Ziwa rhino sanctuary was established in 2005 to further the longevity of the conservation of the white rhinos in Uganda after the last rhino was killed in Murchison falls national park by the poachers in 1983. Ziwa rhino sanctuary is a private and non- profit conservation project for the endangered animals in Uganda. It proudly harbours a unique animal species called the white rhinos and it is the only place you can find the rhinos in Uganda after getting depleted from Murchison falls national park and kidepo national park during the massive war in the 1970s together with the rampant poaching in the 90s.
The establishment ziwa rhino sanctuary saw its fortune after the extinction of all the white rhinos from all over Uganda following the wars in the 1970s in northern Uganda which resulted into extensive killings of the wild animals in the national parks of kidepo and Murchison falls national park. The poachers and the hunting of the rhinos for ivory heightened the rate of depletion of the animal from Uganda.
The establishment of ziwa rhino sanctuary in 2005, paved way for the reintroduction of the white rhinos into Uganda. Ziwa rhino sanctuary was a project initiated by the rhino fund Uganda who also introduced the rhinos back in Uganda. The rhino sanctuary started with six (6) rhinos and they increased to 19 animals in 2015, and currently, they are twenty two (22) rhinos ready for being tracked by the visitors that visit the rhino sanctuary. To note, the conservation project for the white rhinos at ziwa rhino sanctuary is possible because Uganda wildlife authority (UWA) and ziwa ranchers works hand in hand with the rhino fund of Uganda to execute the plans.
Ziwa rhino sanctuary also has other animals that you will enjoy seeing during your trek through the area. The sanctuary has about 40 mammal species including the antelopes, hippos, crocodiles, monkeys, to mention but a few, it also has a number of bird species enough to make it the birders places to be. It is so true that you can trek the whole place on foot with no worries about the security during your trek. The rhino sanctuary has over 65 trained game rangers for security, and they will guide you during your activities.
What to do at ziwa rhino sanctuary
You have just enough to do when you visit ziwa rhino sanctuary in nakasongola; perhaps, it can be your excursion journey or en-route journey beforeMurchison falls national park safari.
- Rhino tracking is the major activity at ziwa rhino sanctuary; actually the rhinos are the face of the sanctuary. During rhino tracking in ziwa rhino sanctuary, you get a chance see the endangered rhinos on foot and watch then in a closer but safe distance of about 6meters. You can have a chance to take all the photos of the rhinos feeding on the grass and also learn a lot about their habits. Technically, when you add the rhino trek in ziwa rhino sanctuary to Murchison falls national park safari, you get the big five game safari in Uganda.
- Birding is yet another activity so enjoyable to the birders that visit the sanctuary. Over 350 bird species find home in ziwa rhino sanctuary. Birding can be your half or full day activity in the sanctuary, it can be done on a guided nature walk or a boat ride. During the birding, you can spot a number of interesting bird species like the blue spotted dove, the shoebill stork (uganda’s most sought for bird), abdim’s stork and the African black crake et cetera.
- You will as well enjoy the nature walks in the sanctuary and hike through the area as you enjoy a lot of wildlife like the oribi, reed bucks, duikers, bush bucks, hartebeests, monkeys, insects like butterflies and reptiles such as monitor lizards as the flaunt their colours under the morning sun rise.
To note, shoebill stork trek is sometimes an independent activity which you can do for a day. It is sometimes combined with canoeing to make a day’s excursion package at ziwa rhino sanctuary.
Easy getting to ziwa rhino sanctuary
Ziwa rhino sanctuary is located in nakasongola district adjacent to nakitoma village in the north east of kampala ziwa rhino sanctuary is not a very large area; it lies on a small piece of approximately 70 sq. km north east of kampala capital city of uganda. It is just a 3 hours drive from kampala to the sanctuary over a distance of 176 km via the gulu highway, it is actually half way the journey to Murchison falls national park.
You got nothing to worry about when you visit ziwa rhino sanctuary, for it has a restaurant where you can enjoy your meals. The sanctuary has an accommodation facility too; Amuka lodge has affordable rooms with the best standard services and a supplement facility of a swimming pool full of tranquillity. Or else you can enjoy the night camping, and the skilled and armed guides are going to stay up all night for your safety.
The rhino sanctuary tour can give you “a big five” game drive with the rhinos summing up the five big game of Africa. Then the endangered shoebill stork, you don’t want to miss seeing it before it gets extinct. You are welcome any time of the year to the rhino sanctuary, plus you can also volunteer for the conservation of the white rhinos in you Uganda.