Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is located in Nakasongola district 176 kilometers north of Kampala on the Gulu highway towards Murchison Falls National Park. It is a three hours drive from the capital city. Being a sanctuary is more like the foundation of the restoration of the Rhino increase in population thus a habitat for only wild rhinos in Uganda. By the end of 1982, rhinos were pretty much extinct in Uganda. They had been continuously poached and killed. Under this sanctuary, Rhinos move around in safety. They are protected 24 hours a day from poachers by an electrical fence and security personnel.
Visitors to the sanctuary are allowed to track the rhinos and see them closely. Rhinos can be approached on foot. The animals are not that dangerous if you follow instructions. It is this sanctuary that will give you a rare opportunity to see Rhinos out of a vehicle and have some great and unusual photo opportunities. The White Rhinos are gentle giants approaching them on foot poses no danger to you since the ranger guides you about the behavior of the Rhinos.
Presently the sanctuary is home to nineteen (19) southern white rhinos. The sanctuary has become increasingly popular with tourists; for rhino trekking, bird watching, nature walks and relaxation. There are a few other activities you can enjoy on your visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary apart from Rhino Tracking. These include:
Bird watching, the sanctuary about 350 bird species and offers good birding opportunities for those interested in birds. You can do a half or full day birding hike, and explore the sanctuary. Some of the birds you can see in the sanctuary include some rare bird species such as: the pre-historic looking Shoebill Stork, the White Crested Turaco, the Giant Kingfisher, and the speckled breasted Woodpecker and many more.
You can also take a nature walk. It is possible to spend the day hiking in the wilderness of the sanctuary. You might get to see animals such as the grey duiker, bushbuck, Oribi, waterbuck, reed buck, Vervet monkeys, black and white Colobus, Hartebeest, mongoose, ground squirrels and various reptiles such as large monitor lizards, butterflies and some very interesting insects.
Uganda was home of thousands of Rhinos some years back. The war years of 1970s along with excessive hunting and poaching, Rhinos became extinct by 1983, but were re-introduced into Uganda in 2005 by Rhino Fund Uganda. White rhinos are now being bred again in the 7000ha Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary 70 km south of the Murchison Falls Park and their mission is to reintroduce small herds of rhinos (around five at a time), whilst retaining a nucleus breeding herd in the sanctuary. Rhinos are hunted for their horns. The horns are made into handles for daggers and swords in places such as Yemen and ground into medicine in China. A pound of Rhino Horn can cost over 50,000 USD. Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is protected by 24 hour security and a solar powered electrical fence.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary does great things, it’s nice to know that the profits from food and accommodation are going towards the breeding programme of these amazing creatures, and the eventual release into the wild of the rhinos. You can add Ziwa Rhinos to any Murchison Falls Safari and see these majestic animals up close. Below is the Ziwa Rhino tracking pricing schedule. There is decent accommodation such as the recently added Amuka lodge with swimming pool and excellent meals, there are affordable restaurants, sand some self contained luxury tents.