Top Things to do in Pian Upe Game Reserve
Top things to do in Pian Upe game reserve; Pian Upe game reserve is the second largest wildlife conservation area in Uganda after Murchison falls national park and it’s located in Karamoja region northeastern part of Uganda between Kidepo valley national park and Mount Elgon national park. The game reserve covers a total area of 2,788 square kilometers which is comprised of grassland, Riverine woodlands and wooded grasslands which act as habitats for several wildlife species including buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, greater kudus, oribi, lions, leopards, roam antelopes, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, reedbucks, duikers, Jacksons hartebeest, primates like vervet monkeys, patas monkeys, olive baboons and variety of bird species such as ostrich, white headed buffalo weaver, secretary birds, hartlaubs bustard among others.
Top things to do in Pian Upe game reserve
Game drives in the reserve
This is one of the major activities in the reserve where visitors get a chance to explore the reserve plains in the comfort of a 4WD pop up safari vehicle with a professional safari guide. During the game drive which can either be done early in the morning or in the afternoon, you will follow different game tracks in the reserve which offer great views of animals like zebras, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, elands, giraffes, Jacksons hartebeest, oribi, greater kudus, roan antelopes, reedbucks, waterbucks, view predators like leopards, lions, side stripped jackals, hyenas if you are lucky, view different bird species among others.
Bird watching in Pian Upe game reserve
The reserve is a home of more than 242 recorded bird species which makes an ideal destination for bird watching. During bird watching which can be done during the game drive or nature walk, you will be able to view different bird species such as secretary birds, ostrich, shoebill, white headed buffalo weaver, Jacksons hornbill, Karamoja apalis, great hartlaubs bustard, fox weaver, superb starling, Abyssinian ground hornbill among others.
Nature walk/ hiking in Pian Upe game reserve
The reserve offers the adventurous nature walk where you will get an opportunity to get out of the comfort of a safari vehicle and explore the reserve on foot with the company of an armed park ranger and an experienced park guide who is well conversant with hiking trails. During the guided nature walk you will be able to get up-close and personal with different animals including zebras, giraffes, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, elands, primates like baboons, vervet monkeys, view variety of bird species, beautiful scenery, enjoy the cool breeze, listen to sweet sounds of bird species singing in trees, relax your mind in a quiet environment, take incredible photos among others.
Cultural tours in Pian Upe game reserve
There are two cultural tribes living close to the reserve that is the Karamajong and the Kalenjin. During the cultural tour you will get an opportunity to interact with the Karamajong or Kalenjin people, visit their homesteads, learn about their unique culture, tradition, way of living, taste their local dishes, enjoy their marriage ceremonies, traditional entertainment inform of dance and drama, buy craft souvenirs among others.
Where to stay during your safari in Pian Upe game reserve
There are limited accommodation facilities in the game reserve therefore during your safari in the reserve you can stay in cottages or tents from Uganda Wildlife Authority or stay in accommodations outside the reserve since the reserve in located close to Sipi falls, Mount Elgon national park and Mbale town.
Best time to visit Pian Upe game reserve
Pian Upe game reserve can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best period is during the dry season in the months of January to March and November to December. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the game reserve therefore access roads will be passable and large numbers of wildlife species will gather around the water bodies to drink water which gives you a chance to view different animals and take beautiful photos. Also during the dry season the vegetation will be thin which makes wildlife viewing easy.
How to get to Pian Upe game reserve
The reserve is located in Karamoja region in the northeastern part of Uganda and can accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala via Mbale and then to the park headquarters which takes about 8 to 9 hours drive in a 4 WD safari vehicle. The game reserve can also be accessed from Kidepo valley national park which takes about 6 hours drive and Mbale town which takes about 2 to 3 hours drive.