The word rhinoceros comes from two Greek words...
rhino, meaning nose and ceros meaning horn.
Together with Hippo and elephants,
rhino are one of the largest land mammals on the African continent.
Despite all the anti-poaching measures in place,
they are still the most poached species after the pangolin.
There is a thriving Eastern market for rhino horn
and it is claimed to have medicinal properties.
Originally it was used as an aphrodisiac,
but of late it has also been used as a cure for certain types of cancer.
Neither of these claims is correct as the horn is made up of keratin,
the same substance that our nails and hair contains.
Yellow billed Oxpeckers have a symbiotic relationship with rhino,
and several other mammal species.
They help get rid of ticks and other extoparasites.
They can also act as an alarm and will warn the animal if there is a possible threat.
Males mark there territory by spraying urine.
We followed this particular individual as he meandered along the road,
spraying at several places along the way.
Aside from the urine marking, rhino will have several middens within a territory.
Here they will defecate in order to inform others of who they are.
These middens are used as "message boards" by the local rhino population.
Males can tell if females are ready to mate,
and they can also be made aware if other males are encroaching on their territory.
Unlike the Oxpecker, the relationship between a cattle egret
and a rhino only suits the former!
The Egrets will use the rhino as a vantage point and they will eat
the insects disturbed when the rhino walks through the grass.
They offer the rhino nothing in return...
The White Rhino is not white, it is in fact grey.
The name is derived from the Dutch "Wijd" meaning wide.
Being a grazer, the shape of the mouth is very important.
Rhino have a great sense of smell and hearing,
but have poor eyesight, often having difficulty identifying objects beyond 30m.
The rarely seen Black Rhino.
Again the name has nothing to do with the colour.
This species is a browser and the mouth has a hook like appearance.
This prehensile upper lip is used to remove leaves and twigs when it forages.
There are 5 living rhino species found currently in the wild.
The White and Black, found in Africa.
And the Indian, Javan and Sumatran all found in Asia.
The collective noun for all species is a "crash".
Rhino love to wallow.
The dried mud on their skin protects them from the sun.
They will rub off the mud against trees and rocks,
removing both the mud and parasites at the same time
Most wild rhino calves will never meet their fathers,
as the males play no role in raising the young.
Females will reproduce every 2.5-5 years
and the calves normally remain with the mother for around 3 years.
Don't turn your back on the opportunity to enjoy some time
at one of the current Tented Adventures campsites.
Check out their Facebook page:
To find out more about what they offer,
visit their website:
And THIS is the reality...
NOT a fun fact, but a fact never the less.
A new "tool" in my camera bag.
This locally made product was indispensable when using a long lens.
The ball and socket might look simple...and it is,
which is why it should be in the gear bag of every serious photographer.
I got to try out this awesome product on a recent trip to Kruger National Park.
For tracking birds in flight and animals in motion (what it was intended for)
it was ideal and it did not occupy much space in my camera bag.
The base set can be used with either a beanbag or a tripod.
The advantage of this for me is that it offered the opportunity
to go from a supported to hand held without have to detach
from the head of a tripod or a beanbag.
Order directly from www.petersguide.co.za.