Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary: Uganda’s Rhino Tracking Destination

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, located in northeastern Uganda, was founded in 2005 with the goal of reintroducing Southern White Rhinos into the wild. Consider a location where you may interact with one of the most gorgeous and endangered animals on the planet: the rhinoceros. It’s a location where the air is filled with the sounds of nature, and every turn promises a one-of-a-kind wildlife encounter with one of Africa’s renowned species. Ziwa Wildlife Ranch is one of the most successful conservation tales in the world.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, located in northeastern Uganda’s Nakasongola District, close outside Murchison Falls National Park, is a shelter for saving the white rhino, one of Africa’s most endangered animals. The Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch is an important part of the global effort to safeguard these majestic creatures. It provides guests with the opportunity to do rhino trekking on foot, go on nature treks and night walks, and follow the elusive shoebill and other bird species.

A trip to Murchison Falls National Park, along with an extension to Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch, allows tourists to view all of Africa’s “Big Five” safari species. A game drive and boat safari at Murchison Falls will allow you to get up close and personal with the big four: lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. The rhinoceroses can then be spotted at Ziwa.


A Brief Overview Of Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Rhinos have been a part of our world for millions of years, developing into two separate species – black and white rhinos. These beautiful beasts have traditionally been held in great regard and reverence in African culture, symbolizing power, spirituality, protection, and a healthy relationship with nature.

Captain Roy and his family developed a cattle pasture on the current ranch site in 1983. For over two decades, it introduced uncommon cattle and functioned as a cow farm. However, after extensive conversations with Rhino Fund’s Executive Director, Yvonne Verkakik, the Roy family chose to transform the property into a safe haven for white rhinoceros in 2002. To do this, they transported 7,000 cattle to establish a safe haven for white rhinos. Poaching had driven rhinos extinct in Uganda at the time, so saving this gorgeous animal seemed sensible.

In 2005, the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary was established with the purpose of returning southern white rhinos to their native habitat in the Murchison Falls National Park surrounds. Six southern white rhinos were first introduced to the ranch, and the total number of rhinos now stands at 34, with the sanctuary anticipating that number to climb.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary’s objective is to restore these gorgeous beasts back into the wild, where they can wander the plains in their natural environment, exactly as they did in the past. The Uganda Wildlife Authority, the species’ caretakers, and Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch Limited collaborated on the project. Together, they aim to see rhinos introduced into other Ugandan national parks, where they may coexist with other animal species.


Wildlife at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch is primarily a safe haven for rhinoceroses. The ranch’s walled area of 27 square miles, on the other hand, includes forests, wetlands, and savannahs, which attract a broad range of intriguing animals.

The rhinoceros, the elusive leopard, gigantic pangolin, oribi, waterbucks, bushbuck, Ugandan kob, bohor reedbuck, common duiker, warthog, vervet monkey, bushpig, aardvark, and scrub hare are among the mammalian species that may be seen in Ziwa. On the ranch, visitors may go on a game drive, canoe ride, or nature walk to see these wonderful species in their natural habitat.


How To Get To Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is located near Nakasongola, about a three-hour drive northwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. It’s about a 45-minute drive from Masindi, the nearest town south of the Murchison River. This makes it an ideal stopover for visitors on their way to or from a wildlife safari in Murchison Falls National Park. It’s also a popular same-day safari excursion from Kampala, as you can simply drive to the sanctuary, track the rhinos, and return on the same day.

To travel to Ziwa, you may rent a car from a company like Road Trip or plan your safari with a company like All In Africa Safaris. They can also assist you in planning the remainder of your Uganda safari in Murchison and beyond.

The route from Kampala to Masindi is in excellent shape, thus no 4x4s or huge trucks are required to access Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The journey through Uganda’s countryside is lovely, with dreamy sceneries undulating for a great tour around the nation.


Safari Activities At Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Rhino Tracking

The adrenaline-pumping experience of tracking rhinos on foot will ignite your nerves and passion for nature. Walking through the savannah, discreetly approaching a gigantic rhino, and witnessing its elegance is a rare privilege.

The savannahs, acacia forests, and chilly, murky swamps of Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch are home to Uganda’s only rhinoceros. They spend their days grazing on dense shrubbery or relaxing in the shade of large trees. An expert ranger will guide you on a route into the wild ranch to observe Ziwa rhinos, teaching you on their routines and behaviours. When you spot them, the ranger will place you at a safe distance of six to seven metres away, providing many opportunity for Instagram pictures.


Nature Walks

If you enjoy spending time in nature, you should certainly consider participating in one of Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary’s guided nature walks. This 27-square-mile ranch is home to a diverse range of natural ecosystems, including woods, wetlands, and savannah, where you may immerse yourself in the marvels of the environment. Over 40 animal and reptile species call the refuge home, including antelopes, monkeys, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, and different bird species.

In addition to daytime activities, the sanctuary provides night nature walks between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., which is the greatest time to see the nocturnal species that live here.

Nature treks can last from one to three hours. They can be physically challenging, so dress comfortably, wear long trousers, and carry bug repellent, a torch, and drinking water to remain hydrated. While experiencing the unique and spectacular Ugandan bush, you will breathe in fresh, clean air and wonder at the amazing surroundings.


Bird Watching

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch is a must-see for bird watchers, since it is home to over 300 bird species, including rare and migratory species. The ranch offers a variety of environments that attract a diversity of bird species, ranging from forests to wetlands and savannahs.

There’s no shortage of amazing bird life to explore here, from the uncommon and secretive shoebill stork to the majestic African fish eagle. You may also see the African grey parrot, African pied wagtail, black-headed gonolek, brown-throated wattle-eye, common bulbul, crested crane, gigantic kingfisher, green pigeons, and woodland kingfisher during your stay.


When is the best time to visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary?

The dry season, which lasts from December to February and from late June to October, is the optimum time to visit Ziwa Rhino Reserve. During this period, rhinos and other animals are drawn to watering holes, making them easier to spot, and visitors may participate in a variety of outdoor activities such as game drives and guided walks. Furthermore, with less rain, the dry season is good for general wildlife viewing in Ziwa and the surrounding Murchison Falls National Park and Budongo Forest.

However, if you travel during the rainy seasons of September to November and March to May, you may still have a fantastic time. During this time of year, the reserve is lush and green, making for a lovely setting for birding. Bring rain gear and waterproof shoes to make the most of your vacation during the rainy season, and consider arranging inside activities in case of poor weather.

Overall, Ziwa Rhino Reserve provides a memorable experience all year long, with each season bringing its own set of attractions and difficulties.

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