Pian Upe Game reserve

Pian Upe Game reservePian Upe Game reserve

Pian Upe Game reserve is a game reserve located in the northeastern Uganda in the Karamoja sub region. It is the second largest conservation in Uganda. The game reserve was originally formed as a sanctuary in 1958 but was later expanded and renamed the Pian Upe Game reserve

The game reserve covers an area of 2,788 square kilometers and is managed by the Mountain Elgon conservation department. The reserve is located just north of Mount Elgon, in the eastern district of Nakapiripit.  Pian Upe Game reserve can be accessed by road from Mbale through Sironko district. The drive time from Kampala to the game reserve is 8 hours, and 2 ½ hours from Mbale town.

The game reserve is a perfect stop on your way to Kidepo national park on your Uganda safari tour. More so, the game reserve can be coupled with a visit to Sipi falls and Nyero rock paintings. The game reserve is famous for its amazing scenery, amazing wildlife and cultural tours of the Ike people. The hot springs at Cheposunkunya are a potential for geothermal tapping.

Attractions at Pian Upe Game reserve


On your Uganda safari tour to the game reserve, you are assured of amazing and unique wildlife. The reserve is amongst the least visited in Uganda and has nurtured a series of amazing wildlife which include; cheetahs, hyenas, cape buffalo, jackals, dik dik, water bucks, ostriches, impala, olive baboons, Patas monkeys, kobs, roan antelope, eland and many more bird species. These can be seen during the game drives and the nature walks through the game reserve on your Uganda safari tour.

Cultural tours

At Pian Upe Game reserve, cultural tours are arranged to visit the local communities in order to learn their way of life. In these cultural tours, you will get to interact with them, learn about their heritage through their stories, and experience their way of life through their songs and music.

Nature Walks

With armed rangers, you can embark on a guided nature walk through the trails in the game reserve. This safari experience gets you closer to the wildlife than ever before. Here, you will get close encounters with the wildlife in the park.

Cycling safaris.

The terrain in and around the game reserve is perfect for mountain biking. Enjoy the African wilderness in style as you cycle in the beautiful scenery of the Pian Upe Game reserve. Arrangements can be made ahead of your Uganda safari tour with your guide.

Best visiting times to Pian Upe Game reserve

The game reserve is open to visitors all year around. However, some seasons are more recommended due to a series of factors.

The dry seasons of January-March, July-September are the best times to visit the game reserve. In the dry seasons, the wildlife tend to congregate at the watering holes giving you the opportunity to enjoy the sightings. In these dry seasons, the vegetation is dry and this allows you to have clear sightings of some of the shy wildlife like cheetahs.

Wet seasons tend to make the temporary roads slippery affecting some of the safari activities like game drives, mountain biking and nature walks. During the wet season, the lush green vegetation may obscure your views of the wildlife. Since there is plenty of water sources, the wildlife is scattered around the game reserve.

Pian Upe Game reserve is one of the least visited reserves in Uganda yet has a lot to offer. Consider adding it to your itinerary on your Uganda safari tour. Make it a sop over to avoid the long drive to Kidepo valley national park or add it on your visit to Sipi falls.