Matheniko Wildlife Game Reserve is located in the Moroto district in the northeastern part of Uganda, in the Karamoja sub-region. It covers an area of 1,620 square kilometers. Matheniko Game Reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife and plants. The reserve is named after the Matheniko Mountain Range, which dominates almost the landscape of the area. The Matheniko Mountain Range is an important watershed that provides water to the Kidepo Valley National Park and the people local community around Moroto, which is located to the north of the reserve.

Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is home to a resident wildlife haven, including Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Hyenas, Buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, Oribis, Civet, Topi, Wild cats, Duikers, zebras, Giraffes, cheetahs, elands, Bright’s gazelle and several species of antelope among others. The reserve is also home to over 200 bird species, including the Eastern Bronze-napped Pigeon, the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, the Mountain Yellow Warbler, Verreaux’s Eagle, the Egyptian Vulture the Thick-billed Honey guide, the Hartlaub’s Turaco, Ethiopian swallow, Pygmy Falcon, the Black-headed plover, the Cattle egret, the Red-billed Oxpecker and the Clapperton’s Francolin among others. The Ostrich, Kori bustard, Secretary bird, and various species of raptors. The largest number of primates are Patas monkeys, Baboons and the Vervet monkeys. Reptiles include; Gackos, Chameleon, Puff adders, small Lizards, Large savannah monitor Lizards, Water Snakes, and the large rock Pythons among others. Many of these animals like lesser kuku, Cheetah, Bright’s Gazelle, Elands, Mountain reedbuck, Roan antelopes, Stripped hyenas, Topi, and Wildcats are uncommon outside the Karamoja sub-region

One of the most interesting facts about Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is its rich cultural heritage, its culture, values and traditions are unspoiled. The reserve is home to several ethnic communities, including the Karamojong, Tepeth, Dodoth and Pokot. These communities have amazing cultural experiences that include traditional dances, songs, and storytelling. Visitors receive fantastic experience of the cultural heritage of these communities by participating in cultural tours and interacting with the local people.

Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is one of the many game reserves in Uganda that presents visitors with an opportunity to experience Uganda’s beautiful wildlife and diverse cultural heritage. The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including Elephants, Lions, Giraffes, Zebras, and several species of antelope and also the cape Buffaloes can be found here. Visitors can also experience the rich cultural heritage of the ethnic communities that live in the reserve.

Attractions in Matheniko game reserve

Game Drives and game-hunting

 the reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife including large cats and antelopes. Sport-hunting is common among wildlife conservationists and has become popular in Matheniko Wildlife Reserve. A large number of game hunters find the terrain suitable for hunting down antelopes and other wildlife species. Uganda the Wildlife Authority has put an agreement with the local community Safaris and Karamoja Safari to manage the high rate of animal hunting in the region.

Matheniko wildlife Game Reserve
Game Drives and game-hunting

Mountain and Rock Climbing

The Karamoja region consists of several plateaus and mountains. Rock climbing one of the large rocks in Matheniko Wildlife Reserve gives the travellers the best adventure experience as other hikers in mountains like Elgon or the Rwenzori ranges. Climbing to the top of one of the rocks in Matheniko Wildlife Reserve will present you with clear picture views of the entire Karamoja landscape and wildlife.

Cultural Visits.

Matheniko game Reserve, is one of the destinations in Uganda which has preserved the unique cultural traditions of the karamajong culture. Their culture, values and traditions are unique and unspoiled. This is because they have lived in isolated remote for longer than any other Ugandan tribes. The Karamajong elders still resist any attempt at modernization. They are pastoralists and depend on their animals and they believe that in the beginning, God gave them all the animals in the world. The women put on beautiful beads to amaze their appearance.  They offer artists and pieces for sale to tourists at reasonable prices such as beads, caps bangles, and nickels, among others. Decides, they offer their traditional dances as a sign of giving a warm welcome to any visitor who visits.

Rock paintings

 Matheniko Game Reserve is dominated by a lot of massive rocks. Some of these rocks contain paintings made way back about 3,500 years ago. While in the reserve with Uganda safari, an arrangement can be made for a visitor to go and spot some of these paintings. According to history, Nilotics and Kushites were responsible for these great works of art. The paintings offer an idea of what life was like by then and what kind of animals were in the plains by then.

Site camping

Matheniko Wildlife Game Reserve opens an interesting opportunity to those interested in experiencing the beautiful African sky/galaxy, majestic sunrise and romantic sunset. Camping during the dry season offers a clear view of the galaxies and Milky Way and a memorable adventure experience of the Karamoja region

Best time to visit Matheniko game reserve

Matheniko game reserve can be visited throughout the year but the most considerable time is during the dry seasons which run from June to September and December to February because most of the murram roads become muddy and slippery during the rainy season months of April, May and November.

Accommodation facilities at Matheniko Game Reserve

There are few good accommodation facilities close to Matheniko Wildlife Reserve. One should expect to sleep in public campsites and cook their own meals while within the reserve. If one needs more comfortable facilities, they can choose to stay in the larger hotels in Kotido or Moroto town. From the hotels, one can go for activities in the reserve early each morning.  Camping within the game reserve offers a level of privacy and access to wildlife that may not be possible in the larger national parks.

book a safari