Matheniko game reserve is situated in Karamoja with an elevation between 1,070 and 1,830 meters above sea level, the reserve is situated in the karamoja sub region of Uganda in the north eastern part of the country. Matheniko game reserve stretches through Bokora from Pian up Wildlife reserve to Kidepo valley national park.
Matheniko game reserve stands as the 5th in the most threatened conservation areas in Uganda, the reserve a characterized by semi desert Savannah grasslands and shrubs in the Somalia- Masai eco region. The Matheniko wildlife reserve covers an area of 1,520 kilometers squared; the reserves landscape is covered by red spice thorns, Harisonia Abyssinia, bushwillows and red acacia.
Matheniko wildlife reserve has also got historical sites dating back to over 3000 years ago and it’s believed that the Kushite’s and Nilotics are responsible for the rock paintings. The reserve boasts with the world’s largest bird known as an Ostrich.
Matheniko wildlife reserve received an annual rainfall of about 670 milliliters per year; it’s location in one of the most remote areas in the country makes it less visited and less developed. The Uganda wildlife authority that manages the reserve sought bidders in a campaign to raise funds for construction of facility in the reserve. The north eastern boundary of the reserve lies in the Ugandan Kenyan boarder.
Matheniko wildlife reserve boasts with large species of animals that tourists can encounter during a game drives some of the animals tourists will come across are different types of antelopes such as; Roan antelope, Reed bucks, lesser kudus,Bright’s gazelle, water bucks, blue duikers, Oribis, Ugandan Kobs, Topis, Bohor reds bucks and other animals are elands, servals, stripped hyenas, spotted hyenas, wild cats, civets, cheetahs and jackals there are also primates species such as patas monkeys, Olive baboon and vervet monkeys.
Matheniko wildlife is also a birders paradise with some of the rare birds you can find in Uganda, some of the birds at the reserve are residential while others are migratory birds examples of birds that can be found are; Clappertons Francolin, verreaux eagle, Abyssinian ground hornbill, thick billed honey guide, the Hartlaubs turaco, African hill barbler, pygmy falcon, bronze napped pigeon,mountain yellow warbler, Egyptian vulture, black throated wattle eye, grey cuckoo shrike, lemon dove, black heads plover, res billed woodpecker, cattle egret, dusky turtle dove, and the Ethiopian swallow among the rest.
To make ones safari more memorable tourists can also visit the people, the Karamojong have very unique cultural values and traditions that you would love to encounter, the nomadic pastoralists mainly depend on cattle keeping tourists can learn about their ways of life and also have exceptional ways if dressing. Tourists can acquire hand crafts to take back home for remembrance.
For a more fun filled wilderness experience, tourists must always include Kidepo valley national park on their itinerary when visiting Karamoja region.
The best time to visit Matheniko wildlife reserve is in the drier seasons as the roads get muddy and some times impassable during April-May and in November when there is rain. The peak season is June to September and December to January.
Accommodation at the Matheniko Wildlife reserve is limited to Banda’s and public campsite tourists can however sleep in any hotels in Moroto or Kotido towns.