Rhino Incident, by Simon

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.

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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.

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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.

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17 thoughts on “Rhino Incident, by Simon

  1. Thanks for your excellent reporting Simon, and your helpful reminder about a safe rhino watching distance!!! I was at that same game park :} and hope to bring the kids there someday, so we will put that advice to good use! Thankful you had the experience without any injury or collision though! I heard a specialist talking about world rhino day yesterday on the news here…how amazing to know you, Elsa and your parents are really there seeing the exquisite beasts for yourselves in person!!! Have you thought about a career involving writing Simon? You are a natural based on this story!!! On a different note (literally :}), Dawn is out of the hospital and recovering. She said it could take three weeks of rest before she returns to church. Children’s choir resumes today with everyone excited to sing in her honor!!! Take good care and with love from Lucky Heart Ranch, Tifani

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  2. Thanks for the story! The pictures and videos were awesome! I would love to see some of those great animals! What other African beasts did you see?

    Love,
    Azahna

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  3. Fabulous reporting!!!

    However…, during my years in Kenya I was often upset about how close people (and especially tour drivers out for big tips) drive up to animals. The distance should not be defined by the tourist’s safety, but by the animal’s comfort… Just sayin’…!

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  4. You guys! That is absolutely incredible and scary. Thanks for sharing the video and pics with us. What a memory! We love getting glimpses of your SA adventure. Love to you all!

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  5. From Espen: Glad you are okay!
    What a story!! Glad it looks like the rhino wasn’t at a full gallop but charged you from a lesser distance. This is an experience you will remember forever!

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  6. I was so excited to see Simon as a guest reporter, and was not disappointed! Simon, you are a really good writer – I felt like I was there, and it made me uncomfortable!

    I wonder if someone from South Africa would feel like seeing a buffalo or bear in Yellowstone is as exotic as seeing a rhino in South Africa seems to me.

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  7. Hello Simon, Your post about the encounter with the rhino family was terrific. I plan to share it with my grandchildren, Logan who is eight and Miriam who is four. If ever I took a trip to Africa, it would be to be in the presence of all those magnificent animals. I hope you see many more. Jean Mandeville

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  8. Congratulations Simon on the great report. So glad you could share with all who are following the blogs from S.A.
    Hope your teacher appreciates your great reporting as well! Keep it going.
    Love to all.
    Grandma Ruth and Joshie

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