Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Uganda

Uganda became a home of the “big five” again after reintroducing the rhinos in Ziwa rhino sanctuary. Ziwa rhino sanctuary and Uganda Wildlife Education Centre are the only places in Uganda where we find rhinos after they got extinct from their natural habitats in Murchison and Kidepo valley national parks in the 1980s due to poaching. In 2005, The Rhino Fund Uganda was formed and worked hand in hand with Uganda Wildlife Authority with a goal of reintroducing these animals in the park hence the idea of fisrt setting up a sanctuary where they would breed, increase in number and later on be reintroduced in national parks where they earlier existed. The sanctuary started with 6 rhinos where 4 were bought from Kenya and 2 donated from Disney Animal Kingdom in America and today there are about 22 rhinos.

Rhinos in Ziwa sanctuary are enclosed by an electrified fence on an area of about 70 square kilometers where they move freely and are tracked by visitors who move around under guidance of a ranger.

Ziwa rhino sanctuary is now one of the most incredible wildlife reserves you ought not to miss visiting on your Uganda safari. This is the only place in Uganda where you can track rhinos on foot and watch them closely. The sanctuary is a home to other wildlife such as antelopes, monkeys, hippos and reptiles as well as birds among others.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary rates 2020/21

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary rates are as follows:

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

Getting to Ziwa rhino sanctuary

The sanctuarri is located about 180 km north of Kampala the capital city of Uganda. It is found in Nakasongola district off Kampala-Gulu highway where you branch off at Nakitoma trading centre. You can include the visit to Ziwa rhino sanctuary on your trip to Murchison falls national park. it takes about 3-4 hours  driving from Kampala to reach Ziwa.

Things to do at Ziwa rhino sanctuary

Rhino tracking

The highlight for visiting Ziwa rhino sanctuary is to track the white rhinos. Visiting this place is a good way to start your Murchison falls national park safari and breaking the journey. You’ll arrive there and be guided by a ranger to rack the rhinos and when you spot them, you’ll have an opportunity to close to them on foot. The rangers at the sanctuary are well knowledgeable about the behaviors of the rhinos and will give you instructions to follow to get close to these animals which will not cause any harm. The activity takes maximum of 2 hours and you’ll enjoy the experience.


Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is home to about 350 bird species and bird watching can be done half or full day. There are 4 birding trails where you can do it on guided walks, on a boat or by driving. Various species will be sighted in the savannah plains, around swamps and in the woodlands. The rare shoebill stork is one of the bird species that are sought around this area. Other bird species include African black headed oriole, African fish eagle, Blue spotted dove, African black crake, African darter, Bronze Manikini, African Golden Breasted bunting, Brown Crowned Tchagra and many others.

Nature walk/game viewing

Take a walk through the vegetation of the sanctuary and see more than the rhinos.  Walking through the trails in the sanctuary offers an opportunity to see some of the wild animals that is mammals, reptiles, and primates such as waterbucks, duiker, bush buck, reedbuck, hartebeest, mangoose, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, monitor lizards, pythons and much more. You’ll also see a variety of butterflies in some areas.

Night walks

Ziwa rhino sanctuary has activities that will make your night busy by walking with a ranger around the area. You will be welcomed by the sounds from the wild and during the days when the moon is up, you’ll be able to watch sightings of birds, bats and other animals like hippos clearly.

Accommodation at Ziwa rhino sanctuary

There is a high quality safari lodge located within the sanctuary known as Amuka safari lodge. It provides all accommodation facilities and is a comfortable and beautiful place built with natural stones, timbers and canvas finishing. Its menu comprises of a variety of dishes including local dishes, continental dishes and different drinks.

Ziwa Rhino sanctuary can be visited at any time of the year and those that are planning to visit Murchison falls national park for wildlife viewing and to watch the falls and Budongo forest for chimp tracking can include Ziwa rhino sanctuary as one of the areas to break the journey from.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary rates 2020/21  and Activities