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Black Rhino Safaris


Much smaller than its cousin - the white rhino - black rhinos can be distinguished by a number of features but surprisingly colour isn’t one of them. Both black and white rhinos have thick grey hides and one or two horns. Black rhinos, however, have a distinctive prehensile lip which acts as a beak to grasp plants and sticks. They also have a large hump on their neck/back which has developed thanks to the browsing technique used when eating foliage as opposed to the grazing behaviour of white rhinos.

Ashes To Ashes

Black Rhino

A novel way to tell the difference between black and white rhino

with young is to see where the adult stands and walks in relation to their calf: black rhinos walk with their young trailing behind them whereas white rhino tend to follow their calves. This is likely to be due to the difference in habitat between the two, black rhino preferring bushes and shrubs as opposed to the open plains favoured by white rhino. Seeing the mutually beneficial relationship of a large black rhino and the little red and yellow-billed oxpeckers nibbling their ticks is a tender moment and makes for some great photographs!

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Black rhinos are considered critically endangered due to the huge numbers being poached for ivory as status symbols or for medicinal purposes despite their horns being made of keratin. Generally found in tropical or subtropical grasslands, shrublands and savannahs many are protected by reserve anti-poaching units.

Around 98% of the total black rhino population can be found in a small range of just four countries: South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia. These impressive animals are a sight to behold, and not afforded to everyone who travels to Africa.