6 Adventurous Things To Do in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve in Uganda

Exploring Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve in Uganda

6 Adventurous Things To Do in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve in Uganda

Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve

Pian Upe Game Reserve is in northern Uganda, north of Mount Elgon. It covers about 2043 square kilometers. The Reserve started as Debasien Animal Sanctuary in 1985 and later became Pian Game Reserve in 1964. It’s being developed into a National Park now. Before it was a reserve, it was a battleground for Karamojong clans fighting over pasture for their cattle. The name “Pian Upe” comes from local tribes and means “friendly enemy.”

Wildlife Watching in Pian Upe

In Pian Upe, you can see various animals such as cheetahs, jackals, and buffaloes. The reserve also has reptiles like pythons and savannah monitors. The Uganda Wildlife Authority has worked to bring back animals that were extinct due to conflicts.

Birding in Pian Upe

Pian Upe is home to around 242 bird species, including ostriches and shoebill storks. Birdwatchers can enjoy nature hikes and game drives to spot these birds.

Guided Nature Walks

Nature walks led by safari guides are a great way to experience the Reserve’s wildlife. During the dry season, visitors can see antelopes, birds, monkeys, and elephants.

Guided Game Drives

Morning and evening game drives offer opportunities to see animals like ostriches, crocodiles, lions, and cheetahs. Pian Upe has fewer visitors compared to other parks, giving visitors a quieter safari experience.

Community Tours to Experience Local Cultures

Surrounded by Karamojong and Kalenjin communities, Pian Upe offers cultural experiences like guided village walks and visits to the Karamoja cultural museum.

Hiking Excursions in Pian Upe

The Reserve’s landscape is ideal for hiking, with rocky plains and three mountains to explore. The Napedet caverns feature ancient paintings of animals.

Getting to Pian Upe Reserve

The Reserve is an 8-hour drive from Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Private roads offer a more secluded journey, with a possible stop at Sipi Falls. There’s also an airfield in Amudat for those traveling by air.


Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve offers diverse wildlife, birding opportunities, cultural experiences, and hiking adventures for visitors to explore and enjoy.