Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Walking rhinos at Bucklands

Our morning game drive (the second drive of our stay) at Bucklands Game Reserve during the Mini vs Maxi trip basically had two goals in mind.  We wanted to walk rhino as well as giraffe with rhino being first prize.  Not long into the drive we pulled over for some welcome coffee at one of the lookout spots before our search continued.  There is a bit of a private joke involved in this stop which won't be retold here to preserve some reputations.

Our search came close on a couple of occasions.  Werner, our excellent ranger, stopped at a couple of rhino toilets during the drive, always on the lookout for fresh dung.  Rhino always go back to the same spot and create dung middens to mark their territory and finding fresh dung would have meant that we were close.  

Werner picked up their tracks a few times but all a bit on the old side.  Not long afterwards the call we were waiting for came through.  The one female with her calf had been spotted and we headed straight over.

On arrival at the sighting we hopped off the vehicle after a thorough safety briefing.  We kept to the rules.  Walk in a straight line behind the ranger.  Stay quiet.  Keep your eyes open.  And always know where the appointed "safe" spot was and the quickest way to get there.  The rhinos had moved off by the time we got there, but we weren't about to give up. 
Perserverence pays off and after a short search we found them in the bush.  Unfortunately it wasn't the most photogenic sighting, but still an awesome experience viewing one of the Big 5 on foot.

4 comments:

  1. That must have been such a thrill. It is so different to be on foot in the wilderness (as opposed to safely in a vehicle!)

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  2. This is So awesome. I love the idea of being able to walk in the wild, but would definitely pay close attention to where the "safe" place is.

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  3. Enjoy now as they may not be around much longer at the rate they are being poached!

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