Dear friends and family,
You may have already heard but we were at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi (which is a major game reserve not far from where we live) and had an amazing experience.
We had arrived the night before and had stayed at a lodge outside the park. The next day we got up to go to the park and arrived about 9:00 in the morning. We drove through the entrance and were driving for a little bit when we saw a rhino only a little ways into the park. So we stopped the car and watched it eating for a while when it laid down in the grass and disappeared from view. We were pretty psyched that we saw a rhino so early into our self-game drive. Dad started the car and we went on our way.
Suddenly sure enough we saw three more rhino (a baby and two parents). We stopped and watched them from what we thought was an okay distance with the car off. We had our windows rolled down and listened to them munching on the grass loudly. After a bit they started to cross the road. During that time, another car had pulled up behind us and they also watched the rhino.
Suddenly the bull rhino started walking closer and closer to us. Meanwhile inside our car we weren’t sure what to do because if we turned the car on it might scare the rhino. Its ears went back and the beast mock charged us so well we thought it actually might hit. Its horn was less than a foot away from the bumper. Dad meanwhile had been filming it out the window with our camera which he immediately pulled back inside and promptly dropped in his lap.
The air was very tense because we weren’t sure if the rhino was going to flip our car. Once the car behind us finally moved back we were able to back away slowly. Finally the rhino seemed satisfied with our distance and went back to feeding in the grass. Then we all burst out laughing at what had happened and how cool that was and the relief that we were safe.
Later we learned that you should stay at least fifty meters away from rhino with babies which was probably why the one charged us. Just so you know, a white rhino (which is what charged us) weighs five thousand pounds and could easily flip your car. So next time you see rhino stay a safe distance away.
Here is the video my Dad took.
Yesterday was World Rhino Day to raise awareness about protecting these amazing beasts.