Nature walks & hiking in Pian Upe Game Reserve – Kidepo Valley National Park Uganda
Nature walks & hiking Pian Upe – Pian Upe Wildlife reserve is located in the northeastern semi-arid part of Uganda, spanning a land area of 2043 sqkm. It is undisputedly the largest wildlife reserve in the country and the second largest protected area in Uganda, after the Murchison Falls National Park, also one of the most picturesque points in the country.
Pian Upe’s Headquarters at MoruaJore is located approximately 8 ½ hours by road from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, and about 2 ½ hours from the exquisite Sipi Falls, in Kapchorwa district, on the edges of Mount. Elgon; the Game Reserve is about 90km from Mbale Town along a bumpy road. From Pian Upe you can also drive for about 5 hours towards forming the perfect break for a safari to Africa’s true Wilderness.
What does Pian Upe Mean?
Pian refers to a subgroup or clan among the Karamajong people of northeastern Uganda. They are predominantly pastoralists, who live a very traditional style of life and whose being is centered on their cattle. This group is mostly found in Nakapiripirit district close to the Reserve Headquarters.
Climate in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve and when to visit?
You need at least two days in Pian Upe to get a decent taste of what the wildlife reserve is made of. This Game Reserve features a semiarid climate with only one major rain season all year round.
The reserve’s southern boundary is marked by the Girik River; whose brown waters are a blessing for the park’s wildlife in such a semi-arid region.
Though the rains are unpredictable in this part of the country, the heaviest rains in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve are received around the months of March, April, May, and June. Around this time, the game drive tracks including the main roads; are almost impassable and around this time the grasses are very tall making it extremely hard to spot wildlife.
This area of northeastern Uganda is without doubt one of the remotest, but also one of the most charming expanses of distinct wild lands in the country, dominated by plateaus carpeted by green and golden undisturbed and wooded savannah plains ringed by mountains and cut in-between by rock-strewn ridges and Kopjes.
The reserve’s plains are dominated by thatching grass, but they also feature bristle species, lemon grasses, and beard grasses. The sweeping plains are decorated with red acacia, desert date, bush willows and shrubs like the wooly caper bush and the butterfly pea.
Although not much heard of, when compared to the other popular wildlife areas in the country, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve is most notable for harboring quite a number of rare animals found nowhere else in Uganda, including a healthy population of Cheetahs and Uganda’s only remaining population of Roan Antelopes.
The low visitor numbers guarantee that all wildlife sightings are private, intimate and personal dissimilar from the crowds that characterize Africa’s popular wildlife destinations.