Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – White Rhino Tracking
The White Rhinos in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary tread the grass in exalted magnificence, some of these Rhinos are slow with lazy steps and others are mini attempts to break into a run. These white rhinos gather a mouthful of grass and chew on it gently as if to taste every straw, unaffected by tourists that lurk their sanctuary in a single file led by a ranger.
You can include Rhino trekking as part of your Uganda safari to Murchison falls national park or on any of the longer Uganda tours that include gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking. To think that white rhinos in Uganda became extinct because of the increased poaching is horrifying, yet the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary presents to the white Rhinos what the sight of each new start presents to us; a second prospect at life.
Ziwa Rhino sanctuary occupies an area of 70 square kilometers of land located 176 km away from Kampala city on the Kampala-Gulu Highway in Nakasongola District toward the Murchison Falls national park. Uganda was originally the home of the Black Rhinos but the last one was recorded way back in 1982.
Since the establishment of the Ziwa rhino sanctuary in 2002, the southern white rhinos have been donated by the European Union, Disney world and Kenya in 2005. This began the refurbishment process with the view to multiply the rhinos until they can be reintroduced into their natural habitat and thrive as they should. There are 20 white rhinos so far from the 6 that were donated.
Activities at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
- White Rhino trekking
It is only in Ziwa rhino sanctuary that one can enjoy the white rhino tracking experience in Uganda. White rhino tracking activity starts with a briefing session at the entrance of the sanctuary in which several instructions are given among which is the need to walk in a single file or line.
The reason for this is that tracking alone or in isolation from the line may make you an easy target for the rhinos in the event of an attack. It is very essential that you abide by the reserve ranger’s instructions while on this trek to avoid any regrets.
Depending on the location where the white Rhinos are, you may drive to the closest route nearest to where they are located to avoid walking for long distances. The ranger tour guide will further share more information on the behavior of these White Rhinos and how you ought to respond in case of anything.
- Bird watching
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is not completely white rhino oriented but is also a habitat of many other interesting safari activities such as bird watching activities. This sanctuary is home to about 300 bird species including the sought after Shoe-bill. Four bird watching trails have been developed by the resident birding guides at the sanctuary. Woodlands, Swamp and Savannah are some of the habitats for bird-watching trails in Ziwa rhino sanctuary.
- Shoebill Canoe ride
The Shoe-bill is one of the popular birds sought after by many birders in Uganda and the world over. There are high chances of seeing the Shoe-bill while in the sanctuary in the especially in lugogo swamp. Other water-birds seen in the sanctuary while on this canoe ride include; African Jacana, Black crake, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Giant Kingfisher, African open-billed stork, Great egret, Egyptian goose, African fish eagle, Goliath Heron.
The canoes are always provided by the community around Ziwa rhino sanctuary who in turn paid for the service offered. This highly encourages the community conservation partnership between Ziwa Rhino sanctuary and the community. When you stay at this sanctuary, you have great opportunities of a night drive for the nocturnal birds.
- Nature walks
The sanctuary has guided nature walks through the grand Savannah, allowing you to enjoy a variety of nature compacted on the Sanctuary’s 70 square kilometers acreage. You will walk through the sanctuary with a ranger tour guide and receive instructions on how to behave and various information on the botany, animals, and birds learning about the general ecosystem of the sanctuary. Some of the wild animals to be adventured on this nature walk safari activity include Waterbucks, Bushbucks, Kobs, Leopard, duikers, etc.
Travel tips for your safari to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
- Do not forget your waterproof hiking shoes or closed shoes,
- Sun hat
- Insect repellent