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History of Rhinos in Uganda

Rhinos belong to the group of animals called perissodactyis, after the epoch ending in 34 million years ago it led to the emerging of Rhinos. Basically the evolution of Rhinos is not very clear but what’s clear is that in the early perissodactyl were the ancestors of Rhinos, as well as all modern horses, zebras and tapirs.

Uganda was known for having healthy black and white Rhinos although this later got affected by the civil war, urbanization and merciless poachers who had greed for money thus searched out for Rhino horns which they exported to the East where the demand was high. White Rhinos differ from the black Rhinos, white Rhinos are large in size with a square lip used for grazing while the black Rhinos are smaller than the white Rhinos with a prehensile lip which feeds chiefly on the foliage and coarse woody shoots of thorn scrub.

In Uganda the Black Rhinos are popular in the Northern parts of Uganda, they were found in Lango district and Karamoja but as of today they are only found in the Ziwa Rhinos Sanctuary. There are approximately 300 Black Rhinos in number while the White Rhinos are confined in a few isolated areas like on the west banks of the Albert Nile, West Nile, and Madi districts and these might be 80-100 White Rhinos, however White Rhinos can also be found in Sudan, Congo, and Natal.


The word “Rhinoceros” comes from the Greek “Rhino” (nose) and as for “ceros” (horn). Rhinoceros are large, herbivorous mammals identified by their characteristic of horned snouts, Rhinos are nearly huntered to extinction due to their medicinal horns, need to use them for decoration and at times used as trophies. When we talk of the horns being medicinal it’s popular as the traditional Chinese medicine because they highly believe that the horns are a powerful an aphrodisiac, treats fever, hangover among others.


If we talk of Rhinos in Uganda why not talk about Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is located in Nakasongola district, north of Kampala city, approximately 180km by road and it covers about 70square kilometers. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is the only place in Uganda where you get to see the wild Rhinos. When you visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary firstly your welcomed to the place, beliefing by the rangers who will later drive you to the near areas where Rhinos are and it’s from this point when you will start your on-foot Rhino trekking with the help of rangers, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to many therefore it shouldn’t be missed by any. On this trek the rangers will give you the back ground of Rhinos, get an opportunity to get closer to them and even take pictures. However you will also get another opportunity to come across some other wildlife like the kobs, oribis, bush bucks, water bucks, and bird species among others.


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