Summertide Diary: iSimangaliso Rhinos

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is home to healthy populations of both White and Black Rhinoceros, jealously guarded by the reserve’s rangers and routinely dehorned to deter poachers. Rhino populations all over our country are under severe threat and seeing these animals in the wild, even without their trademark horns, is an experience we’re very grateful for.

Being diurnal in habit and much less skittish, the White Rhino is the easier of the two African species to find while driving around iSimangaliso.

Black Rhinos are solitary, shy, more nocturnal and consequently seen less often than White Rhinos.

This muddy signpost in the park was used by a muddy rhino as a rubbing post. Rolling in mud, leaving it to dry and then rubbing the caked mud off against a sturdy rock, tree or …signpost, is a way for the rhino to rid itself of external parasites like ticks.

Signpost re-modelled by a muddy rhinoceros

28 thoughts on “Summertide Diary: iSimangaliso Rhinos

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      The ruthlessness and mercilessness with which elephants and rhinos and pangolins and countless other species the world over are targeted is absolutely gut-wrenching, Lori, and if I am allowed one wish for our blog it would be that somewhere someone visits dewetswild, sees how beautiful these animals are and how much we love them, and chooses not to buy those truly worthless trinkets. The slaughter will only stop when the buying does.

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  1. Anne

    Rhinos are so very special. What a boon to see so many of them. At a private reserve near here, the rangers count the rhinos every morning and evening to check that all is well. Protecting rhinos these days is an expensive, almost military-like, undertaking.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Being the province where South Africa’s rhino populations were saved in the previous century a visit to a KZN game reserve wouldn’t be the same without seeing rhinos in good numbers. It is so sad that all those gains made in middle of the previous century are now being undone by these ruthless poaching syndicates. We’re really grateful to everyone fighting the battle on our behalf.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Interesting question, Janet! The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle permanently in South Africa, and the story is that they called it the “Wijde Rhenoster” – Wide Rhino – because of its broad mouth. When the English arrived the “Wijde” became “White”.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      One and the same, Lois. The Southern White Rhino is the subspecies occurring naturally here in South Africa and seen in zoos and safari parks all over the world. Sadly the Northern White Rhino is effectively extinct already as there’s only two old females remaining in Kenya.

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  2. H.J. for avian101

    I like the rhyno black or white, they are needlessly killed by poachers. These powerful animals are not predators nor destroy or damage the environment. Good thing that your Government protect them. Great post, D. Thank you. 🙂

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