Karuma game reserve
Karuma Wildlife Reserve is one of the amazing areas that the government of Uganda has protected because of the wonderful wildlife, sites and landscapes at this place. The Karuma game reserve was declared as a wildlife reserve in 1964 and it is a buffer zone between Murchison Falls national park and areas around the region. The reserve covers an area of 820 sq km and stands at a height of 902 meters above sea level. It was name d after the thunderous Karuma falls located along the Victoria Nile as it takes the fresh water from Lake Victoria to Lake Albert. Traditionally and according to the local people, it is believed that the arrangement of the rocks on which the falls were formed was done by a powerful traditional spirit called “Karuma” where the name of the falls was derived.
Karuma Wildlife Reserve is found in Kiryandongo district within Murchison falls conservation area which is also the biggest protected area in Uganda. It is crossed by the Masindi-Gulu highway. It is located about 110 kilometers northeast of Masindi town and about 70 kilometers south of Gulu town.
As one of the most beautiful areas of Karuma game reserve, the waterfalls are worth visiting. They are wide, strong and really fascinating as the water forms very white splashes of water over to the bottom of the rocks. In 1963, a bridge named after the falls, Karuma bridge was constructed over the falls to connect Masindi to the northern parts of Uganda and the main purpose was to enable cotton growers in the West-Nile region transport their cotton with ease. There is also a 750-Megawatts hydropower station at the falls known as Karuma Power station. This project was established by the government of Uganda in collaboration with multiple foreign partners. The power station is now generating electricity which is used by a number of people.
Karuma falls as an attraction
This is one of the most spectacular sites where you can have and capture lovely views on your Uganda safari. The arrangement of the rocks in this place is wonderful. The largest areas along the Nile in Uganda are calm and this is one of the few parts of it where the water flows in that amazingly strong manner which is as a result of the interlocking rocks that cause rough flows of the water downwards towards Murchison falls national park. The eyes can never get enough of the beauty here.
Animals in Karuma Game Reserve
Since Karuma Wildlife Reserve is adjacent to Murchison falls national park, there are a number of animals that cross from one area to the other. Notable animals in the wildlife reserve include cape buffaloes, elephants, Rothschild giraffes, oribis, Uganda kobs, baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys and on some occasions leopards and lions.
Birds of Karuma Wildlife Reserve
Karuma Wildlife Reserve is one of the best places where you can spot a lot of impressive bird species with many waterbirds such as the swamp flycatchers, sunbirds and pied kingfishers among others.
With the above variety of attractions in Karuma game reserve you can enjoy a number of activities in the reserve such as game viewing through the tracks leading to areas where the animals are commonly sighted, birding and sightseeing.
Visiting the Karuma falls takes you to the same place where one of the earliest explorers known as John Speke passed when he was looking for the source of the Nile. It feels good and thrilling to know that you are at the same place where such people with major historic achievements.
Where to stay around Karuma game reserve
Red Chilli rest camp
This accommodation facility is located on the southern bank of Victoria nile. It offers midgrange and budget accommodation facilities in cottages, bandas and camp tents. Their restaurant opens at 06:30am and closes at around 09:30pm. They prepare delicious local and international meals.
Another facility where to stay is Karuma Falls campsite