Ajai wildlife reserve
Ajai wildlife reserve is a tinny conservation area in the West Nile region – Arua district which is the northeast of Uganda. The reserve is situated along the Albert Nile west banks and south east of the Arua. Ajai wildlife reserve was first established as a white rhino sanctuary. It was gazetted as a reserve in 1965 in an effort to stop poaching in the region and to protect white rhinos. By then Uganda and this area was home to about 60 to 80 white rhinos.
Later in 2002, part of its land was cut off to create human settlements. In 2008 Uganda wildlife authority decided to privatise the property. It was afterwards placed under management of a hunting and photographic tour operator.
This reserve is largely formed by a huge island which is surrounded by swamps that flood seasonally during the rainy seasons. Over 35 km long is covered by papyrus swamp and the rest of the area is covered with different vegetation types like the savanna woods, open grassy plains and sandy plains and some small savanna forests, a few areas have thick forests.
It’s kind of vegetation acts as a home to different wildlife species especially during the drier months of the year . Some of these animals include; Mammals to include Hippos along the Nile, Uganda Kobs, hartebeest, bush bucks, black and white colobus monkeys and so much more.
Those who are interested in primate watching, you can expect to meet those while you walk around.
Ajai reserve is a big birding destination but it is still a home to a small number of bird species. For example the African fish eagles, the grey crowned cranes, bigger birds like marabou storks and many more others.
You have the opportunity to engage in activities like guided nature walks or go for game drive around the reserve.
Future plans for this reserve included reintroduction of Rhinos and the Nile buffaloes. So that it could somewhat be a match to the neighbouring Murchison falls national park.
When is the best time to visit Ajai wildlife reserve?
Tourists can visit the reserve any time of the year because the nature and wildlife is always there. Given the nature of the roads in these areas which are slippery and very impassable during the wet seasons. It may be best to visit from around December until March and then later from around June to October when it’s dry. Months like April, May October and November make up the wet season. During such months, roads tend to become slippery and very impassable.
Hotels and lodges in the area.
Within the reserve are no accommodation facilities or hotels. In that case, you have to book a hotel in the neighbouring town of Packwach or in Arua. Ajai wildlife reserve is a great additional wildlife conservation destination if you’re traveling around and visiting places like Murchison falls national park and areas around Gulu.