Rhino tracking in Uganda is incredibly one of a few rarest wildlife experiences you shouldn’t miss to take while African safari. This exciting and exceptional wildlife experience takes you through rhino exploration in Uganda’s wilderness area of Ziwa Sanctuary which is set in Nakasongola district. This is the only tourist site in Uganda where you can spot out these amazing mammal creatures. The Ziwa rhino sanctuary serves best as re-introduction site for rhinos in Uganda, a new initiative that is spearheaded by Rhino Fund Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
Due to political instabilities in the 1970s, poaching reached at its peak which resulted into reduction in a number of rhinos and several big game species including elephants. In the 1982, the last rhino was hunted in Uganda and in 2005; re-introduction exercise for these endangered species kick started with main aim of making them return into wild (national parks).
This sanctuary is set approximately 176 kilometers north of Kampala through Gulu highway and for visitors on Uganda safari to Murchison Falls National Park, it serves as the best stopover spot. It spans up to 70 square kilometers and largely comprised of the woodlands, thickets, swamps, ponds, grasslands and others. Tracking rhinos at Ziwa sanctuary is a great opportunity for you to make a complete list of the big five game in Uganda.
Rhinos feature as the second largest mammal species on land just after the elephants. They derive their name from 2 Greek words rhinos denoting nose and ceros meaning horn. They are composed of 5 distinct species and in Africa, you will find 2 species-the black and white rhinos all of which have a pair of horns and normally spotted around East and South African countries. The three other species include the Asian category which includes the Indian popularly known as the Great one horned rhinoceros largely spotted in particular places such as India and Nepal. The other is called Javan rhino which is found within Indonesia and Vietnam with one horn. The 5th type is called Sumatran and mainly found in Malaysia and Indonesia with 2 (two) horns.
At a time the re-introduction exercise kick started, about six (6) female rhinos were donated by South Africa’s northwest parks and tourism board. Currently, over 23 of these rare mammal species that thrive within Uganda’s wilderness area.
Other things to see and do in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
In addition to tracking rhinos, the Ziwa sanctuary also inhabits other distinct wildlife species that include the 26 mammal species including bushbucks, pangolins, reedbucks, Uganda Kobs, colobus and Vervet monkeys a mention but a few. There are also numerous bird species for you to sight out in the expansive woodland, grassland and swampy area at this sanctuary that make a total of about 350 bird species. They include among others the Meyer’s parrot, African thrush, Gabar goshawk, Green winged ptyilia, purple banded sunbird, butler eagle, fork tailed kingfisher, martial eagle, black headed gonoleks, rupell’s long tailed starling and double toothed barbet, African grey hornbill, common bulbul and others.
Rhino tracking is the main safari activity one can take part while on Uganda safari in this sanctuary and it lasts for about two to three hours. The trek normally starts from headquarters and visitors are accompanied by ranger guide. The other activities include bird watching and nature walks
Where to stay while on Uganda safari in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
For visitor overnight stay at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the available options include Ziwa Rhino Guesthouse, Ziwa Rhino Lodge and Amuka safari lodge.
Getting to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is approximately 2 and half hours’ drive from Kampala. To get here, you will drive from Kampala northwest of Kampala through the Gulu highway. It is also a major stopover for most tourists on Uganda safari to Murchison Falls National Park.