Day 353: Zambia and Hunting Rhinos

Hunting Rhinos to shoot, with our cameras of course. In addition to Victoria Falls, this was one of the other highlights we experienced in Zambia.

Teaching Danny how to focus and shoot (Photo by Mikayla)

We set out in our safari jeep, excited and hopeful but a little apprehensive, as we knew we would hunting the Rhinos on foot.  Of course, we could only do this with several heavily armed guards, but if a Rhino chose to charge us, I’m not so sure how safe we’d be, regardless of the guards’ presence.  Plus the thought of being the cause for a guard to shoot was a bit disconcerting, but we were told that rarely happens.

When we arrived, we parked and waited patiently for our guard escorts.  For whatever reason, they did not appear, so our courageous camp guide, Luckson, set out in search of them, with us closely trailing behind him.  We were instructed to follow quietly and in single file at all times.

We found our guard escorts just a few minutes later.  The first thing we noticed were their guns but they all smiled and soon put us at ease.

We were then given our instructions and told to follow them very carefully.  They also explained that they knew the Rhinos very well, and could read their moods.  If they said retreat, or shared any other instruction, it was imperative that we follow.  We agreed, and off we went, cautiously, quietly, but quite excitedly.

It didn’t take long to locate the Rhino family.  They were peacefully grazing and while I’m sure they noticed us, did not seem too bothered by us.  A few times, our armed escorts indicated we back up or move as they observed a few warning signs, but overall, the atmosphere remained relaxed and felt very safe.

The Rhinos allowed us to watch them for a long time.  It was fascinating observing their behaviors and interactions, especially because they had a baby among them.  Once again, I never would have put Rhinos at the top of my list of favorite animals, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed watching them.

Here are a few more photos from that day:

And one last one. We actually saw this guy a few days later in South Africa, but we were in safari jeeps at the time.

Such strange, unique creatures, aren’t they?  What do you think?

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