Bennet looks at me; his eyes light up with excitement as he recalls his recent sighting. Despite working in the bush for over 38 years, this is the first time he has seen anything like this… It is clear from the way he speaks that he still has the same excitement and enthusiasm for his job that he must have had when he began working as a tracker all those years ago.
“It was magical,” says Bennet, “Seven rhino ahead of us – six males and a lone female.
Bennett tells me his story: We drove closer to get a better view. It was clear that the one rhino was the dominant bull while the other five were all much younger. I followed my gaze onto the dominant bull to see what he was up to and watched as he began to chase a younger male that was trying to mate with the female.
The two males were in competition for the female.The dominant male mounted the female and started to mate. The young male stood behind the mating pair and refused to move – no doubt hoping that the male would give up and leave. This suddenly changed when the male dismounted the female and gave chase to the young one. They both ran directly towards our vehicle and veered off only at the last minute. The young rhino eventually backed off and the older male returned to the female.
I was puzzled by the actions of the young rhino as it is unusual for rhino to mate when they are that young. The female rhino was roughly the same age as the young rhino– could her age have spiked his interest?
Seeing the rhinos together reminded me that the bush is always speaking to us… Despite my many years at Londolozi, I still learn something new every single day.
Did you enjoy the video? Have you ever seen rhinos mating?
Filmed by Bennet Mantonsi, Londolozi Tracker