Bird Watching in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve
Bird watching in Pain upe wildlife reserve: Pian upe wildlife reserve is one of the largest wildlife conservation area after Murchison falls national park. The game reserve is located in northeastern part of Uganda in Karamoja region north of Mount Elgon. Pian upe wildlife reserve was established in 1964 and it’s known for harboring variety of mammal species including lions, buffaloes, giraffes, waterbucks, leopards, Uganda kobs, oribi, mountain reedbucks, roan antelopes, Jackson’s hartebeest among others.
Bird watching in Pian upe wildlife reserve
Pian upe wildlife reserve is a home of more than 242 recorded bird species including savannah birds, migratory birds and endemic bird species which make Pian upe wildlife reserve one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. Bird watching in the reserve is best done around Cheposukunya hot springs early in the morning or in the evening with an experienced bird guide who will help you to view variety of bird species including Abyssinian ground hornbill, dusky turtle dove, superb starling, African hill babbler, secretary bird, ostrich, eastern bronze napped pigeon, black throated wattle eye, green bitta, Karamoja apalis, shoebill stock, yellow billed shrike, Hartlaubs bustard, Jackson’s hornbill, white headed buffalo weaver, plovers, vultures, herons, pelicans, lapwings, hawks among others.
Best time to go for bird watching in Pain upe wildlife reserve
Bird watching in Pian upe wildlife reserve can be done all year round though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the reserve therefore access roads and hiking trails will be dry and passable which makes birding easy.
Bird watching in Pian upe wildlife reserve can also be done during the wet season in the months of March to May and November because during this period there is plenty of food for bird species due to rainfall which helps you to view variety bird species. During the wet season you will be able to view colorful and migratory bird species.
Other activities in Pian upe wildlife reserve
Apart from bird watching, Pian upe wildlife reserve offers interesting activities including
Game drives where you will be able to explore the savannah plains in a comfortable 4 WD safari vehicle with a professional driver guide. During the game drive in Pian upe wildlife reserve you will be able to view animals like buffaloes, waterbucks, Uganda kobs, lions, leopards, roan antelopes, mountain reedbucks, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, greater kudus among others.
Nature walk/hiking where you will be able to explore the park on foot with the company of an experienced park guide and armed park ranger to protect you from any danger. During the guided nature walk, you will be able to get up-close and personal with different wildlife species, listen to sweet sounds of bird species, enjoy the cool breeze, take beautiful pictures among others.
Pian upe wildlife reserve also consists of numerous rock paintings such as Napendio cave which is considered sacred by the local people and has interesting painting of wild animals like baboons and antelopes. Napedet cave which is a popular ancient recreational place positioned at the former hunting area for the Karamojong and Pokwot people who used to roast game meat after hunting and cooking stones which date back to over 500 years ago. The walls of Napedet cave are also decorated with ancient art of animals such as elands, giraffes, warthogs among others.
Cultural tours where you will be able to interact with the Karamajong and Kalengin people who live close to Pian upe wildlife reserve. During the cultural tour you will be able to learn about the local peoples culture, tradition, homesteads, enjoy their traditional entertainment inform of music and drama, visit the cultural museum where you will be able to buy craft souvenirs, art and craft among others.
How to get to Pian upe wildlife reserve
Pian upe wildlife reserve is located in northeastern part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means which takes about 2 to 3 hours’ drive from Mbale town, 6 to 7 hours’ drive from Kidepo valley national park and 8 to 9 hours’ drive from Kampala.
Where to stay in Pian upe wildlife reserve
There are a few of accommodation facilities in Pian upe wildlife reserve where you can stay during your bird watching safari including Uganda Wildlife Authority Bandas, accommodations in Mbale town and Sipi falls.