I joined a couple of our security scouts on their daily patrol and few days ago. It was really early when we found tracks of a black rhino cow and calf, and after about an hour of tracking them on foot we heard them feeding very loudly nearby.
We then stopped and tried to identify her by the notches in her ears, but we didn’t have a clear view. She was feeding on forbs with her head held low, close to the ground, so she couldn’t see us. She was calmly feeding and walking towards a fallen tree, so we very slowly and quietly made our way to behind the fallen tree and watched her and her calf feed. During this time the scouts identified her, and I managed to get these beautiful close up shots with my camera.
As she got within five metres of us the wind must have swirled because she got a whiff of us and looked straight up at me, for about 10 seconds, with those very sharp horns piercing the air, and then she ran off into the bush with her calf following closely behind.
What a humbling, awe-inspiring, heart-racing privilege and I look forward to more of these intimate experiences during this time that we have to explore all corners of the reserve on foot.