Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
The Rhinos of Uganda take slow lazy steps to tread the grass and sometimes mini attempts to break into a run in the majestic grandeur of Ziwa rhino Sanctuary. The giant rhinos gather a mouthful of grass and gently chew on it to taste every straw, without any fear from the tourists who often lurk their sanctuary let by the ranger. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which covers 70 square kilometres is located approximately 176 km away from Kampala in Nakasongola District along the Kampala Gulu highway, towards Murchison falls National Park.
A visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary can be included as part of your Africa safari to Murchison Falls National park or to any other long Uganda Safari which includes Uganda wildlife safaris, Uganda Gorilla tracking and Chimpanzee tracking. Ziwa is the only Uganda rhino Sanctuary and it is the only destination to track Rhinos in Uganda. It presents to the Rhinos what the sight of each new dawn presents to us and that’s a second chance at life!
Originally, Uganda was a home of the black rhinos but due to the political instabilities and poaching in the 1990`s, the black rhinos were extinct and have been replaced by the white rhinos since the Ziwa rhino Sanctuary was established in 2002. These southern white rhinos have been received as a donation by the European Union, Kenya in 2005 and Disney. The restoration process began with the mission of multiplying the rhinos until they can be re-introduced into the wild and thrive on own as they should. Only 6 rhinos were donated and so far there are at least 20 rhinos available.
Activities in Ziwa rhino Sanctuary
Rhino Tracking on Foot
It is only in Ziwa rhino Sanctuary where tourists can enjoy rhino trekking experience in the Pearl of Africa. Rhino tracking in Uganda starts with a briefing where instructions are given like the need to walk in a single line. It is crucial to follow the instructions of the rangers while on this trek to avoid any regrets. For example, the rational of walking together in the line is that walking in isolation from the line renders you an easy target in case of an attack from the rhino. You may need to first drive to the closest route where the rhinos are located on a particular day, to avoid walking for long distances. The ranger guide will continue sharing with you more information about the behaviour of the rhinos and give you the tactics on how to respond in case of anything.
Shoebill Canoe Ride
The shoebill stork is one of the sought after birds by most of the birders in the world and Uganda in particular. The Lugogo swamp in the sanctuary offers higher chances of seeing the shoebill stork while on your Uganda birding safari. There are many other birds that can be sighted while on this canoe ride in the sanctuary and some of these birds include; African open-billed stork, Goliath Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Great egret, African Jacana, African fish eagle, Black crake, Egyptian goose, Malachite Kingfisher and Giant Kingfisher among others. The canoe ride service is done by the community who intern receive payment and this helps to re-enforce community conservation partnership between the community and the sanctuary. An overnight stay at the Ziwa rhino Sanctuary allows opportunities for the night drives where you have chances of seeing nocturnal birds.
Guided Nature walks
Guided natural walks are conducted at the Ziwa rhino Sanctuary through the grand savannahs for the opportunity to experience the diversity of the sanctuary compressed on 70 square kilometres acreage. The ranger guides will instruct you on how to behave while in the sanctuary and much information regarding the ecosystem of the sanctuary which includes botany, animals and birds. You may luckily sight some animals during the nature walk such as Uganda Kobs, Leopard, duikers Waterbucks, Bushbucks etc.
If the Africa safari “big 5” itinerary in Uganda includes a visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, remember to come along with the following; water proof hiking shoes or closed shoes, Rain poncho during the rainy season, Sunscreen, Sun hat, Insect repellent. We know you also want to carry a camera, please do carry a non-flash photography to which will not frighten the Rhinos into being defensive while on your Uganda rhino tracking.