From my days working in the Hluhluwe – Umfolozi Park I have deep seated love/fear relationship with black rhino. The fear part as they have frequently came charging out the bush towards me with what can only be described as “intent to kill”. A few close calls and many thorn trees scaled has left me more than a little jaded with rhino.
So it was with trepidation I drove towards this sleepy rhino on the shores of Lake Nakuru. Even in a car they can be a bit scary. I drove closer and waited, closer then closer, he acknowledged with an ear twitch. He breathed deeply and exhaled with a long sigh of boredom. Any second and all hell will break out, he is luring me in I’m thinking. But no he really is sleepy, just lazing in the sun thinking whatever it is rhino think about.
I stopped and started to take a few pictures and he looked directly towards the camera, then two oxpeckers flew in – couldn’t get any better really.
Continuing with the black rhino story, I was very surprised this animal took little notice of my presence. I can only presume he was very habituated as he just seemed completely relaxed. I drove even closer and started to focus on the oxpeckers. Fortunately I had a 600 mm lens so could turn the bird into the subject matter. The rhino just continued to doze and I could take lots of pictures. Eventually I drove away and left him in peace. I saw him several more times during my stay but he was never quite as relaxed as before. Sometimes wildlife photography is just a matter of chance encounters.