12 Game Reserves in Uganda offer a variety of wildlife and bird species that are of visitor interest on African safaris. Uganda is a renowned game-viewing destination, endowed with a diversity of small and big game which tourists often view during game drives or nature walking tours. In addition to 10 National Parks, here are 12 Game/Wildlife Reserves to explore on the Uganda safari tour;
- The Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve
- Ajai Wildlife Reserve
- Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
- Katonga Game Reserve
- Karuma Game Reserve
- Kigezi Game Reserve
- Kyambura Game Reserve
- Kabwoya Game Reserve
- Bugungu Wildlife Reserve
- East Madi Wildlife Reserve
- Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve
- Matheniko Wildlife Reserve
Ajai Wildlife Reserve
Located in Arua District, Ajai Wildlife/Game Reserve is a compact nature reserve in Uganda. It is found on the Western bank of the Albertine Nile, 40kms East of Arua town and occupies a land area of 166sq.km. Ajai Reserve features sparse savanna woodland, grass plains and swamps. It supports a variety of animal species and birds but remains one of the least explored destinations in Uganda.
At Ajai Wildlife/Game Reserve, you will come across leopards, common duikers, pythons, zebras, vervet monkeys, hartebeest, waterbucks, warthogs, Uganda Kobs, bush-bucks, Sitatungas, buffaloes, black and white colobus monkeys, Puff adders, Monitor lizards, Oribis, foxes, green snakes and others. the birds commonly spotted at Ajai Reserve include African fish eagle, White browed council, Black headed weavers, Helmeted guinea fowl, Marabou stork, Uganda-crowned cranes, and more.
Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve
The Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve is a Game Reserve situated within the Karamoja sub-region, Northeastern Uganda. The nature reserve is 2056sq.km and protects a huge profusion of wildlife including spotted hyenas, giraffes, cheetahs, Uganda kobs, reedbucks, Oribis, Lesser kudus, and others. The birds to see at Bokora Game Reserve include Hartlaub’s turacos, ostriches, black-throated wattle-eye, Eastern bronze-napped pigeon, lemon dove, grey cuckoo-shrike, thick-billed honeyguide, African hill babblers, Dusky turtle doves, White-headed buffalo-weavers, etc.
Bugungu Game Reserve
Bugungu Wildlife Reserve lies between Buliisa and Masindi districts just at the base of the rift valley escarpment to the Western part of Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s biggest park. This wildlife reserve occupies a land area of 473sq.km and protects over 600 Uganda Kobs, 1200 oribis, 240 bird species and others. It is an ideal place to enjoy a guided nature walk, camping, game drive, picnicking and birding.
Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve
Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve is located on the Western rift valley between Murchison Falls Park and Kibale National Park. This nature reserve is 87sq.km and it is situated close to Lake Albert. It has a remarkable topography which is ideal for birding, mountain biking, ATV quad biking, and more. The expected wildlife to come across on a tour in Kabwoya include Uganda Kobs, bushbucks, chimpanzees, buffaloes, baboons, Jackson’s hartebeest, bush duikers, waterbucks; 460 bird species including dwarf honey guide, Northern carmine bee-eaters, yellow-billed oxpeckers, Western nicators, grey parrot, black-headed weavers, bare-faced go-away birds and more.
East Madi Wildlife Reserve
Located in Northwestern Uganda, North of Murchison Falls sits the East Madi Wildlife Reserve, one of the splendid Game Reserves in Uganda. Stretching to cover over 831sq.km, the East Madi Reserve supports over 50 species of mammals (including vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, colobus monkeys), 374 plants, 181 bird species, and more.
Matheniko Wildlife Reserve
Matheniko Wildlife/Game Reserve lies within the Karamoja sub-region Northeastern Uganda. It is home to a variety of wildlife including the lesser kudus, gazelles, roan antelopes, and birds such as thick billed honey guide, alpine chat, ostriches, grey-cuckoo shrikes and more. Matheniko is ideal for guided nature walks, bird-watching, cultural tours, game viewing, rock climbing and others.
Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
Located in Northeastern Uganda, Pian Upe is the 2nd biggest conservation area. It follows Murchison Falls Conservation Area, occupying a land area of 2043sq.km and supports a diversity of wildlife and birds. Pian Upe supports wildlife species such as the common duikers, waterbucks, elands, roan antelopes, serval cats, cheetahs, olive baboons, patas monkeys, vervet monkeys, rock hyrax, zebras, and cheetahs, etc.
The birds that reside within Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve include Karamoja apalis, Fox’s weavers, Great Hartlaub’s bustards, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Secretary birds, superb starlings, etc. There are numerous activities for guests on Uganda safaris to engage in while at Pian Upe Reserve, and they include game viewing, bird-watching, community visits, guided nature walk, and more.
Karuma Wildlife Reserve
Karuma Wildlife Reserve is popular for its powerful and magnificent waterfall- the Karuma waterfalls. It stretches to cover a land area of 820sq.km and supports a remarkable wildlife population including primates and other mammals. The available wildlife to see on a tour in Karuma Wildlife Reserve include elephants, giraffes, antelopes, buffaloes, primates such as vervet monkeys, olive baboons, l’hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and birders can keep an eye on birds such as Abdim’s stork, Swamp flycatchers, Giant herons, Red-throated bee-eaters, Pied kingfishers, Grey-crowned cranes and Yellow-throated leaf.
The Toro-Semuliki Game Reserve was founded in 1926 and it features among the beautiful wildlife reserves in Uganda. It is situated between the Kabarole and Ntoroko districts, in Western Uganda. The interesting activities to enjoy at Semliki Game Reserve include birding, chimpanzee/primate watching, a Nyaburogo gorge hike, boat ride along Lake Albert and others.
The amazing animal species to see on a tour in Semliki include warthogs, buffaloes, elephants, waterbucks, Dent’s Mona monkeys, De Brazza’s monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, olive baboons, red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and others. Over 400 bird species also reside at this reserve including red-necked falcons, malachite kingfishers, Abyssinian ground hornbill, arrow babblers, black-headed bush shrike, etc.
Katonga Wildlife Reserve
Katonga Wildlife Reserve lies along the Katonga River banks. It is home to over 40 mammal species including the shy sitatunga antelopes, Uganda kobs, reedbucks, African elephants, waterbucks, and others. Over 150 bird species are concentrated within this nature reserve, and they include the grey heron, rufous-bellied heron, little egret, squacco heron, purple heron, and more.
Kigezi Wildlife Reserve
Kigezi Wildlife Reserve lies within the Rukungiri district in Western Uganda. It is a beautiful nature reserve in Uganda, spreading to cover over 265sq.km of land area. It is one place where you can find elephants move from the Congo side to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Other than elephants, it also supports other wildlife including topis, bushbucks, buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, giant forest hogs, birds such as peregrine falcons, red-faced barbets, Verreaux’s eagle, Hamerkop, and others.
Kyambura Wildlife/Game Reserve
Kyambura Wildlife Reserve lies adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, also renowned for chimpanzee tracking. This Game Reserve supports not only chimpanzees but also other species of animals like vervet monkeys, blue colobus monkeys, baboons, and red-tailed monkeys, plus birds like blue-headed bee-eaters, African finfoot, flycatchers, etc.