 Mammals in the game reserve. The game reserve is a home to several mammals for example the buffaloes, lions, leopards, hippopotamuses, mountain reedbucks, roan antelopes, giraffes, waterbucks, Uganda kobs and so many others.

Diverse cultures. This game reserve is bordered by the Karimojongs who stand out from the rest of the tribes in Uganda and East Africa for their unique way of life. A trip to the game reserve can allow you an experience with these wonderful people who are so welcoming.

Bird species in the game reserve. It is important to single out that the game reserve is a habitat to over 300 bird species with the highlight of the bird species as the ostrich which is famous for its beauty and its speed. Tourists travel from around the globe to come and see this bird take off.

The landscape of the game reserve. Located in the flat plains of northeastern Uganda, the reserve gives a wonderful view of the plains which is so attractive to photographers and filmmakers who get their concepts and film scenes in this particular area.

 Rock art painting sites. This is yet another unique feature of the game reserve and is normally loved by historians and lovers of original art. The paintings were made by the early inhabitants of the area in the stone age days. Travelers come from various areas of the world to do research and understand the paintings.

 What tourist activities can be done in the game reserve?

Bird watching. This is because of the various bird species that know this game reserve as home. There are various bird watching sites in the game reserve with large binoculars and good lenses that enable the travelers to see birds at a far distance. These birds include the ostrich, egrets, cormorants, cranes, african eagles to mention but a few.

Community encounters. Since the indigenous karamojongs are inhabitants of this area, a visit to the game reserve can allow you a chance to associate with them and also get a glimpse of their lives. They are so welcoming and they normally tell stories about their lives, without forgetting the wonderful dances they entertain their visitors with.

 Volunteerism is yet another activity that cannot miss mention in this particular game reserve. This activity is done by tourists as some way to to extend their help to the fellow humans in this area who are less advantaged.

Mountain climbing safaris are also possible in the game reserve. This is because there are some highlands that rise above the flat plains which facilitate mountain climbing activities for example Mount Moroto which gives a very good challenge to the mountaineers. 

Biking tours are also activities that a traveler to this region can indulge in. This is because the flat plains help one have an extraordinary experience especially to the bikers who love speed and yet the mountainous areas away from that flat plains also provide a physical exercise challenge.

Guided nature walks are noteworthy  activities that await tourists who travel to this  game reserve with the guides that give you information about the game reserve regarding geography, ecology, weather, and so on.

Game viewing safaris. These are yet another highlight of the game reserve since some of the world’s most traveled people have singled out this area as one of the reserves where one can get an encounter with wild animals without so much hassle.

What is the best time to visit Pian-upe game reserve?

The period from January up to March and the period of November and December months are the best times to visit this game reserve due to the dry seasons. Also, the months of April and October can be good timing especially after the seasonal rains. 

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