Karenga Community Wildlife Management Area (KCWMA) in North Eastern Uganda
Karenga Community Wildlife Management Area (KCWMA) measuring 369.1 square miles is a protected area in north-eastern Uganda. The Karenga Community is found in the Northern Acacia-Commiphora bush lands and coppices bio-network that is part of the Kidepo critical scenery. The Kidepo Critical landscape covers more than 10,700 km2 (approximately 6,557 km2 of which is in Uganda). The landscape in the north-eastern corner of Uganda in the Karamoja region, rises dramatically from 900-1,200 metres at the border with Sudan to 2,750 metres atop the forested Mount Morungole.
The landscape also entails the 144,745 hectares of Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP) with about 86 mammal species comprising of global conservation concern like lion, cheetah, leopard, bat-eared fox, wild dogs, African elephant, Rothschild giraffe, Jackson’s hartebeest, and Nile crocodile. Out of the 86 species, 28 species of them are not found in any of the other national parks in Uganda.
Karenga, one of the tourist attractions in northern Uganda is among a few Conservation Areas in Kaabong district of the Karamoja sub-region in North-eastern Uganda and is part of the Kidepo Conservation Zone.
However, wildlife poaching, poor infrastructure for ecotourism plus abuse of natural resources like trees for charcoal burning are among the challenges Karenga Community Wildlife Management Area is facing.
Charactereised by the famous East Sudanian Savannah Biome, Karenga Community Wildlife Management Area gazetted in 2002 is within the Northern Acacia-Commiphora bushlands and thickets ecosystem, thus being part of the famous Kidepo Valley National Park critical scenery.
Wildlife in Karenga
There common wildlife species within this Protected Area comprise of leopards, giant forest hogs, warthogs, cheetahs, giraffes, over 2000 elephants, antelopes, bush-bucks, Topis, Uganda Kobs, water-bucks and buffaloes among others. The reserve also has primates including the blue monkeys and vervet monkeys plus many more.
Despite its magnificence and several attractions such as wildlife and bird species, Karenga Community Wildlife Management Area under the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is still faced with challenges that affect its conservation. These challenges include lack of enough infrastructures like as lodge facilities for visitors needing to adventure its attractions, high levels of wildlife poaching, encroachment on the reserve land for agriculture, livestock rearing and settlement and the depletion of natural resources through charcoal burning and bush clearing among the many.
Most tourists who come to the Wildlife Reserve have to secure accommodation in far places like Kaabong or Moroto district which makes tourism complicated. And it is a major attribute to its low number of visitors.
Karenga Community Wildlife area is also encroached by corrupt Government Officials, local residents and poachers who affect wildlife tremendously as well as undermining tourism activities.
Other Wildlife Reserves in Uganda
Apart from Karenga Community Wildlife Management Area (KCWMA), there are more than 10 wildlife Reserves in Uganda that include Ajai game Reserve, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Kigezi Mountain Wildlife Reserve and Bugungu Game Reserve. Others include Pian Upe, Bokora Corridor game Reserve, Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve, Katonga Wildlife Reserve, Matheniko Game Reserve, Toro-Semuliki Game Reserve, Karuma Wildlife Reserve and many others.