Compiled by Bertus Potgieter
It’s 6am on an already warm October day. The lodge is quiet, except for the sound of the guests scurrying around in their rooms as they come to the realisation that they are running late for their early morning activity, a rhino tracking expedition! The guests finally make it to the reception area where I stand waiting for them. They greet with big smiles whilst they are still in the process of putting on their walking shoes and ensuring that they have everything they’ll need for the morning ahead of them.
After the pre-briefing, the vehicle finally gets moving and we make our way into the bush. As we drive through the reserve looking for fresh rhino tracks we are amazed at the amount of game we encounter on our journey. We soon pick up fresh rhino tracks on the road. We get off the vehicle and after a very important briefing about the do’s and don’ts with regards to encountering big game on foot, off we go.
As we walk through the bush our senses come alive, with a vast array of smells and sights and sounds all around us. We are now well on the trail of the rhino, the sound of the ox peckers leading the way. We make our way through a tamboti thicket and through the bushes we finally spot a crash of five magnificent rhino. I can almost feel the heart beats of my guests. The rhino are about 15 metres ahead of us.
As we stand there I can sense the adrenalin rush and pure excitement of this wonderful moment shared between me, the guests and the rhino. I test the wind, assess the rhino’s behaviour and decide to move a little closer. We finally get to a spot where we can take a seat on a large rock and then just admire the amazing spectacle unfolding in front of our eyes. The rhino are busy having a wallow in one of the few remaining mud wallows in the area. To top off this sighting we noticed that the whole crash consisted of bulls, a rare sighting and something you will never see with the black rhino.
Definitely an activity worth taking part in.
Until next month
Greetings from the Pongola Game Reserve and her entire team.