Pian Upe Game Reserve : On a Uganda safari tour be sure to have a visit at the most memorable places in the country places full of thrilling moments that will be shared o the people back home and the generations to come.

Some of the most visited places in Uganda include game parks and game reserves, mountains, rivers and lakes having a nature walk in the areas give you an opportunity to enjoy them all

We cannot talk about game reserves and not mention one of the greatest and most famous game reserves in Uganda.

Pian Upe Game Reserve
wildlife in Pian Upe Game Reserve

pian upe is one of the most protected  game reserve in Uganda with a wide range of flora and fauna which gives tourists a memorable mind if nature.

The reserve was first established in 1958 as an Animal Sanctuary, a government led agricultural project, in an attempt to turn the southern part adjacent to Greek River into fruit farmland. In favor of conservation, the proposal was rejected by the Uganda Game Department. In 1964 the reserve was expanded northwards and renamed Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve in honor of the rural communities living around the reserve who are majorly semi-nomadic pastoralists and Nilotic ethnic tribes. Pian Upe is a home to several species of wildlife which makes it attractive and often visited by tourists in the entire world.

The name “Pian Upe” comes from the Karamajong local tongue and it means “Friendly Enemy.” Pian Upe is under the administration of the Mount Elgon Preservation Area. It is the second-largest dwindling area in Uganda and one of the most exposed wildlife reserves due to poaching and uncontrolled grazing.

The increasing human-wildlife interactions increase the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks and cross-species spread between wildlife, livestock, and people inclining them to diseases such as Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, Rift Valley Fever, and Anthrax.

Attractions in Pian-Upe Game Reserve

Wildlife: characterized by open grassland plains dotted with volcanic kopjes makes it easy to spot scarce wildlife species including cheetah, roan antelope, Grant’s gazelles, Bohol and mountain reedbuck, white-eared kob, ostrich, Gunther’s dik-dik which are not found in other protected areas of Uganda.

Several hills and rocks: the reserve offers a chance to enjoy scenery and spot birds and reptiles such as Lomu (twin hills), Moru a bird habitat, Moruangibuin (hill for hyenas) and Kelekede rock which looks like it is nodding as one walks towards it. The see-through rock caves including Napeded and Namorotot caves offer a chance to spot the reptile species such as African rock python, puff adders and savannah lizards.

Bird species : Pian-Upe is a must visit bird spectators paradise, with 242 species of birds ncluding Somali-breasted bunting, Bristle-crowned starling, three-streaked tchagra, Hemprich’s hornbill, pink-breasted lark, Acacia tit, Hunter’s sunbird, yellow-billed shrike, yellow-vented eromomela, buff-breasted bustard , ostrich, 4-banded Sandgrouse, spot-flanked barbet, Greyish eagle owl, Burce’s Green pigeons, red-cheeked cordon-blue, stone partridge, Marico sunbird, African grey hornbill, silver bird, African paradise flycatcher, white-faced whistling ducks .

Activities done at Pian upe

Wildlife Game drive: The most striking adventure safari action done at the reserve, a guided Uganda wildlife drive is an initial to sight several animals.. Their probabilities to view the big four games including elephants, buffaloes, lions and leopards, zebras, presently giraffes, and herds of antelope species among many other species. Other species to encounter include Oribi and impalas, reptile species sights especially the rock pythons and puff adders as well as harmless water snakes. Can also come across the biggest population of lizards, savanna monitors, common agama and skinks, chameleons, and geckos all extend wildlife view.

Birding: thousands of different birds that can be seen give a bird liver the chance to overview  the birds and even enjoy the stay which is a great experience to all those who enjoy watching birds and learning more about them the reserve gives you the thrilling moment of the birds.

Pian Upe Game Reserve
Birding in Pian

Cultural tours: Stories about these people are captivating, making it happens for a happenstance with the local people in their Community setups. Cultural visit parades the real routine of nomadic northern people around Pian Upe reserve, among the cultural undertakings including the visiting of the communities, camping within gazette manyattas, tasting the local beers, cultural entertainments, and visiting the Karamoja gold mining sites all can widen your regional cultural documentation.

Nature walks: having a field nature walk in the reserve also gives its own other magical experience this allows one to have clear views of the reserves mount kardam and lots more, the nature walks are led by the game rangers escorted by the tour guides to make sure that your in safe hands and well protected.

Climate and weather in Pian-Upe

The reserve has a semi-arid environment which exemplifies much of Karamoja region north-eastern Uganda. Guests assume hot sunny days with average temperature ranging between 15°C – 17°C and maximum at 30°C. Climate and Rainfall is between 1,000 and 1,250mm over greatest of the reserve, even though it decreases to less than 875mm in the far north-east (Department of Lands & Surveys, 1967). The mean annual minimum temperature is between 15.0 and 17.5°C, and the mean annual maximum is over 30°C (Lubwama, 1994)

How to get to Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve

Pian Upe head office are situated just right together with the direct Mbale-Moroto road just approximately 90kms from Mbale and 11kms north of the reserve’s northern boundary. so one can go via road means or even much better use an airstrip mean but the best option would be usung a well trusted Uganda tour safari for a safer movement.

Accommodation facilities at pain upe reserve

Pian Upe has partial setup and larger groups need to book accommodation in advance since there is limited space within the game reserve.

Since Pian Upe is near Mbale and Soroti Town as well as Sipi Falls, there is a bigger selection of accommodation options in any of these places.

Pian Upe Game Reserve
Accommodations in pian upe

Packing list for the tour

COVID certificate

Valid passport (check the validity and renew it if necessary)

Copy of passport (save digitally or keep separately from original)

Visa (must be applied for online before entry)

Insurance policy Health insurance abroad (online)

Vaccination card (check if you need to refresh your vaccinations)

Travel credit card


these are must have on you for the tour.

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