The name pian upe was derived from the Karamojong local word dialect which means “Friendly Enemy.” The Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve is a conservation area located in Karamoja sub region of North-eastern Uganda. It is the second largest protected area in Uganda following Murchison falls national park in the North-western This Wildlife Reserve is one of the most remarkable protected areas in the Karamoja sub region. It covers an area of about 2788 square kilometers making it the second biggest protected area in the country.
The southern part of the amazing game reserve was gazetted as the Debasien Animal Sanctuary in 1958. In 1964, the area was extended northwards and it was named Pian Upe Game Reserve. This remarkable game reserve is composed of hot springs and it is sighted as one of the awesome destinations for sightseeing including Mount Kadam scenic beauty.
The reserve is a home to several species of wildlife which makes it attractive and it’s often visited by tourists from various countries. The wild consist of animals like giraffes, lions, leopard, zebras, buffaloes, Harte beast, greater kudu, topi, Orib, and Uganda’s largest population of roam antelope.
It is among the places for viewing Rothschild’s giraffe, different species of birds can also be spotted out around the swamp terrains in the Loporokocho swamp, bird species like the Ostrich, Jackson’s Hornbill, Hartlaub’s Bustard, and the white-headed buffalo- weaver. Besides,the vervet monkey, olive baboons can also be spotted out.
The conservational area is dominated by tree species like red acacia and desert date. Also present are bushwillows, Harrisonia abyssinica and red spike-thorns. Shrubs include butterfly pea and woolly caper bush. Cultivated areas have many live fences of yellow oleander.
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. However, 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.
There are reptiles sighted at especially the rock pythons and puff adders as well as harmless water snakes. The biggest population of lizards in found in the reserve like the savannah monitors.
Tourists willing to visit the reserve have a chance to sight at numerous primates like vervet monkeys and unique olive baboons.
The protected area headquarters are located along the Mbale-Moroto road which covers about 90 kilometres from Mable and 11 kilometers north of the wildlife reserve’s Northern boundary.