Black Rhino Charge

One thing I do Love about the Kruger National Park is the vast areas between all the roads, this makes it such an awesome Game Reserve to do bush-walks in. When I worked in Kruger we would just drive around until we found a Hippo or Rhino pathway, then walk these paths to see what beautiful areas we could find.

One morning I was doing a walk with 4 guests on a well worn Hippo trail. We decided to stop for a short coffee break on the edge of a small plain. Just after we had finished our coffee I found some fresh foot prints for a Hyena.

While I was busy explaining the Hyena tracks to the guests I noticed something moving through the bush on the opposite side of the plain. At first I thought it was a lone Buffalo, but I then realized it was a Black Rhino! The problem with Black Rhino is that it doesn’t take much for them to charge. Luckily we were down wind from the Rhino and it was not on the plain yet, so I quickly told the guests that we should make a run for the closest thick vegetation to hide away before the Rhino got onto the plain and saw us.

Just as we ran off of the plain the Black Rhino must have seen us and with that it started to charge straight towards us! We had a good head-start on the Rhino, maybe 80 meters, so we managed to get behind a thick bush before it got sight of us again. A few seconds later you could hear the Rhino’s feet stopping on the ground as it came running towards us. Fortunately we were out of sight and he ran right past us. Once he had passed all you could hear was the snorting and blowing sound it made while looking for us. We waited for a while, just to make sure he wasn’t around anymore and once safe we made a bee-line for the Land Rover incase it decided to come back our way.

The funny thing about the whole event was that when it was all over I couldn’t help but notice that one of the guests had only half of her clothes on. I asked her why her clothes were off. She then told me that she had once read in a book: “when you are charged by a Rhino you should take off your clothes and throw them behind you. The smell and sight of the clothing with then distract the Rhino, giving you a head run to get away.”

I don’t know if this is true although it does make sense but it would not work in our situation as while we were running away from the Rhino, the husband of the woman was running behind her catching and picking up all the clothes off the ground.


Meghashyam Chirravoori said...

Your life as a game ranger must be really interesting. Everyday, a new encounter, a new experience and new people.

Yeah, it was funny the way you dryly said the husband ran picking up clothes. As if it weren't a big deal. Ha ha.:)

African Safaris said...

Rhinos are not known to be sociable creatures though they are not territorial. They just want solitude of some sorts.