Game reserves are wide areas of land set aside for the conservation of all the naturally occurring life that is to say the plant life, animals, birds, insects and many more. These are commonly referred to as fauna and nature reserves where wildlife is safely protected that is to say hunting is illegal/ prohibited. Game reserves are spread in various regions of the country and serve as game/wildlife viewing sites as they contain various ecosystems such as Savannah grasslands, valley bush velds, Savannah woodlands and riverine forest which act as habitats for wildlife. Some of the wildlife species found in game reserves include rhinos,elephants, cape buffaloes, warthogs, bushbucks, lions, waterbucks, colobus monkeys plus so much more. Game reserves have greatly boosted wildlife safaris in Uganda with majority of tourists flying in every year for a chance to enounter these species on foot or in the comfort of a safari van . Below are the top seven game reserves in Uganda listed by our tour consultants at Tristar Africa Skimmer Safaris ;
- Pian Upe Wildlife Reserves
Located in the Karamoja sub-region which is a semi-arid area in the North Eastern part of Uganda is one of the country’s largest conservation area known as Pian Upe Wildlife reserve. The reserve covers an area of about 2,788 square kilometers covering areas towards the North from mount Kadam to Mount Napak. Its vegetation is generally composed of undisturbed grasslands and woodlands. The reserve also has riverine woodlands and the dominant tree species are the red acacia and desert dates. It also has Harrisonia abyssinica, bush willows plus red spike-thorns. Some of the shrubs include the wooy caper bush and butterfly pea. Some of the wildlife found in the reserve include the Rothschild’s giraffes, zebras, lions, leopards, buffaloes, antelopes and many others. The reserve is also known as the home for the harmless water snakes, enormous rock pythons, lizards, venomous puff adders and various bird species found mostly around the swampy terrains such as the Loporokocho swamp and these include ostriches, Jackson’s Hornbills, Hartlaub’s bustard, white-headed buffalo-weaver and so many others.
- Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve
This game reserve is located in the dry plains of the North-Eastern part of Uganda covering over2000 square kilometers. The reserve is a home to a variety of wildlife species such as the extinct Rothschild’s giraffe, leopards, elands, oribis, topis, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, Kobs, reedbucks, roan antelopes and so many others. It also has various bird species found in several spots such as the Loporokocho swamp hence a perfect place for birding safaris with several species such as the Dusky turtle dove, thick-billed honey guide, eastern bronze-napped pigeon, ostriches, African hill babbler, Alpine chat, Jackson’s hornbill, black-throated wattle-eye, white-headed buffalo-weaver, lemon dove and so many others. The reserve is accessible all year round nut best time to visit is during the dry season (from June to September and from December to February) where you will enjoy activities such as camping in the wilderness, bird watching and game viewing. Some of the wildlife species within the reserve include the oryx, spotted hyenas, cheetahs, stripped hyenas, several monkey species plus so much more.
- Katonga Wildlife Reserve
Katonga Wildlife reserve is situated right on the edge of the Katonga river valley. The reserve’s vegetation is composed of both Savannah grasslands, woodlands also known as acacia scrubs, rain forests and papyrus swamps. Katonga game reserve harbors quite a number of plant and animal species all unique to the reserve’s wetland environment that is to say over 40 animal species some of which include the Uganda Kob, reedbucks, marsh-dwelling Sitatunga antelopes, baboons, waterbucks, bushbucks, warthogs, elephants, river otters, colobus monkeys plus so much more and over 150 bird species. This park can be best explored in the dry season that is from December to February and from June to July.
- Tororo-Semuliki Wildlife Reserve
This is a perfect destination for birders located in the Albertine rift valley surrounded by beautiful sceneries of the Congolese Blue mountains in the West, the Rift valley escarpment in the East plus the Rwenzori mountains in the South west. The reserve’s vegetation is composed of Savannah grasslands, woodlands, riverine forests plus patches of borassus palms. The attractions in the reserve include Sempaya hot springs, the pygmy village in Semuliki national park just adjacent to the reserve and the various wildlife species some of which include Grey-cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys, bush babies, blue monkeys and many others. Tororo-Semuliki game reserve can be visited at any time of the year.
- Ajai game reserve
Ajai game reserve is located in the North western part of Uganda in Arua district. At an elevation of approximately 658 meters above the sea level. The game reserve was named after an ancient local powerful leader called Ajai as it was put under his personal watch from 1937 up to 1980. Ajai game reserve’s vegetation is made up of Savannah grasslands and woodlands plus swamps. The reserve is a home to various wildlife species such as the Uganda kob, warthogs, waterbucks, hippopotamuses, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, bush bucks, buffaloes and various species of birds which make the reserve a perfect spot for birding safaris.
- Kalinzu forest reserve
Kalinzu game reserve is located in the South Western part of Uganda in Bushenyi district close to Queen Elizabeth national park and Maramagambo forest. It lies on an average altitude of approximately 1,400m above the sea level. Kalinzu forest reserve has about 414 tree species and also contains several shrubs such as the prunus, Parinari, African ficus and many others. It is also a home to six primate species which are the blue monkeys, l’hoest guenon, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys plus chimpanzees.
- Aswa-Lolim game reserve
Located in the Northern part of Uganda between the great Albert Nile and Gulu town is Aswa-Lolim game reserve. It sits on high rolling hills bisected by a number of rivers such as Aswa and Lolim from which the reserve obtains its name. The initial reason for the existence of the reserve was to provide a strict dispersal and a free migration area for the wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, kobs and many others in Murchison falls national park as the reserve is located just North of the park. The reserve currently contains an array of very large ranches plus farms and all the wildlife in it is protected by a body known as the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
Book a wildlife safari in Uganda today and visit any of the above named game reserves simply by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +256-758540071 to speak with the reservations team.