5 Places to See Rhinos in Africa
The African rhinoceros is one of the big five: a term used to describe the most popular animals that visitors want to see on safari in Africa, which are often the most difficult to spot.
These large herbivorous mammals are among some of the most threatened species on the planet. The black rhino is so critically endangered, there are fewer than 5,000 in Africa, where conservationists are doing everything they can to save them from extinction.
Rhinos have been hunted for many years because their horns are believed to contain ‘healing properties’ and are therefore worth a fortune on the black market. Poaching is still a major problem, despite valiant efforts by local conservationists to protect them.
If you want to see these magnificent beasts in their natural habitat, here are five top spots in Africa where you might find them.
1. South Africa
Two areas with the greatest population of white rhinos are Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park and Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Hluhluwe, a beautiful reserve in the Zululand hills, is home to all of the big five, including a large number of white rhinos. If you’re very lucky, you may even spot a rare black rhino as well.
Kruger has one of the largest populations of white rhinos in Africa. There are believed to be around 10,000 in the vast national park, most of which can be found in the southern areas.
The Darmaland region in the western area of Namibia is home to the largest population of free roaming black rhino in East Africa. Plamwag Reserve is home to the Save the Rhino Trust headquarters, where conservationists work tirelessly to preserve the black rhinos that have adapted to the desert habitat here.
Black rhinos can also be seen at Etosha National Park in North West Namibia. The best chance of spotting one is during the dry season at night, when rhinos come down to drink at the waterholes.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy in the Laikipia region of Kenya is East Africa’s largest black rhino sanctuary. Here, local communities and private landowners have united to create a massive conservation area for free-roaming wildlife, away from the dangers of poachers and hunters.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, also in the Laikipia region, is one of the most pioneering and successful reserves for preserving and sustaining the critically small numbers of black rhino.
The Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest in Africa and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has the greatest diversity of wildlife in the world, with over one million animals roaming the reserve, including some of the last black rhinos in the region.
Zimbabwe is home to the largest population of endangered black rhinos after South Africa, Namibia and Kenya.
After poachers wiped out almost ¼ of the rhino population in Zimbabwe between 2007 and 2009, conservationists sought to protect the remaining numbers in the Lowveld region.
Today these precious beasts are slowly growing in numbers, and can also be spotted in Hwange National Park and on the edge of Lake Kariba in Matusadona National Park.
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