This game reserve is located in Moroto District in Karamoja region in the northeastern part of Uganda, Matheniko wildlife reserve covers a total area of 590 square miles and the beauty about is that it looks like the Maasai-land in Kenya, Matheniko wildlife reserve is part of the few major wildlife conservation reserves in the Karamoja wildlife conservation zone that includes Kidepo Valley National park, Pian Upe wildlife reserve and Bokora wildlife reserve and also very Mount Elgon National Park.
Matheniko Wildlife Reserve has an amazing landscape, and mountains with unique vegetation like its nearby Kidepo Valley National Park, Matheniko is one of the less visited game reserves in Uganda, This region is dominated by the Karamojong people (the main tribe in the region), this tribe of Karamojogo tribe is well known and long perceived as cattle rustlers by other neighboring tribes in the region and from neighboring Kenya.
These Karamojong people grabbed guns from different army barracks in the region that had been left abandoned by fleeing government soldiers during a government take-over and also from neighboring South Sudan and Kenya, these guns were later miss used to cause havoc and grab cattle from the neighboring tribes.
At the moment Government of Uganda is using different methods to disarm all Karamojong cattle rustlers and now the situation is contained as safe so visitors can feel safe as they visit Matheniko Wildlife Reserve in Uganda and other Kidepo National Park and other game reserves in the area because for a long time visiting Karamojong region was generalized as an unsafe region in Uganda.
Visit Matheniko Wildlife Reserve in Uganda: There are many different things to see and do which include different animal species and plants spices found in Matheniko Wildlife Reserve, Matheniko is very dry most of the time so only those that can resist harsh conditions can survive in this game reserve because Matheniko is semi-arid for a great part of the year with high temperatures and little rainfall which make it hard for some animals and plants to survive.
In order to survive both animals and plants must be able to say a little long without water, this place is amazing because despite all these harsh conditions the animal population keeps increasing, among the animals to watch out for includes cheetahs, Leopards, hyenas, jackals, serval cats, wild cats, civets, and jackals among many other animals with also some different types of monkeys like vervet monkeys, patas monkeys and baboons.
Other wildlife animals to look out for in Matheniko Wildlife Reserve in Uganda includes Cape Buffalo, Antelopes, Topi, eland, mountain reedbuck, waterbuck, roan antelope, Uganda kob, Oribi, Bright’s gazelle, and some spices of skinks like large rock pythons, puff adders, large monitor lizards, water snakes among others.
One other thing in Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is that like other parts of Uganda it is a birding paradise for those who love birds Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is one of the places in Uganda where you can easily see wild ostriches, Abyssinian, Ethiopian swallow, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Ground Hornbill, African hill barber, Black-throated wattle eye, Bronze-napped Pigeon Black-headed plover, Bronze napped pigeon, Cattle egret, Clapperton’s Francolin, Dusky turtle dove, Eastern, Egyptian Vulture, Verreaux’s Eagle, Grey cuckoo shrike, Lemon dove, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Pygmy Falcon, Red-billed Oxpecker, among many more other birds to see in Matheniko.
Wildlife game sport-hunting, is one of the most popular activities in Matheniko wildlife game reserve in Uganda, as I have motioned earlier Matheniko wildlife reserve is home to a good collection of different wildlife which includes big cats and antelopes, wildlife game hunting in Matheniko reserve at the moment it’s being controversial in Uganda among conservationists but at the same time, it is becoming popular because Matheniko wildlife game reserve is the only place where those interested in sport hunting can go in Uganda, among the animals, hunted here in Matheniko includes antelopes as one of the ways of controlling overpopulation.
Apart from wildlife safari in Matheniko game Reserve, this area is very rich in cultural activities which includes a visit to the amazing Karamojong people (community), Getting to learn about Karamojong culture, and traditions are a unique experience because Karamojong people live in isolation compared to other tribes in Ugandan,
The Karamojong people are the only tribe in Uganda and part of Africa that has resisted anything to do with modernization, Karamojong people have been pastoralists since the early days and they depend on their animals for both food and for other basic needs. For those who have been to Kenya and visited the Maasai people, then you have a good idea of what the Karamojong people are all about because even the dance is the same as that of the Maasai people in Kenya.
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