Rhinos

Here are a few more photos of rhinos that I had flagged for posting.

Have a great evening!

This rhino came quite close to our vehicle while we were stopped taking notes.  I took the photo through the grab bars of the truck. 1/400 sec, f5.6, ISO 1000
This rhino came quite close to our vehicle while we were stopped taking notes. I took the photo through the grab bars of the truck.
1/400 sec, f5.6, ISO 1000
Five oxpeckers perch on the back of the largest of this trio of rhinos.
Five oxpeckers perch on the back of the largest of this trio of rhinos.
A young rhino listens intently in our direction. 1/400 sec, f5.6 ISO 640
A young rhino listens intently in our direction.
1/400 sec, f5.6 ISO 640

Black Rhino

I was lucky enough to see a black rhino cow and calf – moving along a hill opposite to where our vehicle was parked.  This photo was taken at full zoom (300mm) and I haven’t cropped it.  If I had to guess I would say they were somewhere between 400-500 metres away; and from what I have heard about the black rhino temperament, that is a pretty comfortable distance! (In case you are wondering, the calf is the indistinct lump slightly behind mom).

Unfortunately with the distance there is no way to post a comparison (using my photos) to show the difference between the black and white rhino.  Still, a really cool experience.

Have a great evening!

A black rhino cow and calf wander along a hillside. 1/320 sec, f9.0, ISO 500
A black rhino cow and calf wander along a hillside.
1/320 sec, f9.0, ISO 500

Rhino Tracking

I had the privilege of experiencing tracking white rhino on foot.  The original hope had been that it would provide us with some great photo opportunities, but the rhino were spending the day in fairly thick bush grazing.  In order to remain downwind of them, we ended up in some thick bush as well.

While the photography aspect didn’t pan out as the organizers had hoped, it was a truly special adventure which I enjoyed immensely.

A de-horned rhino grazing in dense brush. 1/250 sec, f5.6, ISO 500
A de-horned rhino grazing in dense brush.
1/250 sec, f5.6, ISO 500

Mama and baby rhino

On one of my South African trips, I was lucky enough to see this white rhino cow and calf having an afternoon rest.  Mama was providing a shady spot away from the afternoon heat for her baby, but they were very quickly startled by our presence and moved off just a moment after I pressed the shutter down.

A white rhino cow and calf resting in the afternoon heat, with a trio of oxpeckers accompanying them. 1/800sec, f5.6, ISO800
A white rhino cow and calf resting in the afternoon heat, with a trio of oxpeckers accompanying them.
1/800sec, f5.6, ISO800

And now, for something a bit horny…

Hey you – made you look!  You probably weren’t expecting a post dedicated to Rhinos, were you?

Rhino Grazing, April 2013
Rhino Grazing, April 2013

Part of my desire to see a Rhino was based on fear.  Fear that if I waited too long, they would be poached into extinction.  I certainly hope that doesn’t happen.  At last count, 273 had been lost in Kruger National Park this year alone.  It makes me feel sad and dismayed that people cling to these outdated, and patently false beliefs about the power of Rhino Horn (or Bear Gallbladder, Tiger parts…)   Sadly, as long as there is a market for these items, people will continue to brutalize animals.

The first time I saw a Rhino, it was somewhat anti-climatic.  We were just about to stop for sundowners, and there they were…. It was one of those sighting that I had to be told where to look, and I still didn’t see them at first.  They were far from us, in the tall grasses and amongst some bushes, in the falling light.  Blackish grey blobs in the distance.  Even at 300mm zoom, I couldn’t get a decent view of them. It didn’t help that the group of three was so focused on grazing, not a single one raised their heads the entire time we were stopped.  It was exciting to know they were there, but I really didn’t get a sense of them at all.

It wasn’t until our last evening game drive that we had a proper opportunity to watch the rhinos and get some good photo opportunities.  I was surprised by how close we were able to be to them in the vehicle, but they were completely unconcerned with us.  We were completely captivated viewing them, and they were completely captivated by their grazing.  I had heard previously that rhinos have terrible vision, and looking at them up close, it is easy to understand that fact, as they appear to have very small eyes in proportion to their body size, and they always look to me a bit squinty, like they need a strong pair of glasses.

Rhino at Londolozi, April 2013
Rhino at Londolozi, April 2013
Rhino and Oxpecker, April 2013
Rhino and Oxpecker, April 2013
Rhinos, April 2013
Rhinos, April 2013
Heading off for a new patch of grass.  Rhinos at Londolozi, April 2013
Heading off for a new patch of grass. Rhinos at Londolozi, April 2013
error: Content is protected !!