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Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch is a private, non-profit organisation located in Nakasongola district, and is the proud home of the only wild rhinos in Uganda. 

The Rhino re-introduction project is the result of the concerted efforts by Rhino Fund Uganda and the Uganda Wildlife Authority. 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”.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

This sanctuary is a secure place where the general rhino population can be expanded by breeding, protected from all forms of predators, and gradually re-introduced into Uganda’s national parks, whilst allowing tourists and locals to benefit.

A team of around 80 park rangers and security guards keep a 24-hour watch on the rhinos to ensure their safety. The 70km² sanctuary is kept safe with a 2 metre electric fence that surrounds the enclosure, to keep rhinos in and intruders out.

The sanctuary is most well known for it’s rhino conservation, but the sanctuary is also home to over 40 mammal and reptilian species including monkeys, antelopes, hippopotamuses, crocodiles as well as an astounding 300 bird species.

Animal Life

The main attraction of the reservation is the endangered Rhinos.

However, you can also find an additional 40 or so species of mammal and reptile including; antelopes, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, Ugandan kobs, oribis, bush bucks and water bucks.

There is of course around 300 birds that you can find at the sanctuary.

Here are just a few: Abdim’s Stork, Blue spotted dove, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Booted eagle, African Black Crake, Broad billed Roller, African Black-headed Oriole, Bronze Manikini, African Blue Flycatcher, Brown-backed Srub Robin, African Broad Bill, Brown-crowned Tchagra, African Citril, Brown Parrot, African Crowned Eagle, Brown-throated Wattle-eye.

Activities and culture

White Rhino Tracking

Enter the territory of the southern white rhinos on foot.

As these rhinos are free to move around on 7,000 hectares of land, it is often necessary to drive to the areas where the rhinos are, before taking the bush trek. This drive is done in your own vehicle, however you can hire one of Rhino Fund Uganda’s vehicles and a driver.

You may also encounter a range of other wildlife species including Uganda kobs, oribis, bush bucks, water bucks among others.

Birding Walk

The sanctuary contains over 300 bird species! There are four bird trails within the sanctuary which cover woodlands, swamp and savannah, within which hide some of Africa’s rarest bird species.

There is also a good chance that you will get to see some of the other game on the sanctuary at the same time.

Night Walk

The guided night walk will introduce people to night sounds and sensations you did not know existed!

There are many nocturnal animals that you will only be able to experience at this time of night, as you tiptoe through the reserve.

Shoebill Trekking and Canoe Riding

One of the most sought after birds to be seen in Uganda is the shoebill stork, which you are almost guaranteed to see in the park.

An early morning shoebill trek and canoe ride through the swamp gives you the opportunity to find the shoebill, and also to see the beautiful Ugandan sunrise over Lugogo Swamp.

Guided Nature Walk

One of the well trained guides will take you on a walk through our verdant surroundings.

The guide will share his knowledge of not only the animals but the botany and vegetation as well.