Thursday, 21 April 2016

R IS FOR RHINOCEROS : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 18 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:


'Wildlife Encounters'


We knew that there were rare black rhinos in the Etosha National Park in Namibia but we were hazy about actual numbers because the authorities deliberately do not disclose this sensitive information. However, we were aware that numbers were low enough that we should have zero expectations of seeing any.


Although rhinos visit waterholes, it’s often at dusk: the time you are obliged to return to your fenced camp, or face being locked out overnight.

Wildebeest at waterhole at dusk
As it was, we cut it fine a couple of times.






We were heading along an empty gravel road. The terrain was scattered with trees and scrubby bushes and pimpled by termite mounds. 

Suddenly there was an almighty crashing and a black rhino hurtled from the side of the road back into the bush.
My husband stopped the car. The rhino was standing amongst the trees, looking straight at us. Clearly the animal had been about to cross the road when we had come along and startled it. But now our stationary car was directly in its path.
 ‘We need to move,’ I said.
‘Isn’t he incredible?’ said my husband.
The rhino pawed the ground. (I am not making this up.)
‘He’s also very big and we need to move,’ I said.
‘Stop panicking.’
The rhino fidgeted and pawed the ground again.
My voice went up an octave. ‘We need to move.’
‘Okay, okay.’
He put the car in gear and we slowly slid forwards. The rhino took a couple of steps towards us. My husband accelerated away.
As we fully registered what had just happened we began to laugh, slightly hysterically.
‘That was amazing,’ I said.
‘Did you get his picture?’ said my husband.
I thumped his arm. 


Since I didn't take a photo of the black rhino in the heat of the moment here are some white rhino photos I took in South Africa instead.










See you tomorrow – I’m heading south east. Can you guess where and what the next animal will be?




If you want to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click HERE

42 comments:

  1. Whooppee... I win, I win!!
    Now for tomorrow... aha!! Springbok in none other than South Africa!!
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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  2. Ha ha - yes, you win!
    Well, you're heading in the right direction - have you guessed the right animal again though...?

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    1. No! I think you wait for me to make my prediction then you change your post! ;-)
      AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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  3. That was a close call, haha... Rhinos are notoriously unwelcoming to strangers :D But how very, very lucky that you got to see one—and so close! Loving these posts of yours, Susan.

    Thanks for the visits over at Life In Dogs; I'm far behind on comments and return visits, and I apologize for that.

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  4. Yes, black rhinos are more aggressive than white, and it didn't help that we'd startled this one! It's great to know that you're enjoying these posts, Guilie. And don't worry about falling behind, I'm finding it quite a strain to keep up the blog visits myself!

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  5. Great story, sorry you didn't get the picture. But cool story!
    These photos are great!

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    1. Sometimes you just have to experience the moment, Yolanda!

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  6. You were too busy seeing your life flash before your eyes to take a photo, right?

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  7. Wot - no photo? Shame on you!

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    1. I know! How very dare I to tell you about an experience without the photographic evidence! :)

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  8. Wot - no photo? Shame on you!

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  9. The only rhinos I've managed to photograph at close quarters are white rhinos too. That was in Nepal a while back. Trying again in South Africa in a few months.

    Keith's Ramblings : My A-Z story features 6 neglected R words

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    1. You're sure to succeed, Keith. White rhinos are easier to approach and just as magnificent.

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  10. That's one of those it's-great-if-you-don't-get-killed stories. How exciting though.

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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    1. Yes, something like that, but at least we weren't on foot!

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  11. Rhinos are awesome! I'd love to get such a closeup view, even if they're not known for being as gentle and friendly as an orangutan or deer.

    Welcome to My Magick Theatre
    Onomastics Outside the Box

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    1. Hi Carrie-Anne and thanks for visiting. I was shocked the first time at how enormous rhinos are.

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  12. I like to see rhinos on photos and on tv... I don't think I've ever seen one even in the Zoo...

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  13. They are beautiful and extremely powerful animals, Zeljka. Photos and tv is how most of us get to see these animals and if we can't visit them in their natural habitat, that's how it should be... they don't deserve to be incarcerated in zoos.

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  14. Amazing animal to look at, even if only in pictures, and read about. Huge, yet something about them seems gentle, at least in my imagination.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Silvia - and you're right, there is something gentle about them - they're herbivores after all.

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    2. Silvia, I can't seem to link to your blog via your google + page. Could you give the link next time you leave a comment? Thanks.

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  15. Just catching up with your A-Z challenge. Amazing creatures but I wouldn't want to see rhinos in the wild except through a very long lens!

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    1. Hi Linda - good to see you. Rhinos up close are wonderful though - you might surprise yourself.

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  16. You must have felt like you were wearing a target on your chest.

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    1. Yes! He was very cross with us for disturbing him.

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  17. What a great moment although I would have been telling my husband to move too. They are intimidating animals.

    @WeekendsinMaine
    Weekends in Maine

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    1. Rhinos will charge a vehicle if goaded and we were in its way. Besides, it was on MY side of the car! :)

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  18. Wonderful, i love rhinos. Rather gentle creatures, really, compared to hippos. Hippos kill more people in Africa than all other animals put together.

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    1. Yes indeed, Liz. Rhinos will give fair warning before attacking and can usually be avoided if you use your common sense.

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  19. What a crazy story! I would have been terrified. So, S...could that be for snake?
    @deb_atwood from
    Pen In Her Hand

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    1. I have more, Deb. None of these 'scary'encounters are deliberate - it's just the law of averages really. :)

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  20. This is so funny ... in hindsight. If I'd been there, I would probably have had a heart attack.

    S ... perhaps for snakes? Or scorpions? Or sun bears?

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    1. It was a very special experience in its own right, but not sure I'd want to repeat it. :)
      (Nice guesses, although I don't think you'd find sun bears in Africa)

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  21. Wow, in a situation like that, my heart would have been pounding so hard I think the rhino would have heard it!

    I'm going to guess that your next animal is the shrew. Not sure why :D

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. It all happened so fast... the rhino was alarmed... we were alarmed! :)

      (I love shrews!)

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  22. I was holding my breath reading this! You are lucky he didn't charge your vehicle. It is an amazing story and one for the books.

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    1. Fortunately my husband was more alert than I gave him credit for at the time. :)
      (Funny you should mention 'books' - it will become part of book I currently have in the planning stages.)

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  23. Two of my favorite animals today- rhinos and wildebeest. Still, I would be so frightened in that situation! Good thing you managed to get out of the way. :)

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    1. I'm glad you like them, Karen. The black rhino was such an unexpected and thrilling sighting.

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