Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – Rhino Tracking Uganda
In Africa, southern white rhinos once thought to be extinct, now thrive in protected sanctuaries and are classified as near threatened. But the western black rhino and northern white rhinos have recently become extinct in the wild. The only two remaining northern white rhino are kept under 24-hour guard in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary in Uganda. Presently the sanctuary is home to thirty two (32) southern white rhinos. In addition, the sanctuary has become increasingly popular with tourists; for Rhino Trekking, Shoebill Trek and Canoe Ride, Bird Watching, Night Walk, Nature Walk and Relaxation.
The Uganda Rhinoceros
Uganda had a big number of rhinos especially the northern white rhino specie. All these got extinct during the civil wars. The country had these wars in the 1970s and early 1980s. Poachers pounced on the animals to get their horns as government was busy fighting civil unrest. By 1983, rhinos were declared extinct in Uganda.
During that time Uganda had a lot of civil unrest, the government did not have enough time to cater for the wildlife. Therefore, poachers took advantage where they drove rhinos to extinction. ” Raymond Opio, head guide at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary told Xinhua in a recent interview. Rhinos were only poached because of the horns. The take horns to Asia for different uses.
The birth of Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in 2005. More so the re-introduction of the rhinos by Rhino Fund Uganda was good news. this brought joy to the country and conservationists globally. The sanctuary, which measures 70 square kilometers of savannah and woodlands, is also home to other wildlife like antelopes and the rare shoebill bird.
The first individuals on the sanctuary were four rhinos from neighboring Kenya. More so, two from Disney Animal Kingdom in the United States. They were translocated in 2005 and 2006. These were the southern white rhino specie.
Bella was the first rhino to give birth on the sanctuary in March 2008. Unfortunately, the birth was still unsuccess. A year later, a male calf was born, making history by being the first rhino born in Uganda, This was in a period of approximately 30 years. The calf was named Obama, just like the former U.S. president whose father was from Kenya and mother American. Since Obama’s birth, the rhino population at the sanctuary is growing steadily. There are currently 32 rhinos on the sanctuary. The increase in the number is as a result of enough security given to the rhinos. Up to today, we have not got any attempt of poachers. Again we have not lost any rhinos to poachers because of the intense security that is given to the animals,” said Opio.
The Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination. This is for travelers yearning to see the second biggest mammal on earth after the elephant
According to Uganda Wildlife Authority, a state-run conservation agency, there are ongoing studies about the translocation of the rhinos to national parks where there is more space. Ziwa is about to reach the maximum carrying capacity.
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
The Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is popularly known as a safe haven for Rhinos in Uganda. The only place in Uganda where Rhinos are tracked on foot. The sanctuary is located approximately 164 kilometers (102 mi), by road. It is in north of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. This location is near Mukerenge Village, Nakasongola District, in the Kafu River Basin, off of the Kampala–Gulu Highway.
You can visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on its own or visit it on your way to or from the Murchison falls national park. Contact us to plan your Rhino tracking tour in Uganda. The activity involves a 1 – 2 hour guided walk or drive within the sanctuary. Rhino tracking can be carried out year-round, therefore you feel ready for rhino trekking, the sanctuary is always open for its visitors.
When you have a foot tracking of Uganda rhinos you get to realize that Rhinos has it full-on sensory experience. Given their bulk (adult white rhinos can weigh three tones), rhinos are surprisingly quiet; yet at close quarters you can hear them breathe and grunt, coupled with the rhythmic sound of their grazing, and even the smell of the earth disturbed beneath their feet. Visually, you can appreciate the rugged texture of their skin, their huge toe-nails and their wiry eyelashes.
Note: Tracking the Rhinos costs $ 50 for international visitors.