Part 7…Rhino Day!…If you think the Big Five is something…How about the “Ridiculous Nine!!!…Day spent in Kruger with friends!

“A rhinoceros, commonly abbreviated to ‘rhino,’ is one of any five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae, as well as any of the numerous extinct species. Two of the extant species are native to Africa and three to Southern Asia.”
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
“Here are five interesting facts about them: These huge birds of prey have a wingspan of up to 2.4 meters, with the females larger than the males. African fish eagles are very efficient hunters and only hunt for about 10 minutes each day. Besides fish, they also eat young birds, monkeys, baby crocodiles, and frogs.”

Note:  Some of today’s photo captions were taken from this site. Today’s rhino photos combine those we took last Friday and others we’d yet to post from prior visits to Kruger.

The beautiful adventures continue with friends Tom and Lois. Every day is action-packed with a combination of sightings in the garden, Kruger National Park, and the Marloth Park fence overlooking the Crocodile River into Kruger.

Two rhinos were grazing together.

Add in the fabulous dinners at a variety of local restaurants and right here at our holiday home as we make good home-cooked meals. We couldn’t all be enjoying ourselves more.

Rhinos grazing in the grass in Kruger.  (Photo was taken a few months ago).

It’s significant to see how much our guests are engrossed in the wildlife.

We had no idea it would mean so much to the two of them, as they revel in every aspect of life in the bush, an incredible experience for them both.

“The White Rhino is the third largest land mammal. Massive, stocky, and with a reputation of being not quite as aggressive as the Black Rhino. The two distinctive horns are, in fact, very densely packed fibers and materially not horns. The record horn length is 1.58 m. Bulls, weighing up to 2 000 kg, are larger than cows which weigh up to 1 800 kg. Bulls are 1.8 m at the shoulders. The grey skin is almost hairless. They have a square-shaped, wide mouth. White Rhinos have a hump on the neck. The penis points backward, and testes are located abdominally.”

Last night we dined in and cooked chicken “flatties” on the braai, which are simply whole chickens cut by the butcher to make them entirely flat. Then, they are seasoned in unique sauces and spices to enhance the flavor.

This shot was taken last Friday during our fantastic safari day.

With a wide array of spices used for this purpose, we had three distinct flavors:  Portuguese, Sweet, and Spicy and Garlic, all of which were excellent. With homemade soup, salad, and an Asian green bean dish, dinner was perfect.

This morning we had no less than 20 animals from four species in the garden. We all were enthralled with this great turnout as we snapped photos right and left.  

“The White Rhino is strictly a grazer. Favoring short grass, but will feed on taller grass when short grass is not available. The wide mouth enables adequate intake with each plug harvested with the upper and lower lips.”

Guest Tom loves taking videos on his Facebook page and did quite a few excellent representations. After coffee and breakfast, we headed out to see Deidre at Wild and Free Rehabilitation and show Tom and Lois the wonders she’s performing in returning ill or injured animals to the wild.

“Even though most conceptions take place during the wet season, this huge mammal is not a strict seasonal breeder. Calves are born early in the dry season after a gestation period of 16 months and stay with their mothers for two to three years until she gives birth to her next calf. Cows start breeding at about eight years, and bulls reach sexual maturity at 10-12 years. During mating, sexual activity can last more than an hour.”

We’ll be writing a story soon with many fabulous photos from our visit to Hectorspruit to the facility. Tom and Lois were excited and impressed with the experience.  

“Despite their bulk and short stubby legs, White Rhino can run remarkably fast, but only for very short distances. Dominant territorial bulls occupy mutually exclusive areas of two to five square kilometers, but one or more subordinate bulls may share the territory. Female ranges may overlap those of several bull territories. A territorial bull will attempt to confine a receptive cow to his territory and will join her for five to ten days before mating.”

It was our second time visiting Deidre at Wild and Free Rehabilitation. Still, we loved it even more than the first, knowing the wonder of hers and her staff’s commitment to rescuing wildlife, dedicated to healing them and returning them to the wild. Please keep an eye out for our latest story over the next several days.

“Formerly widely distributed throughout the bushveld regions of South Africa. In the 19th century, it was exterminated by hunters, except in KwaZulu-Natal’s Umfolozi region. Although now thriving where it has been re-introduced into parts of its former region, it still suffers from poaching.”

Tonight, we’re heading back to Ngwenya Lodge and Restaurant once more for the Thursday evening buffet dinner, where pricing is based on the weight of the food on one’s plate. The food is excellent, the Crocodile River viewing is exceptional, and indeed, once again, the conversation will be lively and animated.  

Too much fun!  We love every moment!

Photo from one year ago today, October 18, 2017:

We’d heard parrots might be seen in the trees in this park in Atenas, Costa Rica. We’d visited several times to no avail. For more photos, please click here.

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