Ziwa trekking in Uganda

Established in 2005 to breed and protect the southern white rhinos in Uganda is the Ziwa rhino sanctuary. This place is located approximately 176 kilometers from Kampala the capital city along Gulu highway on the road to Murchison falls national park. The sanctuary is a conservation center for not only rhinos but also other animals and different bird species.

From the last sightings of all rhinos in Murchison falls national park back in 1970, the Ziwa sanctuary was put in place to conserve and protect these animals from further extinction and other external threats.

 Ziwa rhino sanctuary is the only place in Uganda where you can see rhinos in the wild. Ziwa rhino sanctuary was established as a project of the rhino fund Uganda that started to reintroduce rhinos back into the country in 2005. It started with 6 rhinos then 19 and currently, the total is up to 33 rhinos that are being protected in this sanctuary.

This sanctuary has also up to 40 different animal species ranging from antelopes, hippos, crocodiles, and monkeys. it also has bird species that one is able to encounter. In Ziwa rhino sanctuary, you can do all your safari adventure activities like trekking the whole place on foot without you getting worried about security because trained game rangers are always with you to help, assist and guide where needed.

Uganda is a host to the big five mammals that is the lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino. This is the only place where you can see the rhinos making a complete big five adventure safari in Uganda.

In the shortest time that one spends at the sanctuary, one can be able to do the following activities;

  • Rhino tracking

This activity involves seeing rhinos in their natural environment. Rhino tracking gives you a chance to encounter the rhinos for about one hour observing their daily ways of doing things like feeding among others at close range on foot

  • Birding safaris

A home to over 350 different bird species that one wouldn’t want to miss out on seeing are in the sanctuary. The birders have either half or full day depending on their schedule to watch these birds during the nature walks or on a boat. You can spot the rare shoebill stork and blue spotted doves.

  • Animal viewing

The sanctuary has over 40 different kinds of animals. You can spot all or a few depending on the time you spend in the sanctuary. Some of these animals are crocodiles, Oribis, bushbucks,

hippos and reptiles like snakes.

  • Nature walks.

Depending on your itinerary, you can hike the sanctuary full day or half day. A beautiful landscape of tropical vegetation is always at your disposal to see. The walks are done on foot, allowing you to explore everything the sanctuary has to offer. You can see animals like Oribis, duikers, squirrels, mongoose, Vervet monkeys, beautiful butterflies, and snakes in their natural habitats as well as lizards.

  • Night walks

As earlier mentioned, the whole sanctuary is explored on foot both during the day and the night. During the night walks, you will discover sights and listen to the sounds under the moon in the wilderness. You are advised to constantly move with the guides to take you through the whole activity of discovering the nocturnal wildlife of bats and birds.

  • Canoe rides

Embark on an early morning canoe ride in the adjoining swamp giving you a chance to site the prehistoric birds rewarding you a fantastic sunrise over the Lugogo swamp.


Ziwa rhino sanctuary is accessible throughout the year, you can choose to do a rhino track at any time of the year but the best time is between 8 AM -10 AM and 4 PM-6 PM. You can

also visit the sanctuary during the dry months of December to January and June to August.


Foreign non-residents pay an amount of USD 65 to access the sanctuary.

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