Tracking Rhino on Foot

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Tanda Tula Safari Camp was recently visited by Richard Berman and his “harem” – wife Lucy and daughters Constance, Elizabeth, Henrietta and Katherine. This lovely family from Hampshire, UK charmed Tanda Tula staff and fellow guests alike.  When I found out they were planning an early morning bush walk, I asked to tag along and they generously agreed.

Our ranger Civilised briefed everyone as we set off, ”The idea of a bush walk is a lot more than simply seeing big game,  it’s to get closer to nature and experience the smaller things that make up the bigger picture. Seeing big game is a fantastic bonus.” Immediately after Civilized had finished his briefing, there was a rustling in the nearby thicket. An elephant perhaps? No – it was a rhino!

We immediately fell in line behind Civilized and our tracker Jack, sticking close together to appear as one unit, and trying to tread quickly and quietly on the brittle grasses and twigs on the ground.

The rhino’s keen hearing immediately alerted him to our presence and he looked in our direction. We all stood still, holding our breath waiting for him to make his assessment. Soon he decided we were no threat and went back to his grazing.  It was an exciting start to our walk!

The rest of the morning engaged all of our senses. We listened to bird calls, tried to identify tracks and signs, tasted the bitter tannins of the wood of the Marula tree and smelt the strong latex of the Tamboti.  The family enjoyed the walk so much, that they decided to do another the very next morning.

It was our day for seeing rhinos! We encountered another on afternoon drive, and Lucy and Elizabeth displayed their artistic talents by capturing the moment on their sketch pads.

View a few of the images below.

Until next time,

Jacquie Gauthier