“Rhino Charge”

Sandsteen Koppies, Tchokwane, KNP, 19th April 2010

Guides: Andrew Paterson & Farouk Hassen

On a walk below the Kumbe Lookout near Tchokwane this White rhino suddenly popped out of the mud hole he’d been wallowing in, hidden by a sand bank, and headed towards us at speed. He got pretty close and Farouk and I had to cock our rifles, but luckily he had an escape route and turned away at my yelling. Well done to Colin Brown for keeping his cool to get this footage – and thanks to the rhino for not pressing home his charge (clearly “Oi Oi Oi Oi Oi Oi” seems to work on White rhino!).

“Elephant Offside”

L’wakahle Trail, Southern KNP, 12th August 2009

Guides: Dylan Brandt & Andrew Paterson

On a full-day walk with some Belgian guests, this young bull decided to give us a rev and kept coming back for more. Slapping his tail on his body, he arches his back and holds his head high to appear as large and as intimidating as possible. All his actions indicate that he is simply warning us, so the trick is to stand your ground until he backs off. If he were “deadly serious” his ears would be pinned back, his trunk would be curled up inder his mouth and he wouldn’t be making any noise – he’d simply come without warning (there’s no such thing as a “mock charge” – they’re warning charges). However, as guides, we must always be prepared for the possibility that an animal may move from warning you to charging you. Always expect the unexpected as there are no hard and fast rules about animal behaviour. Dylan had heard from somewhere that a blast from a football referee’s whistle was effective in scaring elephants off, so he gave it a go, prompting me to call the bull “offside” for his behaviour. We had a good chuckle when this had no effect on him whatsoever, but he finally got tired of the game and eventually moved off – still puffed up and full of beans, with his pride intact. This footage was taken on a small camera by one of the guests, which is pretty impressive considering the way he kept his cool in the face of this elephant on his first ever walking safari!

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