March 2021

Four people have been arrested in connection with the death of six lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Ampurira Brian 26 years, Tumuhire Vincent 49 years, Aliyo Robert 40 years and Miliango David 68 years were arrested last night during a joint operation mounted by UWA, UPDF and Police in Kyenyabutongo village, Rusoroza Parish, Kihihi Sub County, Kanungu District.

Today at daybreak, the suspects took the security team to a location where 3 heads of lions were found hidden in a tree and the fourth one was buried with 15 legs under the same tree. The suspects said they dropped one leg in the park.

Three bottles containing a chemical commonly known as Furadan and a two-litre jerrycan of lion fat oil were recovered in a banana plantation. Two spears, one panga and one hunting net were found hidden in a garden at the home of Tumuhire Vincent.

The carcases of the lions were discovered at Ishasha sector on the evening of Friday, March 19, 2021. Nine dead vulture; one White-headed vulture and eight White-backed vultures which are listed as critically endangered species were also found in the same place. Upon their discovery, we launched investigations into the matter. On Monday evening we received credible information about the people suspected to be behind the killing of the lions and acting on the same, a joint operation by UPDF, Police and UWA was conducted leading to the arrest of the four suspects. The suspects will be arraigned in the courts of law.

We applaud the security agencies that joined the operation to hunt the people behind the death of our lions and the leadership of Kanungu district for the support extended to the security teams.

We assure the public that we shall continue to strengthen the protection of lions and other wildlife in Uganda and will pursue this case until justice for the dead lions is served. Our national parks remain safe and attractive to visitors and we still have lions in Queen Elizabeth and other parks.

Uganda Wildlife Authority is saddened to announce the death of six lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The carcasses of the lions were found last evening at Ishasha sector with most of their body parts missing. Eight dead vultures were also found at the scene which points to possible poisoning of the lions by unknown people.

A team of investigators is on the ground and collaborating with police in Kanungu district in handling this matter. Given that some of the body parts of the lions are missing, we cannot rule out illegal wildlife trafficking.

UWA strongly condemns the illegal killing of wildlife because it does not only impact negatively on our tourism as a country, but also revenue generation which supports conservation and community work in our protected areas.

Tourism has been a top foreign exchange earner to the country contributing almost 10% of GDP and 23% of the total foreign exports. Nature tourism has been contributing USD 1.6 billion to the economy and also contributes to the wellbeing of communities surrounding the wildlife protected areas.

Tourism revenue plays a critical role in improving the livelihoods of communities around the national parks. UWA give back 20% of gate entry fees to the communities neighbouring through the revenue sharing scheme. In the last five years, a total of UGX 4,457,283,992 was shared with communities neighbouring Queen Elizabeth National Park to enhance their livelihoods. The revenue sharing scheme is meant to strengthen partnerships between local communities, local governments and management of wildlife areas leading to the sustainable management of wildlife resources in protected areas.

Uganda Wildlife Authority assures the public that it shall continue to strengthen the protection of lions and other wildlife in Uganda and will pursue this matter to its logical conclusion. Our national parks remain safe and attractive to visitors and we still have lions in Queen Elizabeth and other parks.

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For Inquiries: 
Bashir Hangi, Communications Manager
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 0414 355 315, 0772 446 115

This area was gazetted as a reserve in 2002.

However, in the early 1960s, the Uganda Game Department sought to exert more control over sport hunting in Uganda by declaring certain areas to be Controlled Hunting Areas (CHAs) in which sport hunting could only be carried out by special license, and against carefully set quotas.

The Kaiso-Tonya area on the shoreline of Lake Albert was gazetted as a CHA in 1963 as it harboured isolated but important populations of Uganda kob, buffalo and hartebeest. Game Department records indicate that hunting in Kaiso-Tonya CHA, and in its smaller neighbor Buhuka CHA, was properly regulated until the mid-1970s. Thereafter, with the breakdown of law and order in Uganda, no further management of either area took place for the next 20 years.

The Kabwoya-Kaiso Wildlife Management Area (KKWMA) is in Hoima District and covers the majority of the land formerly known as the Kaiso-Tonya Controlled Hunting Area. The KKWMA has a total area of 194 sq. km and comprises the Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve (KWR, area 87 sq. km) and the adjacent Kaiso-Tonya Community Wildlife Area (KTCWA, area 107 sq. km).

The Hohwa River separates KWR and KTCWA. The KKWMA is bounded on the east by the foot of the Albertine Rift escarpment, to the west by the shoreline of Lake Albert, to the north by the Lwamagongo River, and to the south by the Warwire River. The KWR has been surveyed and boundary beacons installed.

KKWMA is the only relatively ecologically intact area of savannah along the 200 km stretch of Lake Albert shoreline between Toro-Semliki WR in the south, and to Murchison Falls NP in the north. In its position in the Rift, and with its proximity to the large Bugoma Forest Reserve, the KKWMA is of great importance in maintaining corridors for genetic flow in the Albertine Rift.

Kabwoya falls within one district, Hoima and is surrounded by 3 sub-counties namely, Kabwoya, Kyangwali and Buseruka.


The area is accessed by road from Hoima which is a distance of 82 km. The road was in a poor state before the oil activities started in the area. The road has been upgraded to bitumen which has greatly improved accessibility into the reserve.


The dominant features of the KKWMA are the Albertine Rift escarpment to the east, Lake Albert to the west, and the Hohwa River that bisects the two zones of the concession area. The main area of KKWMC is a gently sloping shelf of land between the escarpment base and the lakeshore. In the central part of the shoreline, the shelf drops to the lake in a small steep escarpment of 70 m height. Elsewhere along the shoreline, the gradient is shallow to the beach, providing for the establishment of many fishing villages. In terms of geology, the area is comprised of alluvial sands, which are easily eroded; this area was once the floor of Lake Albert.


The vegetation primarily comprises Hyparrhenia and Themeda grassland interspersed with patches of the undifferentiated dry thicket with Grewia spp and Acacia brevispica (Langdale-Brown 1964). Along the Hohwa River are stretches of riverine forest.


The various census surveys carried out in the area indicate significant populations of Uganda kob, bush duiker, oribi, warthog, bushbuck, bushpig and colobus. There are small populations of hippo and buffalo. The main large carnivores are leopard and hyena. The most significant „flagship‟ species is chimpanzees, which are found in the riverine forest along the Hohwa River. Species once recorded in this area, but are now absent, are Bohor reedbuck, hartebeest and giant forest hog. Three male waterbuck have also been spotted on the reserve.


On the night of February 28, 2021, Nandi one of the female rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary breathed her last after battling a yet to be identified illness.

Nandi’s health started deteriorating with loss of body weight and reduced activity, which were noticed around August 2020. Her resting, feeding and drinking behaviour were not normal as was known before. By that time, Nandi was expecting her seventh calf. She could therefore, not be handled like any other sick rhino in her condition; a lot of care had to be taken to avoid putting her life and that of the unborn calf in danger.

UWA veterinarians have been at the sanctuary several times to manage every stage of her health condition that included administering antibiotics, de-wormers, and picking of samples for further investigations. Information was also being shared with rhino experts. The first suspicion was that Nandi had intestinal worms and relevant remedies were applied but did not yield fruit. Nandi was safely immobilized by our veterinary doctors on 27th January 2021 for further examination. Samples were picked and tests conducted at Lancet laboratories and the National Animal Disease Diagnostic and Epidemiology Centre.

The results from the serum chemistry done at Lancet Laboratories were shared with Rhino Fund Uganda Management and other stakeholders. To be specific, Nandi presented with low sodium and chloride, low creatinine but normal urea, low bilirubin, elevated Aspartate Amino Transferase (AST) and total protein with very low albumin. The calcium and phosphorus values were within normal range.

Additional haematology tests were done on advice from rhino experts and they indicated no presence of trypanosomiasis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis or theileria parva as suspected by ourselves and other rhino experts.

A post-mortem undertaken on March 01, 2021 by a team of pathologists from Makerere University and Wildlife Veterinarian from UWA. Results show a generalized proliferation and enlargement of all the lymph nodes indicating lymphoproliferative disorder, which may be neoplasm or granulomatous disease. Other significant lesions in advanced stage were observed in the lungs, kidneys and along the gastro intestinal tract (GIT).

A range of samples were taken for histopathology, serology, microbiology and culture to determine the cause of death. Results of the analysis will be communicated to the relevant stakeholders and authorities as soon as they are available. 

Nandi, the 21-year old female rhino was born on 24th July 1999. She was brought together with Hassani (a male rhino) to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary from the Disney Animal Kingdom, Florida, USA in September 2006. By the time of her death, Nandi had successfully calved seven times with the latest being on 9th January 2021. She was laid to rest on March 1, 2021 at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

On behalf of UWA, the Executive Director relays his appreciation to Rhino Fund Uganda and all the stakeholders who, in one way or the other, contributed ideas in a bid to save Nandi. We hope that we shall continue working together for the better of the remaining Rhino population in Uganda and beyond.

About Nandi

Nandi was donated by Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida, USA in 2006 at the age of 7 years together with Hassani, a male rhino that was aged 5 years then. This pair was part of the first six white rhinos that were re-introduced in Uganda.

The two together with four other rhinos earlier introduced from Solio Ranch in Kenya started a breeding nucleus that has since evolved to 35 rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary located 170 km North of Kampala. The death of Nandi and her daughter Achiru leaves the total number of rhinos at the sanctuary to 33 individuals.

Nandi had her first calf named Obama in June 2009 and later Malaika "Angel" the female on June 4, 2011. Both Obama and Malaika were the first rhino calves born in Uganda in more than 30 years since the rhinos were declared extinct in 1982.

Nandi has left another 4 surviving off-springs; Uhuru (8), Sonic (6), Apache (4) and Armiju (2). Her last born Achiru was born at the summit of the mother’s illness earlier this year but died at Uganda Wildlife and Conservation Education Centre (UWEC) on 17 January, 2021 after the mother’s failure to feed her. Of her calves, Malaika and Uhuru
gave birth to three and two calves respectively.

For Inquiries: 
Bashir Hangi, Communications Manager
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 0414-355315, 0772-446115

Established Gazetted in 1964 to ensure freedom of movement for game during migration between the Matheniko plains and Pian-Upe Game Reserve.

The reserve was originally part of Central and South Karamoja Controlled Hunting Areas.

Geographical Location

In eastern Uganda between Moroto and Mount Elgon, between Matheniko Game Reserve and Pian-Upe Game Reserve, along the south-western boundary of the Karamoja region. 2''07'-2''45'N, 33°50'-34°50'E. Altitude 1,000-2, 100m Area 205,600ha; contiguous to Pian-Upe Game Reserve (228,710ha) and Matheniko Game Reserve (158,650ha). Flanked on remaining sides by four Controlled Hunting Areas totalling over 2,000,000 ha, which are contiguous to four other Controlled Hunting Areas and Kidepo Valley National Park (134,400ha).

Public Physical Features

The reserve is a plateau with a few inselbergs, typical of the southern Karamoja region. The climate is relatively dry.


The wooded grassland savanna on marginal land is of little or no use for agriculture or settlement.


A wide variety of antelopes (but not in high numbers) includes: eland Taurotragus oryx, Uganda kob Kobus kob thomasi, reedbuck Redunca redunca,  mountain reedbuck Redunca fulwrufula ,  topi Damaliscus lunatus, hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphus jacksoni, and oribi Ourebia ourebi aequatoria. Other mammals include: spotted hyena Crocuta crocuta, leopard Panthera pardus (T)


Established 1964.

Previously part of Central Karamoja Controlled Hunting Area.

Geographical Location

In Karamoja region, just north of Moroto, extending along the border with Kenya. 2°40'-3°07'N, 34°10'-34°50'E. lUCN Directory of Afrotropical Protected Areas Altitude 1,200- 1,600m Area 160,000ha; contiguous to Bokora Corridor Game Reserve (205,600ha) and the eastern Uganda complex of Controlled Hunting Areas Land Tenure Government

Physical Features

The reserve is part of the Karamoja plateau. It is bounded on the east by the Great Rift escarpment which forms the Uganda/Kenya border in this area and is interrupted in the south by spurs and extensions of higher ground. Vegetation Thorny deciduous thicket


Resident mammals include: lion Panthera leo, leopard Panthera pardus (V), cheetah Acinonyx jubalus (V), giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis, eland Taurolragus oryx, roan antelope Hippotragus equinui, and Bright's gazelle Nanga notatus. 

The area has been the traditional pasture during the wet season for herds migrating from southern Karamoja, particularly from the Pian-Upe plains.


Established 1964

Previously declared as Debasien Animal Sanctuary 

Geographical Location

Eastern Uganda, north of Mount Elgon and SOkm east of Scroti. I'SO'-I'IS'N, 34''34''05'-34°50'E. Altitude l,000-3,06Sm Area 231,400ha; connected to Matheniko Game Reserve (160,000ha) by the Bokora Corridor Land Tenure Government Physical Features This is a high plateau area of rolling plains with black cotton soil drained by intermittent watercourses flowing westwards into Lake Kyoga. Most of the area is subject to inundation during the rainy season. Mount Kadam (previously Mount Debasien) near the border with Kenya, is the highest point in the reserve at 3,068m. VegetatlonT Most of the area is wooded savanna grasslands with some forest in the north on the margins of a higher ridge.


A large variety of mammals in the area include: lion Panthera leo, leopard Pantheia pardus (T), cheetah Acinonyx jubatus (T), giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis, buffalo Syncerus caffer, waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus, Uganda kob Kobus kob, mountain reedbuck Redunca fuhorufula, roan antelope Hippotragus equinus, Jackson's hartebeest Alcelaphus buselaphus Jacksoni, oribi Ourebia ourebi. Most of the eland Taurotragus oryx, topi Damaliscus lunatus, and zebra Eguus quaga borensis migrate into the area to breed from North Bokora and Matheniko reserves and migrate northwards when the rains begin. Birds include ostrich Struthio camelus, secretary bird Sagittarius serpentarius, and yellow-billed shrike Corvinella corvina (uncommon).

Disturbances or Deficiencies

Settlement and grazing of domestic livestock has occurred since the declaration of the reserve. Cattle and wildlife share the same habitat during dry seasons and wildlife are now very sparse. Poaching and forest encroachment in the south, although this has been reduced by local cattle rustling activities.

Established 1965
The reserve was previously part of a larger area established as a Controlled Hunting Area

Geographical Location

South-west Uganda bordering the south-east of the Kazinga Channel and the south shore of Lake George. 0°05'S, 30°05'E. Altitude 700- 1,1 00m Area 15,700ha; contiguous to Queen Elizabeth National Park (197,800ha) and its associated reserves Uganda Land Tenure Government Physical Features The terrain is characterised by small hills and about 10 crater lakes above the east wall of the western Rift Valley (here interrupted by the vast upheaval of the Ruwenzori range). The area also contains a number of swamps. The boundary with Queen Elizabeth National Park is defined by the Kyambura River which flows into the Kazinga Channel. Vegetation Savanna grassland and deciduous thickets


The fauna is similiar to Queen Elizabeth National Park with mammals including: hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius, lion Panthera leo, leopard Panthera pardus, elephant Loxodonta africana, buffalo Syncerus caffer, and a variety of antelope and other small ungulates. Waterbirds feature prominently in the avifauna including occasional visits by lesser flamingo Phoeniconaias minor.


The reserve forms a buffer zone for animals moving out of Queen Elizabeth National Park. No zoning exists within the reserve.

Disturbances or Deficiencies

Small fishing villages existing at the time of the declaration of the reserve remain, but further settlement is prohibited. There is poaching of hippopotamus and other game for meat and illegal fishing.

Visitor Facilities

Access is by unsurfaced tracks only passable in dry weather. Scientific Research Periodic animal population surveys.