There are two types of rhino in Southern Africa: the black rhino and the white rhino. Rhinos are most commonly found in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

In 1900, the number of northern white rhinos was estimated at around 3,000 animals living in Sudan, Central Africa, Chad, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Today, the northern white rhino is on the brink of extinction. There are only two animals left in Kenya, in the Ol Pejeta Reserve.

Predecessors of today's rhinoceros existed on our planet over 50 million years ago. In 1960, the white rhino was on the verge of extinction and the number of black rhinos plummeted from around 100,000 to 10,000 animals in just 20 years. Today, the number of rhinos in Africa is estimated at around 28,000 animals.
The poaching of rhino has risen dramatically as the influence of Asia has increased in Africa. Poaching has sky rocketed since 2008, and South Africa in particular has borne the brunt, with up to a thousand rhinos a year being slaughtered in certain years.

It is suspected that the primary market for rhino products can be found in Vietnam and China, where huge sums of money exchange hands for just 1 kg of horn, which is seen there as a cure for cancer and other illnesses. Rhino horn, however, is made entirely of keratin – the same material as human nails – which means patients chewing on their own fingernails has exactly the same effect as consuming rhino horn.

Poachers shoot or sedate the rhino before removing its horn so close to its head that it ends up bleeding to death. Countermeasures include increasing patrols in protected areas, colouring horns, implanting tracking devices, poisoning horns and preventatively removing horns.

Another way of protecting rhinos is to translocate them to safe areas such as Botswana, where a better protection of the animals is hoped for.

Good news
Black rhino populations are increasing despite constant poaching pressure. Poaching happens mainly in the National Parks and less so in the privately owned reserves. We did not loose any of our rhinos in Botswana and the rhinos in the Kunene - Etendeka region in Namibia are also doing very well.

Rhino Relocation
The biggest news from South Africa in 2023 was the sale of Platinum Rhino Project (a rhino breeding farm) and their 2,000 southern white rhinos to nonprofit African Parks, which will begin critical translocations across Africa in order to build rhino populations in key protected areas. This is an eighth of the world’s white rhino population!

Rhinos have been relocated and re-introduced in recent years to countries like Rwanda (58, increasing), Zambia (25, North Luangwa), Malawi (56, Liwonde & Majete), Mozambique (16, Zinave National Park), Chad (2) and DRC (16, Garamba National Park) and of course to Botswana (around 100).

Kenya - a conservation champion
Rhinos were nearly extinct in Kenya with fewer than 400 individuals left in the 1980s, in 2024 Kenya counted over 1,000 rhinos again. Kenya's long-term vision to reach 2,000 black rhinos by 2037 is on track! Kenya has the third largest black and white rhino population in the world, after South Africa and Namibia.
Rhino Facts
  • The gestation period is 15-18 months
  • One newborn every 2-5 years
  • Weigh up to 3 tons
  • Live up to 40 years
  • White Rhinos love grass
  • Black Rhinos love leaves
  • Exist since more than 50 Mio years
  • Second largest land animal after the elephant