Uganda is known to be home to the big five which include the Rhinos, lions, Buffaloes, Leopards, and Elephants. Rhino is one of the most endangered of these in Uganda and has been given special attention after the campaign to restore them into Uganda’s Tourism sector in 2005 by a collaborative effort of Uganda Wildlife Authority and Rhino Fund Uganda. Rhinos are only found in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary in Uganda. The Rhinos in all national parks became extinct by 1982 because of poaching for their horns and encroachment of their habitats.
Ziwa Rhino sanctuary was established to protect them from poachers and to breed them for to be re-introduced in the National Parks where they once existed. Look out for the southern white Rhinos, Black Rhinos, and white northern Rhinos. The Southern White Rhinos are special to Uganda that you must look out for unlike the black Rhinoceros and northern white rhinoceros that were indigenous to Uganda. The tracking may take 1hr and 30min up to 3 hours.
Ziwa Rhino sanctuary has over 70 ranger guide who take care of Rhino and to ensure the well-being and safety of the sanctuary and to help visitors to spot this wonderful creature in their resident. There are basic lodging facilities at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for those who might wish to spend a night on their way to or from Murchison Falls National Park.
Best time to visit Ziwa Rhino sanctuary
The best time of the year to track rhinos in Uganda is the dry season that is normally between the months of June to August and December to February. This is because the grass in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is not very tall in that season making it easy to have a clear view of the rhinos and take clearer pictures. The best time of the day to track the Rhinos is from 8:00 am to 10:00 am or late evening at 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The tracking can, however, take place any time of the day and any time of the year, do not hesitate to contact your travel agent because every season gives a unique experience.
What to wear for Rhino tracking
Some of the things you will need to wear include closed shoes, long trousers, long sleeved shirt/T-shirt and insect repellant to avoid the itchy bushes and wild insects.
Other activities to do at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary include;
Apart from rhino tracking, the sanctuary has also become increasingly popular with tourists for rhino trekking, shoebill trek, night walk, bird watching, nature walk, among other tour activities. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is protected by 24-hour security and a solar-powered electric fence. Proceeds from food and accommodation are directed towards the breeding program of the rhinos, with a plan of releasing them into the wild. Visiting the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a wonderful Uganda safari experience and it brings you in a very close and safe distance to these magnificent creatures. A safari company in Uganda can put together a custom tailored itinerary to enable tourists to fully explore the 70 square-kilometer sanctuaries.
Birding; the sanctuary is home to over 350 bird species and visitors can have a full day guided nature walk or have a boat ride in search for birds like the Shoebill Stork, blue spotted dove and the African black crake and many more birds.
Nature walks; Nature walks are so rewarding in Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, you will spot several animals like the Oribis, bushbucks, monkeys, reedbucks and many more animals including the monitor lizards.
In conclusion, Rhino Tracking in Uganda is a unique activity that was re-introduced to breed the rhinos and introduce them to the national parks where they once existed. Travelers will get an opportunity to see a rare species of one of the big five.