Uganda the Pearl of Africa is not only endowed with 10 beautiful National Parks but also several outstanding wildlife Reserves that will surprise you with the wildlife and bird species that are found in them. These wildlife Reserves include Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve, Ajai game reserve, Bugungu game reserve, Karuma game reserve, Pian Upe wildlife Reserve, Katonga wildlife Reserve, Toro Semliki wildlife Reserve, Aswa-Lolim game reserve, Kigezi Mountain gorilla game reserve and Matheniko Wildlife Reserve. However, these wildlife Reserves are rarely visited partly because few tourists know about them and little marketing is done about them.
Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
This Wildlife Reserve is situated in Karamoja sub-region (in North-eastern Uganda) and covers an area of 2788 square kilometers making it the second largest Protected Area in Uganda after the magnificent Murchison Falls National Park that covers 3840 square kilometers. This wildlife reserve is under the Mount Elgon Conservation area Management and is a home to two main pastoralist tribes that include the Karamajong and the Kalenjin-also known as the Pokot in Kenya. There are 44 mammal species that call Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve Home and they include; Aardvark, Elephants, Giraffes, Spotted hyenas, Cheetahs, Vervet monkeys, Side-striped jackals, Zebras, Rock hyrax, Olive baboons, Cape buffaloes, Leopards, Antelopes such as bushbucks, Common Elands, waterbucks, Roan antelopes, Klipspringer, Topis, Oribis, Uganda Kobs and Common duikers among others. Over 242 bird species call this wildlife Reserve home and some of them include Ostriches, White-headed buffalo weavers, Jackson’s Hornbills and Hartlaub’s bustards among others.
Ajai Wildlife Reserve
This wildlife reserve is situated in North-western Uganda, in Arua district and spans at 166 square kilometers. It was established mainly to conserve the white Rhinos which are now extinct within the Wildlife Reserve. Other fascinating wildlife within Ajai Wildlife Reserve include buffalo, Antelopes such as bush-buck, waterbucks, Common Duiker and Uganda Kobs, hartebeest, hippos, primates such as Black & White Colobus monkeys and Olive baboon and warthogs among others.
Katonga Wildlife Reserve
Katonga Wildlife reserve is located in western Uganda and covers an area of 207 square kilometers. It is known for over 40 mammal species that include the Sitatungas, African Elephants, Water chevrotain, Buffaloes, Olive baboons, Leopards and Zebras among others. There are also over 150 outstanding bird species that call this Wildlife Reserve home and some of them include the Pink-backed Pelicans, the African fish eagles among others. This makes this Reserve one of the bird watcher’s paradise.
Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve
Situated in western Uganda, Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve is one of the must-visit Wildlife Reserve, covers an area of 542 square kilometers characterized of mainly the riparian woodland, the savannah plains, extensive swamps, Open acacia-combretum woodland and patched by a borassus palm forest. The common wildlife species found in this Reserve include primates such as chimpanzees, Red-tailed monkeys, Olive baboons and Vervet monkeys among others, spotted hyenas, Elephants, Leopards and Lions among others. There are also some bird species that can be sighted within the Wildlife Reserve and they include the Abyssinian ground-hornbill and the black-billed barbets among others.
Aswa-Lolim Game Reserve
Aswa-Lolim Game Reserve is one of the rarest and most remote wildlife Reserves, located in Northern Uganda and was gazzeted in 1972. This Wildlife reserve is a home to a number of wildlife species that include Elephants, Black and White Colobus monkeys, Hippos, Common duikers, Blue duikers, crocodiles, Lions, Olive Baboon, warthogs, Lelwel Hartebeest, Uganda Kobs and several bird species.
Other Wildlife Reserves within Uganda include Matheniko Wildlife Reserve, Kigezi Mountain Gorilla Game Reserve, Karuma Game Reserve, Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve and Bugungu Game Reserve among others.
Therefore, Uganda is not only known for the 10 National Parks but also several wildlife Reserves that include the Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, Matheniko Wildlife Reserve, Aswa-Lolim Game Reserve, Kigezi Mountain Gorilla Game Reserve, Katonga Wildlife Reserve, Karuma Game Reserve, Bugungu Game Reserve, Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve and Ajai Wildlife Reserve with exceptionally interesting wildlife and bird species worth visiting.