Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU) was formed as a Non Government Organization (NGO) in 1997 with a management Board of Directors appointed later that year. The function was to oversee and guide the implementation and management of the RFU to achieve its aim of reintroducing Rhinoceros, a highly endangered species across the globe, back into the National Parks of Uganda through a breeding and release program. In essence its purpose has been to return a vital aspect of environmental and cultural heritage to the Ugandan context. This was seen to be an inextricably important ecological link returned following the violent demise of the species by 1983.
Out of this emerged the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, 7000 hectares of imminently suitable savannah and native woodlands, which is privately owned by Captain Joe Roy, a citizen of Uganda. A land usage license was agreed on between RFU and Captain Roy, giving RFU sole usage rights for a period of thirty (renewable) years. The first six rhinos were introduced to this habitat during 2005/2006.