Bokora Wildlife Reserve – Attractions and Attractions
Bokora Wildlife Reserve is located in northeastern Uganda. The reserve was designated as a wildlife Reserve in 1964 and covers an area of 794 square kilometers. Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve is the second largest in Uganda and is part of the larger semi-arid Karamoja Wildlife Reserve, which includes Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve and Mateniko Wildlife Reserve Animal reserve.
The three-game reserves are named after the four Karamojong tribal groups – Pian Upe, Matheniko, and Bokora Wildlife Reserve. Each breed lives near an animal Reserve named after them. River and Plans live near the Piana River Wildlife Reserve, Mathenikos live near the Matheniko Wildlife Reserve, and Bokor life near the Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve.
Brief History of Bokora Reserve
Bokora Wildlife Reserve consists mainly of arid plains, the highlights of which are Mount Kadama and Mount Napaka. The plains are mainly savannas, scrub, dwarf trees, and shrubs. Bokora Wildlife Reserve has incredible nature and wildlife, but poor road conditions in the reserve make it difficult to get to during the rainy season. If the road problems are solved, a hotel is built and the government decides to merge the three protected areas in Karamoja with the Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda could have a national park that could rival the best in Kenya and Tanzania.
Management Challenges of Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve
One of the challenges facing the Uganda Wildlife Authority in managing the Uganda Wildlife Reserve is the encroachment and outright occupation of local communities living near the reserve. This problem can also be seen in Bokora Wildlife Reserve. Communities near the reserve have complained that animals such as buffalo damage or eat their crops as they cross into the rest of the reserve. They also complained that even when this happened, the government rarely compensated them. The Karamoja region has long been unstable due to tribal warfare and cattle rustling.
Many have lost their animals and had to resort to other means of survival. Although peace has now been restored and most of the Karamojong militants have been disarmed, many families still live in abject poverty. With few options for survival, communities find spare resources very attractive. Some people are tempted to grow food or use spare grazing during severe droughts. Although the Uganda Wildlife Service occasionally evicts them, the encroachment problem continues. Local politicians, who often sided with their communities for selfish reasons, seem to have made matters worse.
Hunger and Drought in Bokora Reserve
The government and other humanitarian agencies have come up with solutions to control hunger and drought during dry seasons, which drive many pastoralists from their homes to build water holes. The United Nations World Food Program is working in the Karamoja region to help supplement nutrition for communities facing hunger.
In the face of all the above challenges, the Uganda Wildlife Service has undertaken a series of outreach activities to educate local communities about wildlife conservation and how they can benefit from the booming tourism industry, like their fellow Kenyan pastoralists. Some Karamojongs have decided to set up small hotels for those looking for a place to stay while visiting the park.
Wildlife in Bokora Wildlife Reserve
The Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve is home to flora and fauna that have been hardened by the reserve’s semi-arid conditions. To survive in this part of Uganda, wildlife must be able to withstand prolonged drought. When visiting the reserve, expect cheetah, Brett’s gazelle, buffalo, eland, antelope, leopard, kudu, lion, eland, antelope, reed antelope, chamois, Rothschild’s giraffe, spotted hyena, striped hyena, cobbles and Uganda zebra. . For thousands of years, the Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve has been used by buffalo and elephants as a route from Sudan to Kidepo and other nearby wildlife reserves.
Birdwatchers should see Ostrich, African Mountain Tit, Mountain Swift, Black-necked Acacia, Dark Tortoiseshell, Eastern Bronze Dormouse, Gray Cuckoo, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Jackson’s Hornbill, Lemon Pigeon, Tyk Tyk – Billing Honey’s Guide and Whitehead Buffalo. Most of these species live only in semi-arid areas and are difficult to find in other parts of Uganda. The best place for bird watching is the Loporokocho swamp.
Accommodation – Lodges and hotels in Bokora Wildlife Reserve
As mentioned, the road network in Bokora Wildlife Reserve is poor and there are no standard accommodation facilities in the reserve. Camping is the best option in the reserve and can be very beneficial for those who like to be adventurous and live in nature. In the real African desert, you can enjoy the beautiful night sky and the spectacular Milky Way. In addition, the tents are set up very close to the wildlife, giving you the feeling of being close to the fauna. Those who need more comfort need not worry as the Uganda Wildlife Service plans to build some lodges in the reserve soon. Alternatively, you can spend the night in hotels in the towns of Moroto and Kotido before heading to the reserve early in the morning.
When to Visit Bokora Wildlife Reserve?
The reserve is open to tourists throughout the year, but the dry season is ideal for a visit. The dry season is from June to September and from December to February. During the rainy season of November, May, and April, some parts of the road are almost impassable even for the hardiest 4WD. Those who want to experience all that the reserve has to offer with fewer crowds can visit during the wet (rainy) season. Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve comes alive after the rains with beautiful scenery and green vegetation everywhere. The temperature is not very high and the dust is removed. During the driest time of the year, heat can be difficult to control.
Main activities at Bokora Wildlife Reserve
Visit the Karamojong People:
Bokora Wildlife Reserve is home to the Karamojong people. The Bokora is the main sub-group living near the reserve. During your visit to the reserve, take a cultural tour of this unique tribe to discover the true Aborigines of Africa. The Karamojong are nomadic herders who depend on cattle for almost everything. Cattle provide meat, manure, leather, and milk. Karamojong drinks cow’s blood during the hottest month of the year. If people are interested in the truly indigenous tribes of Africa, their continued refusal to adapt to modern lifestyles makes them one of the best. With Karamojong, visitors can go herding cows with them, learn how to milk by hand, or participate in a traditional evening dance.
Bokora Wildlife Reserve is located in a semi-arid area but is home to abundant wildlife. If you visit the reserve for at least three days, you can expect countless antelopes, lions, buffaloes, giraffes, hyenas, cheetahs, and even elephants at certain times. Bird watching: Although the Bokora Corridor Wildlife Reserve has endured a long drought, the bird population is staggering. It is one of the bird-watching places in Uganda. The dry plains support the world’s largest bird, the ostrich. Wild ostriches thrive in dry environments and plains because they can spot approaching predators or small animals interested in their eggs. Huge plans allow them to operate when needed.
N.B. For a completer and more memorable safari, you can combine a visit to Bokora Wildlife Reserve with trips to Matheniko Wildlife Reserve, Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve, and the magnificent Kidepo Valley National Park Safari.