Kidepo National park in the early 1960’s but due to the civil wars and rapid poaching during the error of terror in the northern region with the last Black Rhino being poached down in 1991, Ziwa sanctuary located in Nakitoma Nakasongola is the only wild to watch the second largest mammals after the elephants. Either way the sanctuary can be accessed by Road with a self drive car rental in Uganda or preferably through a guided tour. Originally, they were 700 white Rhinoceros tracked in the park but currently 16 of them are left and can only be spoted after a 3 hours and a 260kms drive out of Kampala town which were initially re-introduced through the Rhino Fund Uganda at the Sanctuary. The word Rhinoceros comes from two Greek words “Rhino” and “ceros” that mean “Big Horn” and “Mud “respectively. The white rhinos are not originally white but being in the mud with their big horn in South Africa game parks they came to be called white rhinos though they are both grey in colour. It is from the difficulties by the Africans to mention the name WIDE that was said and heard as WHITE For the rhinos due to their wide kind of lips.
Facts about Rhinos
Like Elephants, Rhinos are social.
A dominant male plays as the Father and the protector.
They mourn the death of the family member like the elephants.
Their skin is 3inch thick
Their head is the heaviest part of their body and is the reason to eat only grass.
They eat 150kg per day and drink 60-80 liters of water to support their weight of 3 tones.
A male matures at the age of 10 and a female matures at the age of 8.
Their average life span is 45 years. A female in her life span can produce 120 offspring going through a gestation period of 16 months being the second largest mammal after the elephant with the longest gestation period.
Short sighted but have an acute hearing and a heightened sense of smell to compensate.
How to access the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is accessed through self drive car rental options or with the help of the guide on your arrival at the airport. Its easy to drive through the city Kampala accessing the northern route or an insightful guide moves you through the capital of Uganda then head north of Kampala to switch onto a well-surfaced Kampala-Gulu highway road. An interest to visit the Namugongo Shrine and some historical sites around Kampala like the Bai temple, Kasubi Tombs, Ndere Centre would be an added advantage to your trip towards the rhinos home.
What to do in Ziwa.
Besides rhino tracking, the sanctuary has a variety of activities to keep visitors entertained and focused to the trip. Once there, the guides will introduce to you guided nature walks, Birding and shoebill Canoe Safari. Around stay to the Sanctuary’s hotels and lodges over the night and is a good welcome to a guided walk. Preferably done in the early morning or evening In the morning at 0700 hrs to 0900 hrs approximately to 2 and half hours will be set ready to track the endangered protected rhinos on a 7000ha land. A guide’s advice is always taken to be crucial in the sanctuary..
The sanctuary has a count number of less than 300 birds that trail over the woodlands, swamps, and the savannah grasslands. The best time to watch the birds is in the morning hours around 0700hrs to 0900 hrs and the evening hours between 1700 hours and 1900 hours. And for the shoebill, canoe safari takes 3 to 4 hours normally at sunrise.