Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary : The Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is the only place in Uganda were tourists have the opportunity to trek rhinos. Visitors doing rhino trekking in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary will tell you that there is no better place to view rhinos in their natural habitat.

The rhino sanctuary is located in Nakasongola district, about 176 kilometers from Kampala City on the Gulu High way towards Murchison Falls. The sanctuary is managed by a private, non-profit company called Ziwa Ranchers, in partnership with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rhino Fund Uganda.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Rhino Tracking

Ziwa rhino and Wildlife sanctuary was first established in 2005, with the aim of re-introducing the rhinoceros species back in to Uganda, and increase its population in the country.

The sanctuary’s vision is to “build a sustainable rhinoceros population and relocate rhinos back to their original habitat in Uganda’s protected arrears.”

Uganda was once home to the black rhinoceros and the northern white rhinoceros, which were indigenous to the country. However, by 1982, the species was declared extinct due to a continuous series of poaching activities, along with prolonged civil wars, and encroachment on their natural habitat.

The rhino sanctuary as worked tirelessly since its establishment, to ensure that the rhino species is re-introduced back into Uganda and that the number of rhinoceros in the country increases.

The sanctuary sits on a 70 square kilometer piece of land, and is enclosed with a 2 meter electric fence to protect the rhinos within the sanctuary from predators and poachers. There are approximately 78 park rangers and security guards in the sanctuary, and they keep a 24 hour surveillance on the Rhinos. The sanctuary is also home to about 40 species of mammals and reptiles including; monkeys, crocodiles, hippos, antelopes and about 300 bird species.

Rhino Trekking Experience in Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary.

Since January 2010, the sanctuary is the only destination in Uganda where visitors are able to see rhinos in the wild. The sanctuary  begun its conservation journey, with only 6 rhinos; four of these were translocated from Solio Ranch in Kenya and two were transferred from Disney Animal Kingdom in Florida, in the United States of America. Today, there are 22 southern white rhinos living in the sanctuary.

Visitors can enjoy a rhino trekking experiential tour in the sanctuary, where you can get to see the rhinos up close grazing and relaxing in the savannah grasslands of the sanctuary. Most tour operator comes such as Explore Rwanda Tours, usually combine rhino trekking in Ziwa with a wildlife safari to Murchison Falls National Park, in the northern part of Uganda.

Rhino trekking experience in the Sanctuary, in Uganda, costs 50 USD per person. Travelers visiting Ziwa sanctuary can also take part in other activities in the sanctuary such as; bird watching, Shoebill trekking, canoe riding, and nature walks among others.

Visitors can trek rhinos in the sanctuary for 1- 2½ hours depending on the location of the rhinos. In order to enjoy the best of your rhino trekking experience in Ziwa, visitors will need to wear a good pair of closed shoes (preferably hiking boots), long pants and an insect repellent cream to keep the creepy bugs and flies off you. Also, don’t forget to carry a bottle of mineral water to keep hydrated throughout your trip.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Rhino Tracking Safaris in Murchison

When best can visitors trek rhinos in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

The best time for visitors to enjoy rhino trekking in Ziwa rhino sanctuary is between 8- 10 am in the morning and 4-6pm in the evening. However, the activity is available all day for tourists who wish to trek rhinos in the sanctuary.

Where to stay when visiting Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Uganda.

The rhino sanctuary offers visitors a quiet and descent accommodation ranging from budget, mid-range and camping options. The sanctuary offers visitors luxury accommodation in Amuka Lodge. The lodge was built in the pristine savannah woodlands, in the heart of the sanctuary. The lodge offers its guests luxury services such as free WIFI, a swimming pool, exquisite dining area and cuisines among others. The sanctuary also has bandas and camping grounds for visitors who prefer budget or mid-range lodging options.

How to get to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Uganda.

The sanctuary is conveniently located 176km from Kampala, along the Gulu-Kampala Highway. Visitors travelling to the sanctuary will have to branch off from Nakitoma trading center, which is about 7.3km away from the sanctuary. Travelers will have to embark on a 14 minute drive from the trading center to get to the rhino sanctuary at Ziwa.

Travelers can also access the rhino sanctuary at Ziwa after a game drive in Murchison Falls National Park. The sanctuary is located 125km from the national park, which is about a 2½ hour drive.

Ziwa rhino sanctuary is the only haven in Uganda for the Rhinoceros species, and visitors who wish to have the full safari experience of the Big Five in Uganda, should combine a visit to the sanctuary with a wildlife tour to Murchison Falls National Park.

Do contact us to book a visit to Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary and get to see these critically endangered species up close in the wild.

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