Ajai Wildlife Reserve
Ajai wildlife reserve : is another fascinating tourist destination nestled in the north-eastern Uganda between districts of Arua, Nebbi, Moyo and Adjumani on the Western banks of the mighty Albert Nile between Pakwach and Nimule. The reserve is situated in an area with higher elevation but is relatively small approximately (166 sq km) and is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The reserve derived its name from a powerful local chief called Ajai who led in the 1930s and was first established in 1962 and later was officially established as Ajai wildlife reserve in 1965.
Ajai wildlife reserve comprises of a prominent island that is encompassed by savannah and seasonal swamps that are poured into by the rivers Acha and Ala. During the rainy seasons, the swamp gets fully flooded thus cutting off the island from the outside world and this explains why animals continue to survive within the island close to a growing human population. Ajai wildlife reserve generally consists of woodlands, savannah plains, swamps and has got a great Tourism Potential hosting or harboring a diversity of wildlife such as leopards, bushbucks, black and white colobus monkeys, zebras, foxes, common duikers, Dik dik, olive baboons, oribi, vervet monkeys, uganda Kobs, waterbucks, civets, buffaloes, sitatunga antelopes, hippopotamus to mention a few.
The reserve also hosts a number of reptiles such as pythons, green snakes, monitor lizards, puff adders, black cobras and many more. Additionally the swamps and woodlands combine to perfectly harbor a variety of bird species including African fish eagles, Grey crowned cranes, weaver birds, giant kingfishers, Marabou stocks, African jacanas, pied kingfishers, to mention but a few. Ajai wildlife Reserve was one of the few places where you could sight the endangered white Rhinos in Uganda and now are extinct within the wildlife reserve and this draws an explanation as to why it was once called the Ajai Rhino Sanctuary.
During that time, it harbored over 60 white Rhinos out of the 80 Uganda was hosting. When the local community members started hunting these rhinos, though it didn’t stop the poachers from hunting these mammals not until they became extinct and later the local people started using the wildlife reserve land for their own personal activities. Today Uganda’s rhinos are extinct and very few rhinos now survive outside national parks and reserves worldwide.
In Ajai game reserve, game viewing can be enjoyed while on a game drive in several different game drive areas, driving through scaling landscapes where you will have great chances of seeing the lions in wait for prey as they go to drink. Here you will have a big opportunity to have a glimpse at different animals like the sitatunga antelopes, leopards, olive baboons, common duikers, hyenas, warthogs, Kobs, waterbucks, bush bucks, hartebeests to mention a few.
Game drives offer an opportunity for one to come across a variety of distinct birdlife including savannah forest birds and water birds. The commonest species found in the plains include the Marabou stork, Secretary birds, Abyssinian Ground hornbills, Open-billed storks, Black-billed Bustards, Widow birds and many more.
Near swamps and other water bodies where there are more thickets and woodlands, the commonest bird varieties include the Giant kingfishers, shrikes, Malachite Kingfishers, Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters, francolins, Cuckoos, Woodpeckers, herons, Hamerkop, African fish eagles, weavers, Crombecs, Hornbills, to mention but a few.
How to get there
This Uganda Safari destination can be accessed by both Air and road transport. Through road transport, it is approximately a 6-7 hours’ drive from Kampala the starting point of most and many safaris, to Arua where the wildlife reserve is located and with air transport, scheduled and charter flights can be arranged to Arua airfield. You can fly from Entebbe to Gulu or Arua after which you can be transferred to the reserve for the day’s activities.
Are you planning to take a safari trip to North western Uganda, and you are wondering what destinations you can visit for uttermost safari adventure or experience? Well!! Ajai wildlife reserve awaits you.
Fill in the form below to get to Us