Friday, 24 July 2009

African Chessmasters

Barely noticable...left is the Black Rhino, and right it is it's larger cousin, the White Rhino

Know the difference between a White and Black Rhino? Well, it has nothing to do with colour…

This month of July saw Mr and Mrs Catania joining us on our 8-Day Kruger Park Safari, and rhino’s were the star of the show. Endangered and very elusive, the Black Rhino is distinguishable from its cousin, the White Rhino, in a number of ways. While there is no difference in the colouring, the Black Rhino is significantly smaller than the White Rhino, and the main indicator is the shape of the mouth: Black Rhino have a pointed upper lip as opposed to the White Rhino, which has a more snub, square mouth.

This is because of eating habits. The Black Rhino is a browser, and thus uses its pointed lip in grip and tear leaves from bushes and shrubs whilst the White Rhino is a grazer, feeding on grass.

Other sightings included hippos, wildebeest, elephant, porcupine and a very bad tempered honey badger (above left), as well as a visit to the southern most baobab tree (above right). This tree is estimated to be over 3000 years old, and has a base of 43 meters. In other news, the lion cubs have grown quite fast and are starting to look more like young lions and less than cuddly kittens. Akila has grown too large and boisterous to the point that he will be joining the breeding project.