Rhino tracking at Ziwa rhino sanctuary

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Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a merged initiative between rhino fund Uganda, Uganda Wildlife Authority and Ziwa Ranchers Limited to restore Uganda’s rhinoceros’ population. The sanctuary is in Nakasongola district in the Kafu River basin and is about 80 kilometres north of Kampala.  It covers an area of 70 square kilometres and is surrounded by a 2meters high electric fence to keep intruders away from the sanctuary.

Ziwa Rhino sanctuary was established in 2005 to reintroduce the southern white rhinoceros to Uganda. The long-term goal of the sanctuary is to “build a sustainable rhinoceros’ population and relocate rhinos back to their original habitat in Uganda’s protected areas”. The sanctuary offers a secure place where rhino populations can be expanded by breeding, protected from human and non-human predators and gradually re-introduced into Uganda’s national parks. The public can see these great animals (one of the big 5) as the project also moves forward.

There is a team of about 78 trained park rangers and security guards who keep a 24-hour watch on the rhinos to ensure their safety. Apart from the Rhinos, the sanctuary is also a home to at least 40 mammal and reptilian species including Monkeys, Antelopes, Hippopotamuses, Crocodiles and numerous bird species.

Rhino trekking is the major activity done at the sanctuary and takes from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on where the rhinos are that day. The activity is done in the company of an armed ranger guide to ensure the safety of the tourists since these animals get aggressive sometimes. As you trek the rhinos, you will expect to spot other animals living in the sanctuary as well as different bird species. The activity costs $50 per person for foreign non-residents.

There are some tourist facilities around the sanctuary like; Lodges, Guesthouse, Campsite and Restaurants for those who would wish to relax.