Today’s Review: Black Rhino Sanctuary by Amakove Wala

Touring Tsavo West National Park and wueh! You need a week to absorb everything.
We got the services of Kenya Wildlife Service Deputy Warden for Tsavo West National Park as well as the Ranger stationed at Kilaguni Serena Lodge, Tsavo West, Kenya

One of the most shy animals during day time is the rhino. The black and white nomenclature of the rhinos has nothing to do with their colour but the shape of their snouts. The rhino is an endangered animal often hunted for its horn. A couple of parks have dedicated sanctuaries for their breeding and scientific studies. I’ve visited the one at Meru National Park and so when I heard that Tsavo West had one too, I was sold. Problem is the distance from the Serena Hotel. It is an hour’s drive. This isn’t a problem save for the fact that we had just climbed Chaimo Hill and my legs were still shaking. But off we went at 4pm to arrive by 5pm. One is not supposed to be in the park after 6pm unless by advance permission and with a Ranger. I had both. And so we arrived at the vast rhino Sanctuary which is at rhino valley in the park. It is well fenced with electric fencing. Guarded very well too. The KWS have erected a high view point where one can even camp. It has a shower and toilet facility. I found it really cool. Not sure of the charges though since the rangers didn’t know as it was a couple of months old.

And then the waiting started. You know something with parks is that the animals are always spotted “the day before” and you are just there to try your luck. By 1805hrs, with no sighting of any rhino at the open place where the watering hole is, I revved the engine and reversed the car ready to leave. The Ranger told me to give it ten more minutes. I was anxious since I had a call to get into at exactly 7pm and there was very poor network at the Sanctuary and most of the road back.

No sooner had I turned the car to leave than the first rhino sauntered in. The excitement had to be contained since you have to maintain absolute silence. He check us out briefly before heading to the watering hole. We stood there in excitement while he had his fill and then went to pose for us right in the middle of the field. We saw a second one coming in but he/she did not venture into the open field and soon it was time to leave. We were just glad that the first one showed up. The Sanctuary apparently has over 130 black rhinos under high security.

Amakove rating 10/10. Thank you, first rhino, for giving us a show. Hopefully, I’ll be back to camp on the watchtower and see the party that happens during the night.

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