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Rhino Watching in Uganda

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – Rwenzori Expeditions

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch located in Nakasongola district is the proud home of the only wild rhinos in Uganda. The Rhino re-introduction project was a project of Rhino Fund Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Authority. We are conveniently located 176km (100 miles) north of Kampala on the Gulu highway towards Murchison Falls (branch off at Nakitoma Trading center).

Ziwa is the only place where you will be able to see rhinos in the wild. Presently the sanctuary is home to thirty two (32) southern white rhinos. The sanctuary has become increasingly popular with tourists; for Rhino Trekking, Shoebill Trek and Canoe Ride, Bird Watching, Night Walk, Nature Walk and Relaxation.

How did the rhinos come here?

They were reintroduced in phases, with two southern white rhinos brought to the Uganda Wildlife Education Conservation Centre on December 8, 2001. The two sub-adult southern white rhinos – a male and a female, were imported into the country from the Solio Game Reserve in central Kenya.

Two White rhinos were successfully Trans located from Kenya these two rhinos were at UWEC in Entebbe for educational purposes. 4 Southern White Rhino arrived from Solio ranch in Kenya in July 2005. 2 Southern White Rhino arrived from Disney Animal Kingdom in Florida, USA in September 2006. An during 2009 and 2010 three rhino calves were born on Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

The objective of the project is to re-introduce big numbers in the wild once the numbers are many. When this breeding is  successfully at rhino on Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary takes place and the numbers bred at this  sanctuary and the herd is large enough (20 breeding rhino), then releasing  excess rhinos back into the National Parks in Uganda will start. Having achieved all this will contribute to Uganda safaris being done in the country now. At this time many tourists on their way to Murchison falls national park tour visit this sanctuary for rhino viewing. This is done by offering on foot rhino tracking.  This has increased tourist numbers in the country Uganda.

The success of Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary will play the key role in the eventual re-introduction of rhino back into the wild in Uganda’s National Parks for Uganda safaris. This will boost tourism on a National level, as it will provide facilities to attract tourists and visitors, enhancing Uganda as a tourist destination. Being one of the Big Five, the rhinoceros represents a welcome addition to safari itineraries.

Rhinos need good security since they are prone to poaching. Rhino poaching statistics in South Africa alone at 333 rhino poached in 2010 and over 140 rhino poached up to end April 2011, it is not possible to just leave rhino on a piece of land.  A sanctuary has well trained rangers that monitor the rhino 24 hours a day and this project is run with good management and solid structures.  As RFU does not receive Government or UWA funding and rely on International and other funding, on foot rhino tracking has become an activity that tour operators have added onto their itineraries which tourists enjoy.  The income from the rhino tracking assists RFU with their annual operating costs.

The Rhinos have since been left on the ranch which has grown into a full-fledged tourist destination with the rhinos attracting foreign visitors, according to information availed to the public.  Well done for the good job done by Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU).

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Rates 2022/2023

The Rhinos in all national parks became extinct because of poaching for their horns and encroachment of their habitats. The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary was however setup by the Rhino Fund and the Uganda wildlife Authority, so as to protect the Rhinos, Breed them and eventually re-introduce them to the national parks where they once existed. The Ziwa Rhino sanctuary allows visitors to do Rhino tracking at the sanctuary and a small fee is charged. Here are the rates for the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary 2020/2021.

Adults Children
Nonresident $60 Nonresident $30
East African resident $50 East African resident $30
Ugandan citizen 40,000 shs Ugandan citizen 20,000 shs

 The cost of the rhinos mostly depends on the number of pax; also the type of car used determines the cost even the season of the year either dry or wet still determines the price.

 Rhino Trekking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is the only place to trek wild Rhinos in Uganda, the other Rhinos are found at Uganda wildlife education center (former Zoo) in Entebbe. On arrival at the sanctuary, you will be given a briefing from your ranger guide on how to behave while on this Rhino trek. It is very critical that you heed to the ranger’s instructions while on the trek because Rhinos can be aggressive if they sense a need to defend themselves. Depending on the location of the Rhinos, you may need to drive closer to their location before you start the trek to reduce on the distance. Your ranger guide will share different information on the behavior of Rhinos and how you ought to behave while as you trek.

Once you locate the Rhinos, you can stay a maximum of one hour in their presence. Sometimes different families are within distance of each other, in which case you will get an opportunity to visit more than one group. You also have a chance of other animal sightings on this nature walk; they include Waterbucks, Bushbucks, Kobs, Leopard (rarely), duikers etc.

Prices

Number of people 1 2 3 4 5 6
Price per person $259 $176 $149 $140 $131 $125
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