Yesterday, 20th April 2021, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has issued a press release informing the public how it has adamantly decided to close the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary due to the conflicts between the Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranches (ZRWR), the owners of the land where the rhinos are being bred, and the Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU), an NGO that manages the rhinos at the sanctuary.
In its press release, UWA revealed the point that has led to the closure of the sanctuary being that the conflict between the two aforementioned parties could possibly compromise the safety of the rhinos, hence taking immediate reaction to forestall the threat. Meanwhile, below is UWA’s official press release about the temporary closure off the mighty Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary:
‘’In line with UWA’s mandate of protecting wildlife resources in Uganda as per the Uganda Wildlife Act 2019, UWA has taken over full charge of Security of the Rhinos at Ziwa Sanctuary in Nakasongola district in order to secure the rhinos at the sanctuary.
For this to be effectively done, UWA has, with immediate effect, closed Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to the public and as such, no tourism activities will be undertaken until further notice. The closure has been triggered by the persistent misunderstandings between Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranches (ZRWR), the owners of the land where the rhinos are being bred, and Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU), an NGO that has been managing the rhinos at the Sanctuary.
UWA realized that the conflict could potentially compromise the safety of the rhinos and took this decision to avert the threat. Therefore, the closure is a temporary measure as government engages the two parties with a view of mooting a lasting solution to the conflict.
UWA is not party to the conflicts between Ziwa and Wildlife Ranches and Rhino Fund Uganda and we reiterate our impartiality in the matter while stressing our mandate as an institution established to protect Uganda’s wildlife heritage’’.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in a Nutshell:
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, located in Northern Uganda – Nakasongola District, is the only destination in Uganda a tourist/visitor can certainly have an up close encounter with wild rhinos. Neither of Uganda’s remarkable national game parks reside rhinos other than the Ziwa Sanctuary.
Ziwa currently comprises of 30 rhinos in total. The sanctuary is located on the highway that heads to Murchison Falls National Park; so if you’re on a hunt of the famous big five of Africa, you will possibly take the Murchison Falls route where you will first branch off at Ziwa to track the rhinos before you proceed to Murchison Falls Park to search for the other four species (Lions, Cape Buffaloes, Savannah Elephants, and Leopards) that make up the famous big five.