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Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Uganda’s Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Before I tell you about Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, did you know that the world has only about 30,000 rhinos left in the wild? In just about 40 years humanity has exhausted almost 95% of the world’s population of rhinos to poaching.

In the case of Uganda the many years of political turmoil in the 70s and early 80s paved way for uncontrolled poaching leading to a great loss of wildlife. Several wildlife populations were reduced to endangered species while the rhinos were poached to extinction.

This unfortunate predicament underpins the idea of Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU) a Non-Governmental Organization established in 1997 with the aim of reintroducing Rhinos into Uganda’s wild on a breed and release program. The efforts of this organization led to the arrival of 6 southern white rhinos from South Africa and settled at Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary which has successfully protected and bred the rhinos to 19 animals at the moment.

Tracking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary can be arranged as a day’s excursion starting and ending in Kampala or added as a stopover activity en-route to or from Murchison Falls National Park.

Right beside the Sanctuary is a great stopover location for lunch and a comfortable accommodation facility for overnight stays. Amuga Lodge is built in a cozy rustic African style to offer comfort and refreshment to help unwind at the completion of a long Uganda safari or enjoy a weekend escape from Kampala.

Tell me more about Ziwa Rhinos

Well, don’t ask.Ziwa Rhino SanctuaryZiwa Rhino Sanctuary is actually a sanctuary for Uganda’s last endangered rhinos. It is located in Nakasongola District, near Nakitoma Village, in the north of Kampala along Kampala – Gulu highway approximately 180km by road. (see map bellow).

It covers an approximated 70 sq kilometers of land and is the only place in East Africa you can track rhinos on foot and a pretty exciting activity at that.

The sanctuary employs a whooping 78 amazingly trained and skilled park rangers and with the help of the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Ziwa Ranchers Limited, keeps these animals safe from the rampant poaching of these beautiful creatures.

The sanctuary started off with 6 rhinos and through research, protection and breeding has upped those numbers to 19 Rhinos. Apart from rhinos, Ziwa is also home to a number of bird species, reptiles, and 40 mammal species including antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, monkeys among others. This makes it a great destination for birding and Nature walks though Rhino tracking is the major activity. 

What is Rhino Tracking?

This is a unique Uganda Safari activity that performed mostly on foot into the savannah grassland in search of the graceful endangered Rhinoceros. It involves watching the rhinos up close and at a safer distance when found. With the guidance of skilled ranger guides, you can get closer to them to about 6 to 7m and allowed to take as many photos as you want while observing them feed.

While rhino tracking is a common activity on Uganda Safari Packages, It’s commonly included on the Murchison Falls Trail to complete the list of the Africa big five.

Birding in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is home to over 350 bird species, which makes it a birders paradise. Book a full or half day time of birding either on a guided nature walk or on boat for a great bird watching experience with Off Road Safaris. You will be guided by experienced bird guides. Bird species that can be spotted include; the Blue spotted dove, the Shoebill stork, Abdim’s stork, and African black crake to mention a few.

How About Nature Walks?

We’ve briefly hinted on them above but in summery, nature walks in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary can take a half day or full day as you hike through the sanctuary where you will spot animals like the oribis, reed bucks, gray duikers, bush bucks, hartebeests, monkeys, butterflies and monitor lizards.

Believe me when I tell you that a nature walk in this sanctuary is a quiet and rejuvinating experience. The air, the quiet, the birds and away from the fast moving life is what you get in Ziwa. Look for that planning button and make sure you book this one to your safari with Offroad and thank me later.

Overnight Lodge in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

If one visits Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and he is to do all activities it means they can have an overnight stay, so there are no worries of where to stay or where to eat from, since the sanctuary has a restaurant and affordable comfortable accommodation facilities like; Amuka Safari lodge

This lodge has very nice facilities and comfortable for an overnight stay in the tented cottages, food that served here is tasty. This lodge also has a swimming pool; generally it’s a great time spent here.

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