Africa

Tracking rhinos in the Khama sanctuary and route to Maun

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He trip to Botswana continue and on our fifth day of travel we wake up early to track the sanctuary on foot and thus approach the almost extinct rhinos. Later, we got back on track to drive to Maun, the door to Okavango Delta.

As we had the yesterdayAt seven o'clock in the morning we came to find the guides to track the rhinos on foot in the sanctuary. It had not been a good night, since jokes about the danger of the activity took my sleep a little. Were we really going to do all the walking safari in search of rhinos? Equipped with “bush” colored clothes, we get on the truck to start the safari and discover it.

Tracking the rhinos on foot

In November, in Botswana the sun rises at half past five in the morning, so at seven o'clock the sun was already shining brightly and it was starting to get warm. He Khama Shrine It covers an area of ​​4300 hectares of the sandy terrain of the Kalahari and in addition to the rhinos, which have been introduced since its creation in 1992, it has more than thirty species of animals and more than 230 species of birds, so the safari was very entertaining. Especially when we saw zebras for the first time, since in the trip to Uganda We did not have the opportunity to see any.

How beautiful the zebras!

As we continued advancing we also spotted giraffes, which is one of my favorite animals because of how beautiful and elegant they are. We also found a leopard tortoise, which is part of the so-called «Little five». When they prepare African safaris, everyone hopes to see the «Big five»Or the big Five, which are: the lion, the African elephant, the leopard, the African buffalo and the rhinoceros. However, there are also small creatures that are also beautiful to see and, as a joke, are called five small. These are: the lion ant, the elephant shrew, the leopard tortoise, the buffalo weaver and the rhinoceros beetle.

One of the Little five: the leopard tortoise

After a while touring the sanctuary and enjoying the wildlife, we reached a point where the driver stopped the car. The guide had found a rhinoceros trail, so we got off. He pulled out a huge rifle and loaded it before our eyes. "Just in case, he would shoot at the sky," he told us with a smile. Before entering the bushes, out of the way, they gave us several indications to avoid misfortunes: we had to advance in an Indian row, half crouched, trying to make the least possible noise, so be careful with stepping on dry branches, and when the guide made us the signal to stop, we had to stand still immediately. We swallow saliva and go into wild terrain. The guide was ahead with the rifle, inspecting the prints. After a while of silent tension, he made the signal and we stopped dead. "Look, there is a rhino there," he said as he pointed to some distant bushes. And indeed, behind the bushes a gray spot was guessed that could only be a rhinoceros. We were about thirty or forty meters away. Then the guide moved on, to see if he could find a point from which to better observe the rhinoceros. He picked up some sand from the ground and dropped it to know the direction of the wind. It was necessary that the wind did not blow at our backs, since then the wind would carry our scent to the rhinoceros and discover us. We made a wide detour and we were on the other side. Crouched there, almost holding our breath to make no noise, we could see a part of the rhinoceros lying on the ground among the bushes. The guide told us that he did not want to take the risk of getting closer because he believed that the rhinoceros was a female with a baby and could be very dangerous. We stayed there for about five minutes, watching, and then returned to the car exactly along the same path we had followed.

Among the bushes the rhino had a baby

Again in the car, we continue for a while on the roads where cars can go and, a little later, we spot a group of four adult white rhinos lying on the ground. The driver stopped the car and the guide got off to inspect the conditions. Seeing that they were adequate, he made a sign for us to come down. The rhinos were about a hundred meters away and we approached a little on foot to be able to see them more closely. The wind blew in our direction, so that rhinos could not smell us well. Little by little, we got closer and we could see the rhinos a little closer from behind a bush, at a safe distance. Although they could not smell us, we saw that little by little they became aware of our presence, because they stared at us, pointing our ears in our direction. And then, one by one, they got up.

Rhinoceros Grupillo

He white rhinoceros It is one of the largest land animals, can measure more than four meters and feeds on grass. Currently, along with the black rhinoceros, it is in danger of extinction because of the poaching, since in many cultures it is believed that its horn has miraculous properties. Despite the fact that the rhinoceros almost died out in the early twentieth century and there were only a thousand copies left worldwide, the population's awareness, control of inhabited areas and relocation has led to its number has increased today up to approximately 20,000 copies However, the figures are far removed from the million rhinos estimated in Africa before the colonization of the continent.

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