Matheniko Game Reserve
Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is a protected area in Karamoja sub region of north eastern Uganda. It is among the most threatened protected conservation areas in Uganda, ranking in the 5th position.
Matheniko is a portion of the strip of the Karamoja protected areas as it stretches from Kidepo National Park down way via Bokora and Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve. The Reserve has its northeastern boundary to the Uganda-Kenya border. The reserve is at an elevation of between 1,070 and 1,830 meters or 3,510 and 6,000 feet above sea level.
Matheniko Wildlife Reserve falls into the Somalia-Masai Eco region of semi-desert savannah and shrub land. The average twelve-monthly rainwater in the Reserve is 670 millimeters with peaks in April, May and November. In line with tourism, The Uganda Wildlife Authority is vigorously endeavoring to develop the reserve’s infrastructure especially roads and accommodation facilities.
Wildlife Within Matheniko Game Reserve
Wildlife found in the reserve comprises of the rare species like the lesser kudu, roan antelope, Bright’s gazelle, ostriches which are only found here and in the Kidepo Valley National Park. At the Loporokocho swamp, is where wildlife is concentrated. The reserve is a home to numerous distinctive wildlife species such as the Cheetahs, several antelope species. These include Mountain reedbucks, lesser Kudu, common duikers, Blue duikers, Uganda Kobs reedbucks, Topis and waterbucks among others. The Striped hyenas and serval cats also exist in the reserve.
The bird species found here consist of Eastern Bronze-napped Pigeon, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Dusky Turtle Dove and the Lemon Dove. Others also include the African Hill Babbler, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Alpine Chat, Thick-billed Honey guide, Mountain Yellow Warbler and the Grey Cuckoo-Shrike among the many.
The Rock paintings seen at several sites in Matheniko and Bokora Wildlife Reserve are assumed to date back about 3000 years and were the works of the Nilotic people and Kushites.
Best Time to Tour Matheniko Wildlife Reserve
The best time to visit the reserve is during the dry seasons of the year. Such period runs from June to September and December to February when the roads are passable and animals well visible. During the rainy season that usually starts from April to May and October to November, several murram roads are muddy and not easily passable. The annual rainfall at this game reserve is projected at 670 millimeters.
In a nutshell, Matheniko Wildlife Reserve is amongst the tourist destinations in Uganda especially the Karamoja region that one must visit. One can visit Matheniko Game Reserve alongside Kidepo Valley National in North eastern Uganda, Pian Upe or Mount Elgon in Eastern Uganda.