Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
Rhinos are one of the most sought for animals in the wild in Africa and Kenya is one of the best places to see these endangered wildlife species which are also part of the African Big Five.
The Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary is one of the best places to visit in Kenya to see the endangered rhinos, the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary is found in Tsavo National Park which is one of the largest game sanctuaries in Tsavo national park established in 1948, the park covering an area of 22,000 square kilometers situated in the South Eastern region of Kenya.
Information about Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary was established as a fenced stronghold to enable the breeding and recovery of black rhino in Tsavo starting with just nine individuals, currently Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary covering an area of 90 square kilometers is home to over 120 rhinos.
In 2008, The Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) was established as an unfenced, highly protected free – ranging area surrounding the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary and 19 founder rhinos were introduced.
Overtime, the population of rhinos has grown significantly over time making the Tsavo Rhino recovery one of the most successful and positive conservation stories in recent years.
Historically, black rhinos were in Tsavo at huge populations higher than anywhere else on the planet. In 1940, there were an estimated 20,000 black rhinos in the Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA). By 1989, there were less than 20 individuals as a result of rampant poaching.
With the intensive efforts of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and support from Tsavo Trust, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and other conservation entities, the future for the rhinos is much brighter. Tsavo West National Park now hold 18% of Kenya’s black rhinos within the highly protected Sanctuary.
The Intensive Protection Zone covering an area of 3,000 square kilometers surrounding the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary has been identified as representing the most viable area in Kenya to recover the number of rhinos and help support the Government of Kenya to achieve its vision of 2,000 individuals in the wild by 2050.
Kenya remains of the Key strongholds for Eastern black rhino, making this population globally important. Every effort is required if we are to conserve this critically endangered species for the future.
In the 1970´s, Kenya was hosted over 8,000 black rhinos but due to the human practices like poaching and encroachment of the rhino habitats, rhinos became near extinct with few numbers left. This led to the establishment of Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary to protect the remaining black rhinos that were less than 20 individuals.
Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary is located on the foothills of the Ngulia hills with 1-meter-high electric fence.
There are 80 rhinos in the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary that can be spotted during your visit, there are about 70 black rhinos. The sanctuary comprises of 5 waterholes, there are many natural waterholes but during the dry season, the rhinos get water at one of four artificial waterholes where fresh water is pumped and disturbed in pipelines.
The borderline of the sanctuary consists of a fence with five wires, three of which are electrified and the purpose is to keep the rhinos inside and also keep the elephants and buffaloes from feeding on the same food as rhinos.
Rhino Viewing Platform
The Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary is one of the very few totally exclusive Rhino Viewing platforms in Kenya, it is now possible to stay and sleep on this raised and secure platform overlooking a waterhole that is active all night long. The platform provides total exclusivity and only one group can stay at a time providing visitors with special and private used of the platform.
On this platform, you will have a chance to stay above one of the few wildlife viewing watering points within the Ngulia Sanctuary which is frequented by black rhinos, leopards, elephants, wild dogs and a huge diversity of birds both day and night.
While at the platform, you will have trouble sleeping due to the drama of jostling rhinos, large buffalo herds and elephants all trying to drink water which is a special wildlife experience
While at the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, it is important to note that you are visiting a highly rhino sanctuary and safety of the rhinos is very paramount as well as your personal safety. The Rhino Platform is located near a KWS Security base
Other Important Information to Know
- The Rhino Viewing Platform is small (6m x6m), raised 10ft off the ground, private and has basic amenities such as a toilet, shower and wash basin with running water.
- The platform is booked on a self-catered basis, so you will need to bring your own food and drinks
- Please be sure to come with your own bedding including bedrolls/mattresses, toiletries and towels, eating utensils (plates, cup, cutlery etc).
- It can get chilly here at night and use of fires and camping stoves is strictly prohibited, the wild must come first and fires can cause a great risk to them and this habitat.
- Remember not to bring plastic bottle into park
- We highly recommend taking night vision lenses and if you do not have these, regular binoculars will be a better option
- Guests must check in by 16:00 and checkout by 09:00 on the day of departure
Best Time to Visit Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary can be visited all year round, however the best time for rhino tracking in this spectacular site is during the dry season in the months of February to March and June to early October.
During this period, the trails can be easily passable and rhinos are easily seen congregating around the remaining waterholes and bathing in the muddy water.
Where to Stay in Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
While on a rhino safari or Kenya wildlife safari in Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, there are several accommodation options where you can stay. These accommodation facilities range from budget, midrange to luxury and they include
- Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge
- Lake Jipe Safari Camp
- Rhino Valley Lodge
- Voyager Ziwani Camp
- Sarova Taita Game Lodge
- Lions Bluff Lodge
- Man-Eaters Camp among others.