logo

Image of The Month | December 2017

Without a doubt, one of the most magnificent and imposing figures of the natural world is the Rhinoceros. As such, they have long been revered by local tribesman to intrepid explorers, many a tale has been told where the impressive Rhinoceros takes centre stage. They are unlike anything else, and first impressions often tie a link back to some of the dinosaurs that once roamed the planet, like Triceratops – the enormous plant-eater from the late Cretaceous period (roughly 68 million years ago).

Currently, there are five recognised species of Rhinoceros, which are all found in Africa and Asia. Two species – the Black and White Rhinoceros, are confined to the African bush and savanna zones; while the other three – Indian, Javan and Sumatran, all occur on the Asian continent and are generally found in wetter environs, with the latter two preferring areas of denser forest. Once commonly found throughout their habitat of choice, every single Rhinoceros species is severely threatened.

The White Rhinoceros, currently the most numerous of all the species, was once on the brink of extinction at the turn of the 1900’s. Some magnificent work in South Africa saw them recover exceptionally well; however, the current surge in popularity of Rhino horn is threatening this, and all other species with extinction once again. It is out in East Asia, and primarily in Vietnam, where the largest market for rhino horn exists. Here, people grind up the horns and consume them, believing the dust has therapeutic properties. However, the horns are nothing much more than keratin, the same type of protein that produces hair and fingernails.

The most threatened species at the moment is the Javan Rhinoceros – a species that used to occupy much of the Indian subcontinent, Malaysian peninsula and Sumatra. Tragically, humans have entirely eliminated this species from all of these areas, largely for the trade in Rhino horn. This species is now completely confined to the Indonesian island of Java, where the last 60 odd occur in Ujung Kulon National Park. The Sumatran Rhinoceros is only in slightly better shape, numbering no more than 100 individuals in the wild. This species once occupied most of the lowland rainforest areas on Sumatra, Borneo and the Malaysian peninsula; however, they now are extinct on the peninsula, probably number less than twenty individuals on Borneo and are just about clinging on in Sumatra. The situation is sadly dire, and the outlook for these two forest Rhinos is bleak. The large armour-plated Indian Rhinoceros is also severely threatened. This species once ranged across much of the Indian subcontinent, from Pakistan to Myanmar. These days it is largely confined to NE India’s Kaziranga National Park, where more than two-thirds of the population survive. 

Widely regarded as having the worst temperament of all the species, the Black Rhinoceros is one species that you don’t want to come face to face with while walking on foot through the African bush! Even vehicles aren’t safe, and there are many stories of folks that have had an angry Black Rhino charge a car. This species has also seen a catastrophic decline in numbers, and the West African subspecies was officially declared extinct in 2011. Even as recently as the 1960’s, there were an estimated 70,000 Black Rhino on the African continent. Compare that to the current population of 5,000 odd now, and it is clear that it has been a very quick and devastating crash. Three of the species (Black, Javan and Sumatran) are all listed as critically endangered.

Thankfully, there are still many organisations and individuals that are doing a lot of hard work to try and protect the various Rhino species across the globe. National Parks such as Etosha, Kruger and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi in Africa, as well as Kaziranga in India, still hold good numbers – but for how much longer one cannot be sure. Rockjumper’s founder – Adam Riley, has an interest in a protected area known as Manyoni Game Reserve in northern Zululand, where both Black and White Rhinoceros occur at high density. There is a strong conservation ethic in this part of South Africa, and much has been done over the years to save both species. We also feature this incredible reserve on our South Africa tours, where chances of seeing both African Rhino species are very good, in addition to other signature species such as Lion, Cheetah, African Wild Dog, Leopard, African Buffalo and African Elephant.

One of Rockjumper’s sister companies – Oryx Photographic Expeditions, is also heavily involved with Rhinos Without Borders, an organisation that is working on relocating Rhinos from heavily poached areas in South Africa to massive tracts of protected wilderness in Botswana, where poaching levels are much lower.

Rockjumper Wildlife Tours feature a number of trips where you stand an excellent chance of seeing these magnificent creatures in the wild. Contact us today for more information on our expertly guided, value for money wildlife safaris.

India – Kaziranga Extension
25 – 30 Mar 2019 (6 days)
Tour Price: TBA

East Africa – Mega Wildlife Safari 
02 – 19 May 2018 (18 days)
Tour Price: *US$7975

South Africa – Cape & Zululand Wildlife Safari
09 – 19 Sep 2018 (11 Days)
Tour Price: TBA

South Africa – Kruger & Cape Wildlife Safari 
17 – 26 Sep 2018 (10 days)
Tour Price: TBA

Northern Tanzania – Ultimate Ngorongoro & Serengeti
01 – 11 Nov 2018 (11 Days)
Tour Price: TBA

  • Share
Send to a Friend

Share this photo tour with a friend by filling out the below details.

Share this wildlife tour with a friend by filling out the below details.
    Rockjumper Wildlife sends out a monthly Wildlife Tour of the Month mailer. It is our pride and commitment to offering our clients the very best wildlife tours at the very best price! Please uncheck this if you do not want to receive any notifications from us.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×
Tour Enquiry

If you require any further information on a tour please fill out your details below.

    Rockjumper Wildlife sends out a monthly Wildlife Tour of the Month mailer. It is our pride and commitment to offering our clients the very best wildlife tours at the very best price! Please uncheck this if you do not want to receive any notifications from us.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×
Client Testimonials Antarctica
×
Client Testimonials Borneo
×
Client Testimonials Brazil
×
Client Testimonials Ethiopia
×
Client Testimonials Findland
×
Client Testimonials India
×
Client Testimonials Kenya
×
Client Testimonials Madagascar
×
Client Testimonials Namibia
×
Client Testimonials Rwanda
Rwanda
JR - Private Rwanda

Trip has been wonderful! Dale is second to none! Really thrilled to have him and Eric (driver)!

×
Client Testimonials South Africa
×
Client Testimonials Spitsbergen
×
Client Testimonials Tanzania
×
Client Testimonials Congo Brazzaville
×
Client Testimonials Botswana
Botswana
LH - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

We were very lucky to have such knowledgeable guides, Shadow had the ability to place us in the right spot at the right time when other guides were still thinking about it. It was nice just to sit and observe the interactions.
Great tour, the mix of participants also worked well. Many eyes help spot things which might otherwise be missed (back seats are higher and sometimes you just catch a glimpse that the front seat people miss).

Botswana
EB - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

Great communications and customer service.
One of the best trips I’ve been on. The sightings were fantastic, Andre was great, the food phenomenal and the support staff exceptional!
Andre was an excellent guide in all regards and made sure everything went smoothly.

Botswana
I.T - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

The tour was excellent. The staff from the Safari company were also excellent.

South Africa & Botswana
LH - Tailor-made South Africa & Botswana October 2018

I want to thank all of you at Rockjumper who worked to give me and my six friends the trip of a lifetime! The trip was perfectly planned; we saw a wonderful array of sights in perfect settings and lodgings all throughout the thirteen days. Logistically, everything worked like clockwork and it took all the stress out of traveling.

But without a doubt, what made the trip so incredibly special was our tour guide/leader, Rainer Summers. He not only lead us to the sights, through airports and into the bush but he managed to keep us all together, without losing anyone for more than five minutes – and I can assure you: that was not an easy task. (We really are not senile – just a bit independent).

His knowledge of what we saw and where to take us, especially in Cape Town improved our experience greatly. His knowledge of the wildlife and its social structure and behavior at Mala Mala and in Botswana increased our appreciation of what we saw exponentially. Nothing was too much trouble whether it was showing us how to use binoculars or camera or how to spot birds.

He also made sure that everyone was comfortable and at ease in all situations. He anticipated everyone’s needs and he ensured that we all had what we needed and/or wanted everywhere.

But most of all, Rainer was delightful to be with. He was fun and his wit and sense of humor made him a great companion. He is a tremendous asset to your organization. We all would like to return to Africa and Rockjumper’s tours but we will want to have no one but Rainer with us!!! We cannot envision a tour leader who could top this experience.

So, thank you for arranging the tour and a special thanks for choosing Rainer to be our guide. It was a magnificent experience and a week later, I am still wishing I was in Africa!

Sincerely,
LH

×
Client Testimonials Patagonia
×
Client Testimonials Uganda
×