Sunday, January 23, 2011

A little taste of Africa

Birthday weekend and a trip to Bandia Park.

Note about the rhino:

As you may have noticed from the video, a rhinoceros lumbered within a few feet of our jeep on this trip, causing Rich and Dylan to shift back from the edge of the vehicle in terror. (Actually, Dylan was cool as a cucumber... it was Rich who was scared).

After we zoomed off, Rich asked the guide whether the rhinos in Bandia are nice, or aggressive. And that's when we heard a story that you'll never find in the Bandia promotional pamphlets.

That rhino, it seems, had earned a reputation for being a grump in late 2010 after bluff-charging a group of tourists who had been allowed to get down from the jeep to take photos. While several in the group scampered back to the jeep quickly, the ones closest to the rhino were told by the guide to stand still. The rhino charged forward like an angry freight train, only to stop a few feet short of them. The rhino then stepped forward gently and nudged his horn into a lady's sweater, seemingly contemplating finishing her off.

"They stood like that for 30 seconds," the guide said, before chuckling in a rather distastful manner. "Then he turned around and wandered off into the bush. We don't let people get out of the jeep any more."

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