Due extinction of Uganda’s rhinos in the early 1980s, Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is a 70 sq Km private nonprofit sanctuary established in 2005 in Nakasongola 3hours from Kampala to reintroduce wild white rhinos in Uganda. Ziwa is a worthy of a visit if you want to view all five of the Big Five, but it also functions as a stopover on the way to Murchison Falls National Park, which lies halfway between Kampala and Ziwa. 

Through Rhino Fund Uganda in partnership with Uganda Wildlife Authority, the sanctuary is home to over 20 Southern white rhinos. For tourists on Uganda safari, Ziwa is the only place where you can track rhinos on foot at a close range. https://ziwarhinoandwildliferanch.com/

Following wars, poaching and encroachment in the 1970s Northern Uganda in the parks Murchison falls and Kidepo which were home of white rhinos in Uganda led to their extinction in Uganda. The poachers hunted the rhinos for mainly there highly valuable horn which accelerated their extinction from Uganda. 

Ziwa rhino sanctuary was established to champion rhino conservation in Uganda. It began with 6 rhinos, but now there are more, and the area is well guarded around-the-clock to keep poachers away. In future, there is hope that the white rhinos from Ziwa will be reintroduced to Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo National Park. Nearly 40 additional animal species, including crocodiles, hippos, leopards, oribis, and bushbuck, as well as almost 300 different bird species may all be seen in Ziwa during a game drive, canoe ride, or night walk.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Activities at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Rhino tracking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary


The main activity at the sanctuary involves tourists tracking the endangered animals on foot while accompanied by a trained ranger guide. The experience is a one- to two-hour guided drive or walk within the sanctuary. Here, you get the opportunity to observe white rhinos grazing on the grassland at a safe viewing distance of around 6 meters. 

As they take pictures to capture the unforgettable moments, the tourists are taught about their behaviors and how important they are to the ecology. You can include Rhino trekking at Ziwa as part of your Uganda safari to Murchison falls national park for you to technically get the big five.

Rhino Tracking costs at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

  • Adult (Non-Resident) $50                Child (Non-Resident) $25
  • Adult (East African Resident) $40 Child (East African Resident) $20
  • Adult (Ugandan Citizen) 30,000 shillings Child (Ugandan Citizen) 10,000 shillings

Birding safaris at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary                                                    

The fact that Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is home to over 350 bird species, birding is another prominent activity besides rhino tracking at the sanctuary. This experience, which may last an entire day, involves guided walks, driving, and a boat ride along the four birding trails as you pass through swamps, wooded areas, and plains of the savanna. 

The uncommon yet highly sought-after Shoebill Stork is the top species to keep an eye out for. African Black Crake, African Black Headed Oriole, African Citril, African Crowned Eagle, African Darter, African Fish Eagle, and African Golden Breasted Bunting are more species you could see. 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.


Nature walks at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary                                                                          

A ranger who will look out for your safety and is informed about the flora and wildlife found in the sanctuary will accompany you on these nature walks through the grand savannah. You may trek around the sanctuary on a half-day or full-day nature walk to see species including oribis, reed bucks, gray duikers, bush bucks, hartebeests, monkeys, butterflies, and monitor lizards. 

But Ziwa is also home to many nocturnal animals and the best way to catch a glimpse of them is with a night walk between 8 pm and 11 pm. Nature walks may be physically challenging and often last one to three hours. Insect repellent, sunscreen, a torch, long pants, suitable walking shoes, and bottled water are all essentials during your walk.

Best time to visit Ziwa Rhino sanctuary

The dry season, which lasts from December to February and again from late June to October, is the best time to visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary since the majority of the activities at the Ziwa Rhino Reserve take place outdoors. However, the area is gorgeously green and a terrific period for birding during the rainier months of September to November and March to May.

Accommodation at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary                                                                                                                                                                                      

The main accommodation facility at the sanctuary is Amuka lodge which is located within the sanctuary. It has a restaurant which serves both international and local cuisines, high standard affordable rooms and a beautiful swimming pool to sum it up. However, visitors have other accommodation options just outside the sanctuary that also offer quality services.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary


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