New Female Rhino Born at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Uganda
It is interesting to know that Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the only place to see white rhinos in Uganda, so the news of the birth of a new baby rhino just three days ago was exciting for the wildlife conservation fraternity in Uganda. The new calf was birthed by Bella one of the oldest female rhinos at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and this brought the number of rhinos at the sanctuary to 39. This new number of healthy southern white rhinoceroses is a great indicator of the incredible conservation work that the Ziwa rhino sanctuary in Uganda is doing and shows how the breeding of rhinos has spanned over the years.
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is an animal sanctuary that was established to reintroduce rhinos in Uganda back into the wild. Initially in the 1950s and 1960s Uganda had black and white rhinos in the national parks but due to the insurgencies and instability of the 1970s. A lot of the rhinos were poached at the time leading to extinction which was declared in 1983 where the last rhino was killed in Murchison falls national park Uganda. In 2005 after quite a long period of time, the idea of the re-introduction of the rhinos in to Uganda’s wild began with the formation of Ziwa rhino sanctuary as a breeding place for the rhinos. It is from this establishment that the journey of re introducing the once extinct rhinos started and it is why we are able to now visit and have an encounter with these mammals on foot in the wild.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is located in Nakasongola district in Uganda and covers an area of 70 square kilometres. The sanctuary’s vegetation mainly consists of acacia woodland with a mix of swamps, thick bushes, grasslands and ponds. The first six rhinos were donated by Kenya and United States of America (USA). Four rhinos from Kenya (2 males and 2 females) were brought to the sanctuary in 2005 and in 2006 two rhinos from Disney Animal Kingdom, Florida USA were also introduced to the sanctuary. The breeding at Ziwa rhino sanctuary started in 2009 with the birth of the first male calf at the sanctuary in June and the number of rhinos has continued to grow to 39 white rhinos as of July 2023.
Activities to do at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Rhino trekking is the major activity at the rhino sanctuary in Uganda. Rhino trekking is a great addition to your safari package. The rhinos are visited on foot and the trek generally starts at the sanctuary headquarters. You receive a detailed briefing from the ranger guides who take you through the detailed information of the rhino reintroduction in Uganda and the safety measures to take while on the rhino trek. After the briefing you start the trek with your armed ranger guide. The trek takes you through the woodland vegetation of the sanctuary and as you trek the guide tells you more information about the white rhinos and how they exist and co-exist in the sanctuary. You will come across mud ponds where rhinos like to wallow to protect their skin from sun damage. The trek takes between two to three hours and once you locate the rhinos you are allowed to spend up to one hour watching them.
Bird watching at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
For the avid and keen bird watcher, Ziwa rhino sanctuary is also a good birding spot while on a birding safari in Uganda. The sanctuary is home to numerous bird species so together with your birding guide you manoeuvre the dirt trails of the sanctuary as you look out for birds in the bushes, mud ponds and swamps for some of the water birds. 351 species of birds have been recorded at Ziwa rhino sanctuary so far and bird species to look out for include Woodland Kingfisher, Meyer’s Parrot (Brown Parrot), Gabar Goshawk, Fork-tailed Kingfisher, Purple-banded Sunbird, African Thrush, Black-headed Gonolek, African Grey Hornbill, Double-toothed Barbet, Ruppell’s Long-tailed Starling, Martial Eagle, Butler eagle and Common Bulbul. You will look out for these among other bird species at the sanctuary. For the birding excursion we recommend having a trained professional birding guide for a fulfilling experience.
Ziwa rhino sanctuary offer game viewing opportunities as it is home to 40 mammal and reptilian species. The animals can be seen as your walk through the sanctuary trails or drive with your ranger guide through the dirt path of the rhino sanctuary. Wildlife to lookout for include monkeys, antelopes such as Uganda kobs, oribi, duiker and bush bucks.
Tours to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Ziwa rhino sanctuary is located along the highway that leads to Murchison falls national park in Uganda so it can be added as a stopover activity while on a wildlife safari to Murchison falls national park.
Alternatively a one day trip to Ziwa rhino sanctuary from Kampala, Uganda can also be a good option to see the white rhinos.
To book the these tours
Location of Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
The Ziwa rhino sanctuary in Uganda is located in Nakasongola district off of the Kampala-Gulu highway. The drive to the sanctuary from Kampala takes two and a half hours. It is a scenic drive and takes you through the small towns and trading centres along the highway. You might also sight cattle keepers grazing along the way and also have great views of Uganda’s landscape that features green vegetation, local’s gardens and farmland.