Ajai Wildlife Reserve

Ajai wildlife reserve is 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 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.

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 a few.

Activities in Ajai reserve

  • Game drives

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.

  • Birding 

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 and more.

How to get there

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.