Black Rhinos in Zim

We were all really excited – it was our first safari in search of a dangerous animal. Our vehicle was a converted VW minivan with holes cut in the roof so everyone could standup to see the animals. We got to the park where Wally, our Rhodesian guide took us walking around while telling us about the environment. We jumped in the van and went for a short drive hunting the rhino, but none seemed to want to come out of hiding. We then stopped for lunch and met two other minivans of safairiers.

This safari company – “Black Rhino” is so nice. The guides are all Rhodesians, well educated and amazingly friendly. Plus they pampered us. They would set up the chairs for us, they would make something for us to drink, etc. It was really classy. Great food and they could tell you about anything in the park.

After lunch we started off towards the game park, all becoming anxious and excited to find some big animals. On the way to the park we came upon two other safari vans, each with 6-8 people all aiming cameras at something in the bush. We got over to them as quickly as possible because we wanted to play with our cameras too! This stop turned out to be a giraffe munching on a tree with a herd of zebra not too far off behind it. The giraffe couldn’t have cared less about the minivans, but the zebra all stared at us for a spell before running off. The giraffe just walked around behind the tree, making us become bored with it so we started up the minivan and moved on towards the park.

At the park entrance the ranger told us to go right around the corner from his booth, for there were some rhino over there. We turned the van around and drove around the corner to spot a white rhino with her four month old baby standing next to her. It was amazing standing there watching the rhino graze. Since rhino have really poor eyesight the mother couldn’t see us from where we were standing, but the baby could hear us and became really angry and started running around. The mother began to walk away a bit, then would stop and eat for a while. We stood there watching them for fifteen to twenty minutes before turning around and heading off into the middle of the game park.

Once in the park all of us were standing up looking for game. Our van pulled up to another giraffe that we watched for a while. We drove around the park and saw many different animals for our first safari. We saw white and black rhino (the animal of the day), giraffe, zebra, warthogs, impala and crocodiles (from a distance). At about 4:00 p.m. we pulled up to a game viewing hut where we got our afternoon tea with pound cake, Unbelievable – it was really civilized. One of the girls on the other trucks screamed out, “Love those Rhodesians – they’ve always got to have their afternoon tea.” We all had a chuckle over that one. After tea it was another short drive through the park where we saw a herd of wildebeests before heading back to Bulawayo for the night.

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