ZIWA RHINO SANCTUARY UGANDA
01°28′N 32°5′ECoordinates: 01°28′N 32°5′E
70 square kilometres (27 sq mi)
Governing body Uganda Rhino Fund
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a private, non-profit, animal sanctuary in Uganda.
The sanctuary is located approximately 180 kilometres (110 mi), by road, north of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. This location is near Nakitoma Village, Nakasongola District, in the Kafu River Basin, off the Kampala–Gulu Highway.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a collaborative effort between the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Rhino Fund Uganda, a Ugandan NGO committed to the restoration of Uganda’s rhinoceros population and 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 into Uganda’s national parks, while at the same time, allowing the public to enjoy these majestic animals, as the project moves forward.
A team of approximately 78 park rangers and security guards keep a 24-hour watch on the rhinos to ensure their safety. The 70 square kilometres (7,000 ha) sanctuary is surrounded by a 2 metres (6.6 ft) electric fence to keep the rhinos in and the intruders out. The sanctuary is home to at least 40 mammal and reptilian species including monkeys, antelopes, hippopotamuses, crocodiles and numerous bird species. In addition to on foot rhino trekking, tourist activities include birding, canoe rides and nature walks.
Both the Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli) and the Northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), are indigenous to Uganda. However, due to a number of factors, including prolonged armed human conflict, poaching and the mismanagement of their natural habitat, by 1982, both species had been wiped out in the country. 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”. As of January 2010, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the only location in Uganda, where rhinos can be observed in their natural habitat.
Starting with a total of six animals, four that were bought from Solio Ranch in Kenya and two donated from Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, in the United States, the rhino population had grown to thirteen as of June 2013. Following the birth of another calf in April 2014, the total rhino population at Ziwa Ranch rose to 15. As of March 2018, the rhino numbers at the sanctuary had increased to twenty-two animals.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary proudly harbors Uganda’s wild endangered rhinos. It is situated in Nakasongola District, near Nakitoma Village, in the north of Kampala along Kampala – Gulu highway approximately 180km by road; it covers around 7,000ha (70 sq km). It takes about 3 hours to drive there; this is about half way of the journey to Murchison Falls National Park.
Uganda used to have a big number of Rhinos in the 90’s but during the massive wars in the 1970s, there were serious killings, poaching and hunting and by 1983 there was extinction of Rhinos. In 2005 the sanctuary was established and rhinos were re-introduced by the Rhino Fund Uganda. Ziwa is the only place where you can track rhinos on foot; it is really great and exciting as you watch the white rhinoceros! This place has a tight 24-hour security, after the actions done in the 90’s.The sanctuary has around 78 amazing trained and skilled park rangers; it works hand in hand with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Ziwa Ranchers Limited. It started with 6 rhinos but currently number has grown to about 19 animals. Apart from rhinos, Ziwa is also home to a number of bird species, reptiles, and 40 mammal species including antelopes, crocodiles, hippos, monkeys among others. There is surely a lot to do and see in the sanctuary such as birding and Nature walks though Rhino tracking is the major activity.
This is an awesomely unique activity which grants you chance to see rhinos on foot; this involves watching them up close and at a safer distance. With the guidance of skilled ranger guides, you can get closer to them about 6 to 7m, you can take as many photos as you want and observe these endangered rhinos feed in their habitat. In fact you can have chance to see all the Big 5 if the safari includes a visit to Murchison falls national park. You can also come across animals like antelopes, hippos among others.
The sanctuary is home to over 350 bird species, so birders can have a full or half day time of birding either on a guided nature walk or on boat. You will be guided by experienced bird guides. Bird species that can be spotted include; the Blue spotted dove, the Shoebill stork, Abdim’s stork, and African black crake to mention a few.
Nature Walks Uganda
Nature walks can take a half day or full day as you hike through the sanctuary where you will spot animals like the oribis, reed bucks, gray duikers, bush bucks, hartebeests, monkeys, butterflies and monitor lizards.
If one visits Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and he is to do all activities it means they can have an overnight stay, so there are no worries of where to stay or where to eat from, since the sanctuary has a restaurant and affordable comfortable accommodation facilities like;
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