• Namibia safari by Shannon wild

Everything you need to know about seeing black rhino on safari

As you see a black rhino gently wandering through grasslands and quietly browsing foliage you will wonder how on earth anyone can want to poach these seemingly placid creatures.


Found in savannahs, shrublands, grasslands and deserts, black rhinos they spend the majority of their time foraging for plants - eating up to 220 different species. During the hottest parts of the day they can be found lounging in the shade or wallowing in mud to keep cool. This is a fantastic time to see interactions between mothers and calves as the energetic little one will be vying for its mother’s attention while she is clearly trying to relax.


Occasionally, if a rhino feels threatened they will mock charge the predator; snorting and puffing as well as scuffing the dirt below their feet in order to assert their authority. More often than not they will retract but this really is a sight to behold for any animal enthusiast.


These impressive animals are a sight to behold, and not afforded to everyone who travels to Africa.

South African safari review - black rhino

The Black Rhino

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.

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.

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.

Black rhino mother and calf, Namibia

Experts view: Oliver Greenfield

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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Why book with us

We are destination specialists

Our team of specialists have extensive on-the-ground knowledge and have all lived, guided or explored in great detail the destinations that they sell. They will design your journey around you, at the right place at the right time.

We are wildlife specialists

As a leading specialist operator we have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists. We know our wildlife and do what we can to preserve its natural habitat.

We really care about our destinations

At Natural World Safaris we frequently monitor the social, economic and environmental impact of our travel operations to ensure we are at the forefront of a sustainable and ethical tourism industry. 

African sunset, Botswana

Your Next Steps

View our Big Five safaris, or talk to one of our specialists for more details on the Big Five. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.