Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve

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Pian-upe View from the Rock shelter
Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Map showing the location of Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
Map showing the location of Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
LocationMoroto District Uganda
Nearest cityMbale
Coordinates1°51′N 34°17′E / 1.850°N 34.283°E / 1.850; 34.283Coordinates: 1°51′N 34°17′E / 1.850°N 34.283°E / 1.850; 34.283
Area2,275 square kilometres (878 sq mi)
Governing bodyUganda Wildlife Authority

The Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve is a conservation area in the Karamoja subregion of northeastern Uganda. It is the second largest conservation protected area in Uganda.[1]



The southern part of the reserve was gazetted as the Debasien Animal Sanctuary in 1958.[2] A government-led project to convert land just south of the Greek River for agriculture threatened the viability of wildlife conservation in the whole area.[3] In 1964 the area was expanded northward and renamed Pian-Upe Game Reserve.[1]

A 2003 proposal to degazette the reserve in order to farm fruit on the land was blocked.[4]


There is a hot spring potential for Geothermal tapping at Cheposukunya. Further to that, there are Mercury wells at Mt. Kadam.

The reserve features semi arid climate with one rain season annually.



Most of the reserve is covered by undisturbed grassland and wooded grassland. Small areas of riverine woodland, kopjes also exist. Some land is cultivated, and especially the area near the Greek River is threatened by conversion.[1]

Dominant tree species are red acacia and desert date. Also present are bushwillows, Harrisonia abyssinica and red spike-thorns. Shrubs include butterfly pea and wooly caper bush. Cultivated areas have many live fences of yellow oleander.[1]

Common grasses in the grassland are thatching grass and bristle species. Less common are beard grasses and lemon grasses. Along the rivers Vlei bristle grass and red nut sedge dominate. The lower vegetation layer burns every year.[1]

Large mammals[edit]

Although the area once supported healthy populations of lions, elephants, black rhinos and giraffes, these are now locally extinct. The last giraffe was reportedly poached in 1995. Populations of plains zebra, common eland, are also threatened Grants gazelle.[1]

The most commonly sighted mammal in the reserve is the oribi. Others known to inhabit the area (as of 1996) include:[1]


Pian Upe is home to enormous rock pythons and smaller but venomous puff adders. Harmless water snakes are also found there.
The largest lizards in Pian Upe are the Savannah monitors. Others in the reserve include the common agama as well as skinks, chameleons and geckos.[1]


10/10 highly recommended.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Zwick, Karen; Duncan Sivell; Rich Bamlett; Ian Devon; Julia Lloyd; Helen MacGregor; Lee Stewart (1998). "Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve Biological and socio-economic survey" (PDF). Kampala: Uganda Wildlife Authority. ISSN 1748-3697. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-23. Retrieved 2012-06-26. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help); Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ Kinloch, Bruce (1972). The shamba raiders : memories of a game warden (2 ed.). Hampshire: Ashford. p. 254. ISBN 9781852530358.
  3. ^ Harthoorn, Antonie Marinus (1970). The flying syringe: Ten years of immobilising wild animals in Africa (PDF). Bles. p. 287. ISBN 978-0713802788.
  4. ^ World Resources Institute (December 2010). "Land for Private Investors and Economic Development" (PDF): 1–4. Retrieved 26 June 2012. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[permanent dead link]