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Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch
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Reviews (51)
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Reviewed 15 October 2013

The last night of our September 2013 safari to Uganda. The Ziwa Guest House more than met our needs for a good night’s sleep after an interesting birding walk in the sanctuary. Our portion of the three part building was clean and spacious. The posts (diameter) on our bed were the largest we have ever seen! Screened windows and door, plenty of hot water but low pressure. Shared porch had large table w/chairs and large sofa. Small frog or two hung out in the shower stall.

Surrounding lawn area had various flowering trees and shrubs with brushy habitat a short distance away. Various birds were in the area. Nice size monitor lizard lives in behind cottage but scooted to covered drain area whenever I walked near.

Round restaurant served good food in adequate portions. Ugh2,000 for soda and Ugh5,000 for glass of wine. Numerous mosquitoes there during evening and early morning meal time. Staff were friendly and accommodating.

In addition to stopping to see the rhino and birds, nice point for breaking up the drive between Kampala and Murchison Falls NP. A 70km fence surrounds the sanctuary which has interesting habitat for birding and even Lugogo Swamp where shoebill are to be found. Leopard are the only big cat in the sanctuary and are being seen more frequently now. On couple hour birding walk we easily saw 30 species including the white-crested and Ross’s turacos.

I would return again not only to specifically go for a rhino walk but also as the birding was excellent and exciting as one never knew what would pop up next.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank wegoustay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2013

We started our Uganda adventure vacation at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. We were warmly greeted at the Rhino Sanctuary by the staff and settled into our cottage quickly. The accommodation was basic, yet quaint and it was lovely having an outside covered deck with comfortable furniture to relax on while listening to the birds and wildlife surrounding us. I was happy to have running (hot) water, a flushing toilet and a shower! We had a very good hot lunch and then had an unexpected delightful show-stopping thunder and lightening show with wicked rainfall. It only lasted about an hour and then we pulled on the rubber boots supplied to us and off we went to walk with the rhinos.
What an experience! The Rhinos did not seemed bothered by us hanging about them so closely, as they fed on the grassland. After the stormy weather they seemed to be very awake and we were so happy that we had waited to do our walk after the storm. We had heard from others, that had gone out in the morning when it was hot, that the rhinos had all been sleeping and they did not see any up and about. So keep that in mind that the early morning or late afternoon might be a better choice to see the Rhinos up and about, rather than during the middle of the day when it is hot and they are resting trying to beat the heat. We were also told that sometimes the Rhinos actually come to the resort area, but we were not lucky enough to have that happen. How exciting would that have been!
Our ranger/guide was excellent in that he explained to us about each Rhino and was very mindful of our safety. Although these animals are enormous and dangerous, we never felt in danger, but did keep a close eye on their movements and made sure they had the right of way, which at times meant we had to quickly, yet quietly, move around large bush areas that they were passing through. After a good stay with the Rhinos we returned to the main camp and had another great hot meal and delicious cold beer!
After a good night's sleep we woke early to head out with the Ranger to try and find the Shoebill Stork at a nearby swamp. Although our search was not successful we had a great time in the dugout canoe seeing many other variety of birds.
The staff at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary made sure that all of our needs were met. The bed was comfortable, the room was clean, and food was good (with choices).
Seeing the rhinos up so close is really exciting and we highly recommend this excursion while in Uganda.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank waterlogged23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RhinoFundUganda, Public Relations Manager at Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2016

Thank you for your review. I would however like to clarify that the Ziwa accommodation on the sanctuary is a privately owned business and has nothing to do with the rhino program. The conservation and Rhino program are managed by Rhino Fund Uganda. For people wanting to stay over, there is another affordable accommodation option within the sanctuary namely Amuka Safari Lodge.

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Reviewed 31 January 2013

We camped at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for 2 nights in Sep 2012.

The campsite is fenced in by Rhino proof stockading, and is necessary as the rhinos come to visit.

The facilities are basic, but very clean. The restaurant serves cheap, basic, tasty food and nice cold beers.

The staff are wonderful, incredibly friendly and helpful and the dedication of the wardens who follow the various rhino 24/7 to ensure their safety is outstanding.

We had a very good guide for our trek who managed to let us see 10 out of the 12 rhino in the sanctuary, despite the very wet terrain.

Read more in my blog http://ugandarwandaholiday.blogspot.co.uk/ - there is lots of useful information for visiting Uganda and Rwanda.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Struan_Macnee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2013

I must start by expressing bewilderment at Sokrates report. How very odd. I can find nothing to agree with there other than it is fun to meet the Rhinos and the friendly people. Was I in the same place?
I have visited ZIWA on several occasions and last time I was shown their guest accommodation and made a point of booking a stay this trip. Guesthouse 2. (can be split into 1 & 2 by a dividing door) had three bedrooms and two Bathrooms both with working plumbing. We were a party of four so it was like having guests in the same house. There is a lounge just inside the door with room for us all and seats outside to watch the world go by. There were a few mossies after dark in both the restaurant and in our room but this was well netted and no trouble.
Our beds were comfortable and we enjoyed our all too short stay. Meals were taken in the Restaurant or outside in the sun under a shade. The drinks were ice cold. Indeed the waiter apologised that our favourite brand of Beer had just been re-stocked so only another brand was really cold. Oh how we suffer such deprivation in Africa!
Food was excellent and main dishes from a choice of three. These took time to arrive so I think were prepared to order. I did not ask so do not know.
Good birding in the grounds where you can walk freely as lng as you keep an eye open for large grey shapes that may be nearby. There were several Bushbuck and Reedbuck that are habituated on the lawn. During the night the bull Rhino also showed up and we watched him munching on our lawn.
Finally the Star attraction. We met Bella, Augustus and Donna, now a fit yearling. These things grow fast. She was half size. Close encounters can be dangerous, these are big animals, but we had plenty of opportunity to admire them from close quarters. We went in the afternon as they become active again and followed them on foot to their mud wallow. Thanks Robert.
Recommended place to visit.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank mfuwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2012

When planning our journey, starting from Kampala via Ziwa to Murchison, we got convinced by the reviews here to make a nice stay instead of just a stopover as most of the others do. Especially as late afternoon is the best time to spot the Rhino's. We couldn't discover one positive point to this lodge, except maybe the friendlyness of the people. So much things went wrong that we started thinking we were in a candid camera recording... People can call this room authentic, for us it was more an indoor zoo with plenty off animals you'd rather don't want to meet in your bedroom. There were no cold drinks available at all, which can be useful after Rhino-tracking in the African sun or to make you enjoy your dinner (served in only one minute after arriving, so clearly not fresh and just warmed up!!!). Conclusions: we couldn't eat, couldn't drink and leaving The Park is forbidden. For showering there was not enough water, just a few drops... From 3AM till 5AM we were not able to sleep and nearly got crazy from a very high and loud noice produced by some electricity tool. And even after they've got it stopped by turning off completely all electricity (so no light anymore for instance in our Indoor Zoo), we kept on hearing this very high sound in our ears. After our catastrophic stay (I did not even mention that in the middle of the night they burned a fire between the trees next to our wooden roofed Lodge), the very friendly manager apologized largely and offered us a 20$ discount, which was clearly not resolving the bad feelings we had... My advice: better just visit the Rhino's (amazing!) and then then drive to Murchison!

Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
2  Thank SokratesMechelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RhinoFundUganda, Public Relations Manager at Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 26 August 2016

Thank you for your review. I would however like to clarify that the Ziwa accommodation on the sanctuary is a privately owned business and has nothing to do with the rhino program. The conservation and Rhino program are managed by Rhino Fund Uganda. For people wanting to stay over, there is another affordable accommodation option within the sanctuary namely Amuka Safari Lodge.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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