After 27 years, in 2009 Uganda saw the birth of a Rhino calf at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola District, 179km from Kampala. This brought hope that the magnificent beasts that were extinct in Uganda’s wild areas will thrive again in the country. This was born into a group of six that was that were at the sanctuary then.

Rhinos in Uganda got extinct from the wild in 1970’s to 1980 due to illegal human activity (poaching for their horns) and civil unrests that were happening in Northern and North western Uganda at the time. In 2002, two white rhinos were translocated from Kenya to Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) in Entebbe, followed by 4 southern white rhinos that arrived from Solio Ranch, Kenya in 2005 and 2 others from Disney Animal Kingdom in Florida in 2006 to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The objective of having Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is to grow numbers of rhinos and later reintroduce them to the wild. The sanctuary now has 33 rhinos and it is about time, Rhinos could return to Uganda’s wilderness.

Sources have it that the gas and oil giants, Total E & P from France have joined the efforts that are aiming at reintroducing the Rhinos into the wilderness after 40 years from when they were declared extinct.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and Rhino Fund Uganda have hopes that next year (2022) rhinos will be reintroduced to Uganda wild areas. UWA’s head of communication, Bashir Hangi, says the success of the sanctuary with the capacity of 33 rhinos now necessitates the need and shooting at the objective of the sanctuary to release rhinos into the wild. This is after the feasibility study by Rhino Fund and UWA in 2018/2019 recommended the relocation of these vulnerable species into the wild.

Total Chairman and CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, said in their plans to support restoration and improvement of the environmental status of the protected are where they are operating (Murchison Falls National Park) they will support the reintroduction of rhinos to the area. Though what their role in this activity in not yet identified, but they are willing to support.

Having the Rhinos reintroduced to the park will mean that it will be an upgrade of the park to a big 5 status. Visitors to Uganda would see the big 5 but the rhinos would be tracked on foot at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

Therefore, after years and political turmoils in the past, tourists could be going start experiencing rhinos in the wilderness of Murchison falls national park again.     

Rwanda Gorilla trekking