Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is located in Nakasongola district 176km North of Kampala city along Gulu highway. As you travel towards Murchison Falls National Park (Branch at Nakitoma trading centre). Ziwa sanctuary is the only place where you can see the wild rhinos in Uganda.
This was because of Rhino extinction in Uganda (1980’s) that were in existence in Murchison Falls National park but this re-introduction project of Rhino Fund Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Authority was thought of and translocation began in 2002 first at UWEC and in 2005 they established Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. On its 70sq. km of land, Ziwa sanctuary homes 23 southern White Rhinos and has become popular with tourists who would like to do Rhino tracking in Uganda and experience all the Big 5.
Rhinos are the second biggest land mammals after elephants and are hunted for their horns that can be transformed into daggers and swords or grounded into medicine, and therefore the sanctuary’s mission is to re build rhino herds and retain nucleus-breeding herds. This is as to why the Rhinos in the sanctuary are given 24-hour tight security.
Rhino tracking is an on foot activity, and there is no driving in the sanctuary and the tracking experience at Ziwa is a remarkable one. Whilst at the sanctuary you walk as a small group with a trained ranger as you look for these huge creatures. It takes about an hour or two walking in the sprawling vegetation of Ziwa depending on the location of the Rhinos and it will bring you to a very close and safe distance to these creatures due to their poor sight.
This activity can be done as a one-day tour or added to any safari to Murchison Falls National Park due to the proximity of the park and the sanctuary. Ziwa sanctuary has a lot to offer because it hosts other wildlife species other than the Rhinos like Uganda Kobs, Bushbucks, and a variety of bird species of its 300 bird species which include the legendary shoebill and the beautiful grey crowned crane and other activities which include;-
For the bird lovers, Ziwa rhino sanctuary can be one of those places to visit whilst on a Uganda birding safari because it presents to you over 300 bird species inclusive of the most sought after shoebill stork. Others include, lesser blue eared starling, Nubian wood pecker, long tailed lapwing, long tailed cormorant, grey heron, pied king fisher and so much more.
Your birding trek is always commenced with the shoebill trek however; it is always summed up by other wildlife apart from rhinos and birds. These include, Sitatungas, oribis, crocodiles and bush backs:
Nature walks in Ziwa rhino sanctuary are one of the most rewarding activities within this reserve; together with your armed ranger, he will provide you with lots of information that this untamed reserve does offer and on the climax brings really up-close to these thought to be “beasts” dwelling in this wilderness. This is because rhinos are now used to people since they are always on the watchful eye of the anti poacher rangers on the 24/7 outlook.
Night walk in the sanctuary:
A night walk in this mysterious sanctuary can be very rewarding at the end since all along in the night one is able to come across so many creatures that dance to the tunes of the dark. As you are leaving footprints in this African wilderness, you will develop so many thoughts with in your mind calling you up to donate and name a baby rhino any name of your choice.
All this will be because of some of the fast trekkers that named rhinos in this park inclusive of LEONIE, ROGER, ANNE MICK the rhino, among others.
Additionally, you can volunteer with rhino fund Uganda as it tries to restore the had been lost big five in the country by having a trek to this beautiful wilderness as well as making a donation.