Rhino Walk – The Rhinos

Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
1
9
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Trip End Dec 19, 2012


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Flag of Zambia  ,
Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, along the Zambezi River between Livingstone and Victoria Falls, is the second smallest park in Zambia. It's home, though, to lots of animals, and is used mostly for short versions of walking safaris for tourists from Livingstone.

There are two basic types of these walking safaris: Game Walks, animals in general, and Rhino Walks, specifically to see the resident herd of white rhinos. In October, 2012, the rhino herd consisted of eight: the dominant male, four females, and three babies. They’re under 24-hour supervision by armed guards to protect them from poachers; the guards are also in contact with the guides, so you’re guaranteed to see at least a couple of the rhinos when you visit.

During the dry season, they feed the rhinos, which keeps them around the feeding sites. And because they are used to people, there’s some very close contact. One of the rhinos approached within 20 feet of one of our group, and the baby in the photos was quite curious about us, coming towards us several times before scurrying back to her mother.

rant

Just to get it out of the way, because I know it’s going to come up later on this travel blog given the history of killing animals in Africa, and I have very strong opinions about it: I’m not a fan of hunting. For food, I get it. For legitimate culls, I don’t always agree, but I understand. Trophy hunting, however, is at best distasteful and at worst is vile and disgusting. And killers of endangered species for horns or tusks or skin or meat, or any other stupid reasons of vanity or debunked tradition, those killers don’t deserve to be called human. I’ve heard a few people here [in southern Africa] call for the public executions of poachers – most especially the ones leaving land mines to blow off an animal’s leg so they can shoot it easier later – and I agree with them. Personally, I’d also add anyone engaged in canned hunts – buyers and sellers alike – just to remove those [expletives deleted] from the human gene pool.

/rant

If you ever get close to one of these animals in the wild you’ll begin to understand my very strong feelings about this.

Part 2 about the Rhino Walk, sans rant, to come.
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