Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch located in Nakasongola district 176 km or about 100 miles north of Kampala on the Gulu highway towards Murchison Falls was established in 2005 and is the proud home of the only wild rhinos in Uganda especially the southern white rhinoceros. The Rhino reintroduction project is a project of Rhino Fund Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Authority of which the long-term goal of the sanctuary is to “build a sustainable rhinoceros population and relocate rhinos back to their original habitat.
The Sanctuary is a collaborative effort between the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Rhino Fund Uganda which is a Ugandan NGO committed to the restoration of Uganda’s rhinoceros population plus Ziwa Ranchers Limited a private land management company. 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 back into Uganda’s national parks, while at the same time, allowing the public to enjoy these majestic animals.
The sanctuary is home to twenty two (22) southern white rhinos with a team of approximately 78 park rangers and security guards who keep a 24-hour watch on the rhinos to ensure their safety. The 70 square kilometers (7,000 ha) sanctuary is surrounded by a 2 meter (6.6 ft) electric fence to keep the rhinos in and the intruders out. The sanctuary is also home to at least 40 mammal and reptilian species including, monkeys, antelopes, hippopotamuses, crocodiles and numerous bird species.
The sanctuary can only be accessed both on foot or drive in with the guidance of well-trained rangers who will guide you through the bush to where the rhinos are on the day of your visit.
These rhinos can be easily seen as they 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.
While at the sanctuary you may also encounter a range of other wildlife species including Uganda kobs, oribis, bush bucks, water bucks among others and a number of other bird species.
Recommended times: 08H00 to 10H00 or 16H00 to 18H00 (but it is available all day).
How much time you need: 1½ to 2½ hours (depending on the location of the rhinos).
What you need: Closed shoes, long pants, water bottle and insect repellents.
Tourist facilities at the sanctuary include a safari lodge, guest house, budget accommodation, and camp grounds. The accommodations are two separate businesses and both have restaurants that offer meals to tourists. In addition to on foot rhino trekking, tourist activities include birding, canoe rides and nature walks.