Hidden in Nakasongora district – Nakitoma village, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is one of the only two sanctuaries in Uganda. It was put into existence mainly to provide a favourable home to the re-introduced species of White Rhinoceros.
These animals are inclusive of the African Big Fives, in the past years Rhinos were permanent residents in Uganda but due to some unfavourable conditions like civil wars, diseases, poaching and hunting, these animals were reduced to zero.
This is why efforts were ensured by the Rhino fund towards the establishment of this protected area. The first species were exported from Solio Ranch in Kenya and others were donated by Disney kingdom of animals. The current number of these animals total up to about twenty-two but there is hope for an increase in numbers because newborn babies appear.
With time, some of these animals will be distributed to National Parks like Queen Elizabeth, Murchison and Kidepo Valley National Park.
How close can you get to the Rhinoceros?
Visitors to the sanctuary participate in the tracking session that lasts for about 1-2 hours. This experience awards travellers’ grand opportunities to see the Rhinos on foot from a close range. You are free to take a lot of photos or videos of these animals. While tracking, you will be guided by the ranger guides who are well informed about these animals. The animals are somehow difficult so it is always advised to keep a reasonable distance from them.
How do you get to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary?
You can get to the Sanctuary by road from Kampala, Uganda’s capital. It takes about three to four hours for the drive from Kampala to the Sanctuary via Kampala – Masindi – Gulu highway. It is usually a suitable stopover for visitors to the great Murchison Falls National Park.
Is there accommodation?
Yes, the Sanctuary is reserved with comfortable accommodation facilities reserved for visitors to stay particularly those who wish to stay for a night or two nights. One of the best options is Amuka lodge; it is well facilitated with all amenities to ensure complacent stays for visitors. Amuka also has a swimming pool for visitors to cool off on hot days.
What else can you do on a visit to the sanctuary?
Besides Rhino tracking, there are other activities you can do while in the Sanctuary. The most prominent is birding. This protected area is inhabited by over 350 species of birds.
You can do a full or half-day bird watching excursion; you will see a range of species such as White-crested Turaco, Shoebill stork, speckled breasted woodpecker and more.
If not birding, you can be part of the nature walks and you will spend a day hiking in the Wilderness.
This pursuit exposes you to some wild animals like Bushbucks, Waterbucks, Oribi, Reed bucks, Grey duiker, primates like black and white Colobus, Vervet monkeys, reptiles like monitor lizards and some insects such as butterflies