Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the only place in Uganda that is known as a home for wild Rhinos and is located in Nakasongola district along Gulu highway. This the same route that leads travellers to Murchison falls national park which is Uganda’s largest protected national park. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary has existed for years and it sits in Nakitoma village to protect the unique Rhinos. It sits on a land measuring 70 square kilometres. These rhinos were introduced by the Rhino fund Uganda project together with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to ensure the safety of the Rhinos in the Country. However, there are over 22 white Rhinos in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary which you will encounter in the Uganda Rhino tracking tours. During this activity, you can sightsee other beautiful species over 40 mammals, reptiles which include antelopes, hippos , crocodile, and a number of bird species. Amazingly, Ziwa Rhino sanctuary has over 78 trained park rangers who assist travellers in encountering the rhinos during tracking and trained security guides who usually work tightly 24 hours watching over the Rhino Sanctuary to ensure that they are safe.
The history behind Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
In 1970 there was a massive war of killing, poaching and hunting rhinos and during that year the place was a home of both species of rhinos that is black and northern white rhinoceros which were indigenous to Uganda but by 1982 both rare species were killed by poachers due to armed human conflicts that happened in the country. Ziwa Rhino sanctuary was started in 2005 to re-introduce the so-called southern white rhinoceros to Uganda which started with a total number of 6 animals that were brought from in different countries, i.e. Kenya in Solio Ranch, the two were donated from Disney’s Animals kingdom in Orlando, Florida, United States and in 2013 the recorded Rhino had grown up to thirteen then later on in 2014 the number increased to fifteen and in 2018 the number of rhinos totaled up to 22 wild rhinos. The sanctuary’s goal is to build or to maintain rhinoceros population back to original habitant in Uganda’s restricted area that’s why even the sanctuary is surrounded by 2 meters long electric fences to protect the Rhinos in one area and from being poached by the local hunters. Ziwa rhino sanctuary is the only protected area in Uganda where travellers can observe rhinos in the natural environment.
Activities carried out in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Uganda.
The activities include Rhino Trekking, Shoe bill tracking, Canoe Ride, Birding walk, Guided nature walks, Nightwalks and many others.
Rhino tracking: This activity involves trained rangers who lead tourists to enter into the southern white rhino’s territory on foot because the place can be easily accessed on foot. As you track these endangered rhinos in their habitat ‘’bush’ ’ you will get high chances of sightseeing other wild species like crocodiles, hippos, bushbuck and others. Rhino tracking is the most exciting experience as you watch the rhinoceros in the bush and you’re free to take photos as many as you expected on the ground. Uganda’s Rhino tracking costs USD60 per person per day.
Bird watching in Ziwa Rhinos: Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary also acts as a birding paradise to those who love birding. It is a home of over 350 love bird species and is a perfect destination in Uganda for birding tours where you can do birding on guided nature walks with experienced bird rangers. These are the bird species that can be spotted; the rare and unique shoe bill stork, blue-spotted dove, Abdim’s stork, African black crake, Booted eagle, African Black-headed Oriole, African Broad Bill, African Crowned Tchagra, African Darter ,Brown-Crowned Eagle ,African Fish Eagle ,Cattle egrets ,African Golden-breasted bulbul, Common House Martin ,African Jacana ,Common Fiscal Shrike and many others.
Guided nature walks: Guided nature walks are amazing and can be done all day or half-day as you hike through the sanctuary. You will be able to see animals like the reedbucks, gray duikers, bushbucks, monkeys, monitor lizards, butterflies, monkeys around the tree branches, tree species and many more.
Night guided natural walks: This is a unique activity that can be done at around 7 pm to 7:40 pm at night where you will be able to see nocturnal bird species as you listen to the night sounds.
Shoe bill trek experience: This is an amazing birding experience on Uganda tours. This is an amazing experience where you can be able to see these special bird species.
What to carry on your travel to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary?
The things travelers should carry on their vacation to Rhino tacking tours in Uganda include sunscreen glasses, hats, waterproof day pack, insect repellents, hiking boots and as many you wish to like.
Best time to visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
The best time to visit the sanctuary is all year round but most especially during the high season which starts from June to September and December to February. This is when the sanctuary is dry and easy to penetrate.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is located at a short distance from Kampala City to Nakitoma village which can be easily accessed by road using Bombo route on Gulu high way passing via Nakasongola town –Migera town to the main destination which is approximately 3hours by drive.
Where to stay in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Tours
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary has one suitable lodge for the visitors to sleep in called Amuka lodge which has 8 Chalets with two equipped bedrooms offering comfortable beds to stay.