Uganda's History

Uganda used to have a healthy population of both black and northern white rhinos. For more information on the rhinos please click here. The violent demise of species leading to all Uganda’s rhinos becoming extinct by 1983, was due to various factors, mainly civil war and poaching, as well as urbanisation.

Rhino Extract From the 1962 Ugandan Atlas

Black and white rhinoceros are both in danger of extinction in Uganda as a result of large scale slaughter by poachers. Rhinos are killed for the horn with fetches high prices, and in which there is a considerable illicit trade for export to the East, where it is much in demand for its supposed aphrodisiacal properties. Within living memory black rhino were to be found throughout much of northern Uganda, including Lango district and most of Karamoja: today they are found only in the Murchison Falls National Park of north Karamoja. It is doubtful if there are more than about 300 black rhinos left in the whole of Uganda.

The white rhino differs from the black species in its larger size and in its square lip adapted for grazing, which differs markedly from the pointed prehensile lip of the black rhino, which feeds chiefly on the foliage and coarse woody shoots of thorn scrub. In Uganda the white rhino is confined to a few isolated areas on the west bank of the Albert Nile, in West Nile and Madi districts. Though white rhino are found elsewhere in Africa (Sudan, Congo and Natal) there is no record of their occurrence in other parts of Uganda within historical times, though there is evidence that their very limited range in West Nile and Madi districts has been appreciably reduced since the beginning of the century. The total population of white rhino in Uganda at the present time is probably between 80 and 100 of which the largest concentration is near Inde, in the West Nile district. In 1962 this area was declared a Sanctuary for the protection of white rhino and other game. In 1961 ten rhino were moved from Madi district to the Murchison Falls National Park and it is probable that more will be moved in the future with a view to establishing a breeding population of this rare species in an area where they will be comparatively safe from poachers.