Rhino tracking is one of the most unique and amazing safari experiences!
â€œIf the rhino starts running towards you, you jump to the sideâ€. This is the words our guide told us when we were standing there â€“ only three meters away from a big white rhino and her three-months-old baby calf.
But how did we end up standing face to face with this magnificent animal? And how could we be this close to it without any protection?
Truth is, the only thing we had with us at this point was our cameras (which we almost forgot to use, as we got so caught up in being present in the moment when facing these animals). The safari car was left behind, because on this safari experience you go tracking the rhinos by foot â€“ andÂ oh boyÂ it was amazing!
At the beginning it all looked like it would be just another one of the usual safari experiences, where you get into the safari truck, which has upfolding walls, so you can see everything from the car. Because you see - on safaris youâ€™re usually told to always stay inside the car, as this is the safe spot on the journey through the African bush. Along the way our guide stopped several times, and we always had our cameras on standby not to miss out on any of the animals spotted!
But a little into the drive something unusual happens. Our guide stops the car and asks us to start walking into the bush. Just remember that I just told you that youâ€™re usually told to always stay inside the car, but this time our guide asked us to voluntarily leave the only place that feels like a safe place and walk out into the unsafe, and quite scary African bush. And then the real tracking really began. In the middle of the African bush â€“ far away from any so-called roads â€“ we were walking. 7 people in the middle of nowhere. Walking to try and spot and get a picture of the rhinos. Suddenly our guide whispersÂ â€œstay close together. Weâ€™re getting close to the rhinosâ€. A cold shower of insecurity rushed down our back, and then out of nowhere one of the most endangered animals in the world were standing right in front of us! At first, we all desperately took a million pictures with the camera, but it didnâ€™t take more than a few moments before everyone had put it aside and just stood there â€“ face to face with the rhinos â€“ enjoying and really taking in the moment.
"If the rhino starts running towards you, you jump to the sideâ€.Â This is the words our guide told us when we were standing there â€“ only three meters away from a big white rhino and her three-months-old baby calf. A little shaky, and completely caught up by being present in the momentÂ â€“Â we forgot to ask any further questions to that statement. Because truth is â€“ when youâ€™re standing right in front of an animal which can weight more than 3500 kg, and her little baby calf, the world just stops. Nothing else matters in that moment. And the moment is a moment of pure happiness and beauty!
From the African bush you could hear the birds and sound from other animals, but other than that â€“ completely silence. The moment was so incredible peaceful, and thereâ€™s really no words that can describe the feeling in a good enough way, but just to try to summarize the experience into two words it would be happy and thankful! Happy and thankful for the fact that I got to experience this incredible moment, where the harmony between the people, the animals and the nature itself was truly something extraordinary and unique, and something I will never forget!
Back in camp we finally manned up to ask the guide if he really meant it when he told us to jump to the side if the rhinos started running. â€œYes, the rhinos have such a bad eyesight that they will only see a shadow and start running â€“ they wonâ€™t see that you move out of their eyesight. Unfortunately, this is also why the poachers can easily take down the rhinos, as they are a fairly easy target.â€ Our heart broke the minute he said the last words. Because truth is, these animals we had just been facing, and the magical moment we shared with them, might not be possible to experience in the future, simply because these beautiful animals are threatened with facing extinction.
So, Iâ€™m begging you; please, please, please, make sure you do your research good before picking your safari place! Make sure you know what place youâ€™re leaving your money and support to, because truth is, even though there is a lot of really good places out there, there is unfortunately some very bad places too. That being said; rhino tracking is really a safari experience out of the extraordinary, and something you just need to experience yourself to believe it can be true! If youâ€™ve been to several safaris and think youâ€™ve already â€œseen it allâ€, I promise you â€“ if you havenâ€™t done the rhino tracking, you can never imagine how it feels like to stand just next to these animals. You should look long to find a more incredible, unique and beyond exciting safari experience â€“ because the feeling you get when itâ€™s only you, the rhino and the African bush is totally insane and magical! Our travel planners and local ambassadors are more than happy to assist you, and we can promise a truly unique safari experience for your next holiday! The rhino tracking at Matopo Hills in Zimbabwe is also mentioned inÂ this articleÂ as one of our top five destinations in Africa!