Meet Africa’s Big Five: the Rhinoceros (4/5)

Africa’s “Big Five” animals are so-named because they’re the most dangerous to bump into in the bush!

For SA Blog’s money, the rhino is the prize catch among Africa’s Big Five. It’s a terribly shy creature; visitors to game reserves usually only get to see rhino middens (i.e., great piles of dung at the roadside), rather than the leathery creature itself.

There are two species of rhino: the relatively placid white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), pictured here, which is a grazer of grass and hence has a square jaw for clipping succulent shoots; and, much rarer, the temperamental black rhino (Diceros bicornis), which is a browser of bark and hence has a beak-like mouth for stripping trees and shrubs. Both are, unfortunately, threatened species, in part because the rhino horn is valued in certain cultures as an aphrodisiac, and the only way to get a rhino horn is to poach a rhino.




Game drive tip: never drive your vehicle over a pile of rhino or elephant dung, which can contain undigested thorns long enough to cause a puncture!