Wallowing in rhinos

Watching white rhinos noisily enjoying a drink and a wallow while they grumpily jostled for top spot at the Kumasinga waterhole hide in Kwazulu Natal’s Mkhuze game reserve, was one of numerous highlights of our recent trip to South Africa. This was the first of several visits we plan to make to Africa for ‘Project African Rhino’ the rhino-awareness raising campaign we launched just two months ago at Save the Rhino International’s ‘Rhino Mayday’ event in London.

Now we’re back in our office in the UK and, as we begin editing all our images and transcribing the many hours of interview material, it’s great to be able to relive experiences like this. It brings home to both of us the reason we embarked on this three year photo-journalism project in the first place – to spotlight and celebrate Africa’s rhinos and the efforts being made to conserve and protect them at this critical time.

Observing rhinos at such close quarters going about their business like this in the wild is a joy and a privilege. We visited the recently refurbished hide early on in our four week RSA visit. It’s always been a brilliant and peaceful place to spend a morning in the drier months, getting intimate views of abundant wildlife coming down to drink, but finding a welcome party of nine white rhinos hanging out at the waterhole on our very first morning was a real bonus. In our many years of visiting this famous hide we’d never bumped into so many rhinos cooling off at once at the water. It seemed like a fine way to start a rhino project and we felt sure it would prove be a very good omen for the rest of our first Project African Rhino trip…

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