highlights and main attractions of ziwa rhino sanctuary

Early in the 1980s, rhinos in Uganda were completely extinct. Civil unrest alongside heavy poaching proved to be the sad demise of these magnificent creatures in Uganda. Thanks to Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU), established in 1997, they have been introduced once more, alongside the necessary education of communities and tourists to stop this from happening again.

In 2002 the RFU joined forced with Ziwa Rangers Ltd, leasing a 70 square kilometre area of land, with the intention of reintroducing rhinos to Uganda. It took nearly a year to prepare the park, the bulk of which involved the construction of the two metre high, solar powered electric fence that surrounds it. The first rhinos arrived in 2005; they were imported from Solio Ranch in Kenya and, as mentioned, there were none in Uganda to speak of, the last being seen in 1982 near Murchison. 

There is room for about 50 rhinos here, but it will take a while to reach such numbers.

where is the ziwa rhino sanctuary?

what does the sanctuary do?

The parameter fencing, gates and rhinos themselves are monitored 24 hours a day by 40 rangers. All rhinos have transmitters implanted just in case they try to ‘escape’. The rangers know each of the rhinos’ names on sight, as well as their ages and history. As a visitor you can track them on foot through savannahs and swamps with your highly skilled and knowledgeable guide, sometimes encountering them just metres away. The power and magnitude of these animals is something you can only really understand from these face-to-face experiences and is a highly rewarding experience.  It is also the only way of ticking off the ‘Big Five’ visiting solely Uganda.

It is not just rhinos you will find here, with other rescued animals living within the park’s grounds, from grey-crowned cranes and small antelope to leopard and Ugandan cob. There is abundant birdlife and even hippos within the tranquil surroundings of the park.

As many staff live within the park, there are plans to build a school and hold regular sporting events for children and adults alike. There are also plans to build a medical centre as these facilities are currently too far away to be effective for the people living there. 

For visitors there is now accommodation and a restaurant within the fencing, opened in 2008, and you can even camp in the ground if you fancy enhancing the wild experience.

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