Ziwa Rhinos

Introduction to Ziwa Rhino Reserve

Uganda’s wild rhinos became extinct in the early 1980s after human encroachment, poaching and conflict wiped them out.

However, 20 years later, in 2005, six rhinos were reintroduced to Uganda at Ziwa Rhino Reserve, a 70-sq-km private non-profit sanctuary set up with the long term goal of getting the rhino back into the Murchison Falls National Park.

There are now 41 southern white rhinos, including nine baby rhinos, the first in almost 30 years.

Located half-way between Kampala and Murchison Falls National ParkZiwa is a worthwhile overnight stay if you wish to see all the Big Five, but also works as a stop-off en route to Murchison. 

Rhino In Uganda

What to Expect

Ziwa Rhino sanctuary allows you to experience the majesty of these creatures up-close with a rhino trek, where an experienced ranger will lead you on foot to see them at a safe distance (6-7 meters away). 

Ziwa is also home to almost 40 other mammal species, including crocodiles, hippos, leopards, oribis, bushbuck, and approximately 300 species of bird, which can be observed with a game drive, canoe trip or night walk. 

Things to Do

Rhino Tracking

Free to roam across the savannah, acacia woodlands and cool muddy swamps, Uganda’s only rhinos spend their day grazing on the thick shrubbery or resting under the shade of tall trees.

An experienced and knowledgable ranger will guide you to them, and educate you on their habits and behaviours in their natural habitat.

You will be positioned a safe six to seven meters away, and there will be plenty of photo opportunities. 

Depending on their location in the park, you may need to drive to where they are, and then trek the remaining distance on foot.

Although you can choose to do a rhino trek at any time of the day, the best time to go is between 8 am and 10 am and 4 pm and 6 pm. Make sure you wear comfortable closed shoes, long trousers, and bring plenty of water. 

Shoebil stork at ziwa rhion

Shoebill Stork and Canoe ride

At first glance, shoebill stalks have a goofy charm due to their Dutch Clog-esque foot-long bill.

Despite first impressions, this stork is an unassuming predator known to feast on baby crocodiles, big fish like tilapia and Nile monitor lizards.

Head out on an early morning canoe ride in the adjacent swamp, to see this prehistoric looking bird and enjoy a beautiful sunrise over the Lugogo Swamp.

Ziwa is one of the few places in Uganda where you are almost guaranteed to see this endangered bird. 

Bird watching

Alongside rhino trekking, Ziwa Rhino Reserve also offers a number of other walks.

For those keen on birdwatching, there are four different trails to choose from which take you across the savannah, woodlands or swamps, each a habitat to the various species of bird that live here.

The best time to go birding is in the early morning between 6 am and 8 am or the early evening between 4 pm and 6 pm

October 21, 2019

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