Our Livingstone Rhinoson October 9, 2013
Around the Sun International Zambia Resort we have giraffe, impala, zebra and bushbuck as well as over 400 bird species. But if our guests want to see more wildlife, they can take a drive or a walk around our Game Park. The Game Park is a section of our Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park which is fenced off and where there is a wider variety of animal species.
One of our special animal species is a herd of eight white rhinos. About 4 years ago Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) brought in five rhinos from South Africa. As most people know, rhinos are facing an onslaught from poachers who are selling the rhino horn for medicine. ZAWA knew that they had to help the protection of the rhinos so brought in the nucleus of a herd which could help in their survival. Since their arrival the rhinos have had three babies, all of which are happy and healthy in our park.
The youngest rhino was born just over a year ago and follows its mother, Inonge, through the thick bush, feeding on the grass. Close behind comes Fwana, the father. They are massive animals and it is quite jaw-dropping to come close up and personal with them, but that is what you can do in our Game Park.
The rhinos are guarded 24 hours a day by a team of dedicated Game Scouts. They are never left alone for fear that they may be killed. It is a massive operation but ZAWA knows that it is worthwhile. Because the rhinos are guarded so closely they are used to the presence of people. I went to have a look at them the other day to see for myself how they are getting on.
We drove into the park and one of the Game Scouts, Albert, escorted us to find them. They were deep in the bush, away from the other animals. When we arrived nearby Albert told us we had to walk; the rhinos were away from the road. After walking a short distance we heard the cracking of branches and I could see a big grey body pushing its way through the trees – it was Inonge.
The three rhinos continued their foraging, walking so close to us that we could almost have touched them. The baby was curious and took a few steps towards us; Fwana was watching. Inonge continued on through the bush so the baby turned and followed her. Fwana snorted and plodded after them. Although white rhinos are much less aggressive than black rhinos it was still an incredible experience, and we’re so pleased that Livingstone is home to such an important preservation programme.