Green “hunting”: Rhino Darting Safari at Phinda

FAST FACTS

Where: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Population: 20 000 White and 4 800 black
Rhino characteristics: Herbivores, 1.8m high, up to 1700kg, lifespan 50yrs
Classification: Endangered
Best time to travel: Year round

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THE EXPERIENCE

Despite being awesomely beautiful, Rhinos are critically endangered and being poached at an alarming rate. Many of Phinda’s rhinos have been notched, a technique where their ears are permanently marked to enable accurate identification, both to ensure their safety and for research purposes. Eight to ten rhinos are notched on a yearly basis as they reach maturity.
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In special cases, guests can take part in a four-day Rhino Capture and Research Safari where you accompany vets and rangers in the bush, careering along in the back of an open vehicle in search of unidentified rhinos to dart and tag. The revenue goes straight into the conservation, security and research of White Rhino at Phinda and makes the successful management of the rhino possible. You have a guaranteed opportunity to get up close to one of the last of their kinds and see the conservation team at work, and your participation plays an active role in the on-going conservation of this species.

In addition to rhino darting, Phinda also offers guests many unique wilderness experiences: from bird watching and family safaris to walking adventures and many more. Those seeking more of a cultural experience can take a day excursion to the ancient Zulu Battlefields to gain an appreciation for the region’s turbulent history.

The private reserve covers an impressive 23 000 hectares of prime wilderness land with its abundant plants and animals. Showcasing one of the continent’s finest game viewing experiences, the reserve features Africa’s Big Five, endangered black rhino, wild dog and 415 bird species. It has one of the largest privately owned populations of white rhino in South Africa, as well as a growing number of black rhino.

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TIMELESS AFRICA SAFARIS TIPS

  • Phinda is also one of the best all-round game spots in Africa
  • An easy scheduled flight leaves JHB for Phinda on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
  • Bring your kids – &Beyond’s WILDchild programme brings the wonder of Africa alive for children as young as six. Supervised by expertly trained rangers, each day is packed full of exciting activities that highlight the wonders of each safari destination
  • The area is also a birder’s paradise, with 415 bird species
  • It’s near to the popular breeding grounds of the highly endangered sea turtles
  • There is also spectacular scuba diving in the famous Sodwana Bay

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