Track endangered Black Rhinos with Etangola Namib Desert Tours
Did you know that it is possible to do a safari to track black rhinos in Namibia?
All you need is to find a trustable company with a guide who knows all about rhinos and can find them by seeing tracks, knowing how old is a poop, and where the wind is blowing so they can’t hear the car.
In June, 2018 I took a Rhino Tracking Tour in Namibia with Etangola Tours.
How is the Rhino Tracking Tour?
The tour leaves at 7am from Swakopmund on the way to Doros, where the rhino tracking is done. We passed by the Skeleton Coast, saw a shipwreck in Henties Bay, welwitschia which is the national flower of Namibia, besides Zebra Canyon.
Etangola Tours offers large tents (3m wide x 3m long and 3m tall) which are quite easy to build, a camp bed that stand about 40cm from the ground with comfortable bedding and a sleeping bag. Besides a secluded toilet.
The 4×4 car is very well equipped, has a fridge in it and even a shower.
They also have portable tables, chairs and all kitchen accessories that are necessary.
The food was thousand times better than I expected! We had things such as mushrooms with garlic butter, impala barbecue, boiled potatoes and a mini pumpkins.
We camped in the middle of nowhere and since there were no lights around to bother us we could see the whole Milky way.
Besides black rhinos we saw zebras, giraffes, giant crickets and others.
In this tour the guide drives, set the tents and cook for you. In case you would like to drive your own vehicle, there is an option too. It was nice to be able to stop wherever I wanted to take pictures without the pressure that bigger tours usually have.
The tour costs N$2,000 per day, but Live More, Travel More readers have a 10% discount with Etangola Tours. Click here to get your discount.
Note that part of the income goes to Save the Rhino Trust and Doros Community.
A minimum 4 days trip is required due to the long distance from Swakopmund.
Mr. Burger is the company’s owner, he has been tracking rhinos for many years and shared a lot of his knowledge with me.
Here is what I learned during my Rhino Tracking tour:
About Black Rhinos
Weight: About 1,5 tons.
Horns: Horns grow back in about 4 years, its composition is compared to our fingernails.
Predators: Poachers, lions and hyenas.
Senses: They cannot see that well but their good hearing compensates it.
Rhino bush: Rhinos usually sleep behind a rhino bush (euphorbia damarana), which is the most toxic plant in Namibia.
Only rhinos and oryx can be around and eat it with no harm. To have an idea of the poison, if you put it in a bonfire just to inhale the smoke of it you may pass away.
The brunches storage water, because of it rhinos can stay up to 3 days without drinking water.
The difference between the Black vs. White rhinos
While most people think they are named after their color, the differences actually are:
|Black Rhino||White Rhino|
|Eat mostly brunches, bushes & leaves||Eat mostly grass|
|Pointed/hook lip||Square lip|
|Shorter Forehead||Longer forehead|
|Solitary & territorialist||Family animals|
Unfortunately, some cultures believe that the rhino’s horn would help them to cure some illnesses while some others just want to show them off as a symbol of wealth and power. With these beliefs, people pay a very high amount to get them.
Even though the rhino’s horn grow back, they end up poaching the rhinos, taking their horns and leaving them bleeding to death.
There are some organisations such as Save the Rhino Trust that work on protecting the rhinos.
Poachers are usually very well armed and very dangerous, so these organisations’ workers put their life in risk to save the rhinos.
They cut the rhino’s horn tip off so poachers won’t target them. The only problem is that in the wildlife such as the Doros area, without the horns the rhinos may be killed by their predators as they lose their weapon to fight.
How to help Rhinos
Donating some money to companies like Save the Rhino Trust is a good way to help them to get more workers and technology to save the endangered.
Another good way to help is by doing this type of tourism so it ends up being harder for poachers to act without being seen.
What to bring to the Rhino Tracking Tour
Snacks & Water (confirm)
Winter + Summer clothes
Camera & Tripod
Toilet Paper & Wipes
Binoculars (if possible)
If you are planing your trip to Namibia, check it out some discounts we have for you. Click here.