Karuma Wildlife Reserve is located in Masindi District in western Uganda and is 902 metres above sea level.
Karuma Wildlife Reserve is found in a territory of conservation areas that consist of Murchison Falls National Park, Kaniyo Pabidi and Budongo Forest Reserves and Bugungu Wildlife Reserve.
The reserve under the protected areas mainly lies in Masindi District and was conventionally a spread-out area for large animals like buffaloes and elephants besides the smaller types.
The reserve has an area of 820 square kilometres and gazetted in 1964 and the original idea was to make the reserve to act as a safeguard zone between Murchison Falls National Park and the neighbouring villages plus other un-conserved areas.
Nevertheless over the years, Karuma Wildlife Reserve has gradually lost its role of shielding against animal intrusion from the park to the surrounds and now seems to buffer the park against human population pressure. The consequence has been immense impingement in the reserve. The existence of a refugee settlement in Kiryandongo where over 7,000 people have been located has resulted into a severe encumbrance on the reserve resources.