Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve

Antelopes in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve

It’s the second largest game reserve after Murchison falls reserve. Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve extends over an area of 2788 square kilometers to the north of mountain Elgon, is the Pian-Upe now under the management of mountain Elgon conservation area. The reserve lies in semi-arid country which usually receives rainfall in April and more substantial showers from June to early September but some years the rain fails completely.

The southern part of the reserve was gazetted as the Debasien Animal Sanctuary in 1958. 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. In 1964 the area was expanded northward and renamed Pian-Upe Game Reserve.

Providing dramatic contrast to the dry scrubby plains of Pian Upe is mountain kadam, an isolated range of spectacularly tortured turrets and bleak volcanic plugs that rises to an altitude of 3068m on the reserve’s eastern boundary.

There are two pastoral tribes which dominate the area: the Karamaja and the Kalenjiin speaking people more widely known as the Pakot within Kenya. These two tribes have a history of armed conflict mostly related to cattle rustling. At times the Pian and the Upe team up to fight neighboring tribes in Kenya or Uganda or at times they have directed their violence to each other.

Pian-Upe Game reserve protects animals like Leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena among others. Among the ungulate species are bur hell’s zebra, buffalo, eland, Harte beast, greater kudu, topi, orib, dik-dik, and Uganda’s last population of roam antelope. In addition the vervet monkeys, olive baboons, the far localized pata monkey are white popular in the savanna.