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Adventures in Swaziland

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Adventures in Swaziland
JENMAN

Rhinos are extremely feared animals and for that reason they are on the Big 5 list! The Big 5 comprises of the 5 most dangerous and magnificent African animals to hunt… Therefore even though rhinos are poached, they are also feared and are extremely aggressive towards humans… which is what happens if you get too close… which, well sort of happened not too long ago!

The Rhino Encounter

Rhinos are truly magnificent animals; well feared and extremely popular for safaris. Nevertheless, no matter how breathtaking these animals are, the sad truth is that it’s not uncommon for rhinos to be hunted by men. Often, poachers hunt down rhinos in order to get their majestic horns. Most of the time, they don’t even stop from killing baby rhinos to get whatever little horn they have. These horns are then sold to the highest bidder – collectors from all around the world.

Our very own Aline and Lisa were sent on an educational safari which took them through South Africa and Swaziland. On their second day they arrived at the Hlane Royal National Park in Swaziland and were given the opportunity to go on a walking safari in the rhino enclosure. While following their guide, they ran into another group of tourists, telling them, that there were some rhinos behind the bushes, just around the corner.

They slowly approached the area to find two rhinos fighting. Surprisingly, there were two females battling each other, which is rather unusual. While watching them fight, the tour guide explained to the group what to do in case the rhinos go rogue and start to charge them: You should stand down-wind, be quiet and hide in the nearest & biggest tree. This is only a safety precaution for the group since rhino attacks rarely happen and as long as you are careful and respectful of their space, they are not really a threat.

The group continued their approach while watching the “ladies” fight. All of a sudden; they stopped, looked at the group, circled and then started to charge the group. Obviously, most of the participants started to panic and they forgot all the advice they had gotten just a few minutes ago. Finally, one lady regained her composure and remembered to climb the nearest tree.

The others quickly followed her but the rhinos still kept charging the group. Now that everyone was safe in the trees the time had come to plan a counterattack and chase the rhinos away. This was the responsibility of their tour guide who rather casually got the rhinos to disappear by batting a stick on the ground (making a loud and scary noise to intimidate the rhinos). Even though, chasing the rhinos away was less spectacular than expected, it didn’t make the guide anything less than a hero for the group.
They survived the attack!

So, the rhinos gave Aline and Lisa the fright of their lives. Still, this adventure will remain an unforgettable memory and, who knows, maybe it will become their safari story of a lifetime!

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