Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary located approximately 180 kilometres (110 mi), by road, north of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. This location is near Nakitoma Village, Nakasongola District, in the Kafu River Basin, off the Kampala – Gulu Highway, proudly harbors Uganda’s wild endangered southern white rhinos. It takes about 3 hours to drive there; this is about half way of the journey to Murchison Falls National Park, as one of the prominent hot spot to spot Rhinos on foot as a list count for the Big Five.
The sanctuary has become increasingly popular with tourists; for Rhino Trekking, Shoebill Trek and Canoe Ride, Bird Watching, Night Walk, Nature Walk and Relaxation. Uganda used to have a big number of Rhinos in the 90’s unfortunately during the massive wars in the 1970s, there were serious killings, poaching and hunting and by 1983 there was extinction of Rhinos, there was hardly any rhino left in the whole country.
In 2005 the sanctuary was established and rhinos were re-introduced by the Rhino Fund Uganda. Ziwa is the only place where you can see and track rhinos on foot, as close you can imagine; it is really great and exciting as you watch the white rhinoceros! This place has a tight 24-hour security, after the actions done in the 90’s.
The rangers keep track of the rhinos so as to protect them from poachers with the increased demand for the rhino horns. The sanctuary has around 78 amazing trained and skilled park rangers; it works hand in hand with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Ziwa Ranchers Limited. It started with 6 rhinos but currently number has grown to over 24 rhinos, with recent increased birth rates.
The on foot rhino tracking is one of its kinds, as you have chance to track the rhinos and spot them on the close spot. Rhinos have poor eyesight, this makes them not to be too harmful. These rhinos are used to human presence and sometimes they can up to the office site.
However much rhinos are the major target here, Ziwa is also home to a number of bird species, reptiles, and 40 mammal species including antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, monkeys among others. There is surely a lot to do and see in the sanctuary such as birding and Nature walks though Rhino tracking is the major activity.
On Foot Rhino tracking.
This is a unique activity only found here in the entire country where you have chance to track the white southern rhinos on foot and have a maximum time looking at the, as the guide explain to you the entire rhino history. This can take 1 to 2 hours. With the guidance of skilled ranger guides, you can get closer to them about 6 to 7m, you can take as many photos as you want and observe these endangered rhinos feed in their habitat. You have enough time to take photos with the rhinos as well, as you stare at their feeding life.
The sanctuary is home to over 350 bird species including the rare shoebill, so birders can have a full or half day time of birding either on a guided nature walk or on boat. 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. This is an activity that cannot be missed by bird lovers! You will probably get to see some of the other game on the sanctuary while doing your bird walk. Spend a night or two on the sanctuary and enjoy the array of feathered friends we have.
Guided Nature Walks
You can decide to take either day walk or night walk. Be at one with nature and its sounds and smells! One of the well trained guides will take you on a walk through lush bush. Who knows what you will see, the sanctuary is home to a wide variety of animals, birds and reptiles, as stated at first, you can see number of antelopes here as well. The guide will share his knowledge of not only the animals but the botany and vegetation as well. If you are looking to unwind in the quiet, this is the activity you need to do.
The guided night walk will introduce to you night sounds and sensations you didn’t know existed! This is an experience you cannot exclude from your activities on the sanctuary. There are many nocturnal animals and who knows what you might bump into… Let’s discover the adventure together, you may be lucky to bump into rhinos as well as they move freely.
Include Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on you safari package to Murchison Falls National Park for Big Five count as you start your adventure along the way to proceed with your safari holiday, starting it with a big on foot rhino encounter to the entire wilderness.