We’re going to focus on the rhinoceros over the next few weeks – to bring awareness about this magnificent animal and to remind everyone that rhino horn is not medicine. Seeing a rhino while on safari is like going back to a prehistoric time – and indeed, they’ve been around for more than 50 million years. Wow! Enjoy these first 5 facts and look forward to more in the coming weeks. A big thank you to the International Rhino Foundation for this information.
In addition to the large, gray-colored mammals that we all know and love, a number of other animals include the word “rhinoceros” in their names: rhinoceros auklet, rhinoceros beetle, rhinoceros cockroach, rhinoceros hornbill, rhinoceros iguana, rhinoceros rat snake, and rhinoceros viper. All have interesting appendages on their noses!
The rhino’s horn is not bone and not attached to its skull. It is actually a compacted mass of hairs that continues to grow throughout the animal’s lifetime, just like our own hair and nails. The longest horn on record belonged to a white rhino and measured just under 60 inches (five feet). By comparison, a woman from Las Vegas, Nevada is believed to have the world’s longest fingernails – about 10 feet worth on each hand – while a woman from China apparently holds the record for the world’s longest hair – over 18 feet in length! Regrettably, neither human hair nor fingernails are believed to possess the healing properties that Asian people believe are found in rhino horn. If people believed they did, they could chew their own nails and cut their own hair in order to feel well, and halt the needless slaughter of rhinos.
When an Indian or greater one-horned rhino finds it necessary to defend itself against a predator or other attacker, it doesn’t use its horn to gore its opponent. Instead, it slashes and gouges viciously with the long, sharp incisors and canine teeth of its lower jaw. Neither the black nor the white rhino has any incisor teeth. Only the Indian and Sumatran rhinos have canines, but all five species have three premolars and three molars on each side of their upper and lower jaws.
A group of cattle is called a herd, a group of bats a colony, a group of turkeys a flock, a group of bees a swarm, a group of clams a bed, a group of frogs an army, a group of penguins a rookery, a group of hyenas a clan, a group of lions a pride, a group of wolves a pack, and a group of crows a murder. Go figure!
Several countries in Africa still have large populations of rhinos, particularly South Africa, which has 80% of the world’s population of white rhinos. You can also see rhinos in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya. Talk with one of our safari specialists to plan a safari with the best chance of seeing a rhino in the wild.
Our passion for Africa began with a dream of living on the continent – a dream realized. We explored parks, rivers, mountains and villages, learned about the flora and fauna, fell in love with everything, and came away wanting to share our passion for a remarkable continent. Africa Adventure Consultants was born of the desire to give more people the chance to experience Africa’s wonders. Let us guide you into the wilderness.
Africa is enormous. There are endless things to see and do, and it can’t all be done in one trip. That said, we realize that many people believe that a trip to Africa is ‘once in a lifetime’ (though many more end up realizing once is not enough!). What do you most want to see? What experiences have you been dreaming of? Visit our destination pages to narrow your choices down, browse our safari types to get a sense of the activities and styles available, or talk with a Journey Specialist to hone in on the areas that will deliver the journey of your imagination.
We know it can be hard to narrow down what to do on vacation, especially with the wealth of choices that are available on the African continent. That’s why we have created an array of sample itineraries to inspire your travel. Browse through them – you’ll find everything from family safaris to honeymoons to Kilimanjaro climbs – and find the places and activities that excite you. From there, you can contact a Journey Specialist to start the process of crafting a customized safari just for you!