African safaris provide a unique mix of excitement, majesty and enchantment that call to the adventurer in all of us. But perhaps no beast is as intriguing as the African black rhino.
Poached nearly into extinction for their horns, the black rhinoceros is a holy grail of sorts for many travelers. Unfortunately, due to their dwindling numbers and xenophobic nature, they are a rare sight on most African safari tours.
Today we would like to share an amazing story of one gentleman’s dream to see and photograph a black rhino in the wild.
The Majesty of Kenya’s Black Rhinos
Black rhinos thrived in Kenya through the 1970s. By 2012, however, only about 500 black rhinos were left. The quest to preserve this magnificent species is ongoing and their numbers are increasing, but the battle against poaching and hunting rages on.
Although smaller than the white rhino, the black rhinoceros — also known as the hook-lipped rhino — weighs in at an impressive 1,800 to 3,100 pounds. Adults stand as tall as 71 inches at the shoulder with horns that can exceed 4 feet in length.
These venerable beasts can be quite aggressive when threatened, and can run up to 35 miles per hour. Black rhinos are herbivores, enjoying a diet of fruits, leafy plants, woody bushes and branches.
In the wild, they are a rare sight indeed, especially for the typical African safari tourist.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime African Safari Experience
Because these beautiful animals are quite solitary in nature, it’s rare for tour groups to encounter a black rhino while on African safari. They are difficult to locate and even harder to photograph. Consequently, the typical safari tours that stick to the main roads of fenced wildlife preserves offer little chance of even a glimpse.
When you go on African safari with Discovery Expeditions, however, you’ll have a different experience.
On a recent trip, we had the pleasure of escorting a small party that included an experienced adventurer. He had been on African safari several times, always with high hopes of spotting a black rhino.
Unfortunately, this dream had never become a reality for him.
When we set out on African safari, we never know what to expect, but every adventure is unique and magnificent. For our adventuring friend, this expedition fulfilled one of his greatest dreams; we saw not one, not two, but 18 black rhinos on this trip.
Because they are prone to charging, we had to approach carefully. But as you can see from these photos captured during the expedition, we were able to fulfill his dream and then some.
The Discovery Expeditions & Adventures Difference
Our African safari adventures are unique, in that we take small groups on personally guided expeditions. Our Land Cruisers accommodate only four passengers, so you have the opportunity for a close-up wildlife encounter at every turn. We skip the tourist routes and take you off-road, directly into the places where wildlife roams free.
We endeavor to provide our intrepid guests with sightings of Africa’s “Big Five,” which are the Cape buffalo, the leopard, lion, African elephant and — of course — the elusive black rhino. Along the way, you will see much more, with amazing photo opportunities that you will treasure forever.
At Discovery Expeditions, we take great pride in providing our African safari clients with the opportunity to see — and photograph — all of the Big Five and more, including these magnificent and unusual animals.