Game drives, a person may say they are all the same, you get in an open 4×4 vehicle, you drive around for hours seeing a bunch of animals that are available in a good zoo, not to mention a lot of bugs, especially mosquito’s.
Myself and many other nature enthusiasts will beg to differ. Nothing beats waking up before the sun rises, hearing all the birds waking up and starting their day, followed by a fantastic African sunrise. I can tell you, this needs to be on everyone’s bucket list.
Every game drive is unique, it is impossible to have the same one twice, but after you have done a few some just stick in you mind as breathlessly amazing. I have done hundreds maybe even thousands of game drives over the years and there is one that stands out from all the rest.
It was an evening game drive, we saw elephants and antelopes and in the distance I saw the back of a white rhino. I slowly made my way in that direction and it was our main female rhino in the reserve, she was always quite lovely and easy watching. But this afternoon she was acting a little strange, nothing too obvious from our point of view, but she was unusually impatient with her calf. Her calf would be around three or four years old at this stage, and when the mother turned around I realised the issue, I was in total shock, my heart stopped and the words could not leave my mouth. She was giving birth meters away from my vehicle.
This was an incredible experience, from the two small feet peeping out and watching her in labour for only a 30 minutes, it happened so fast. The young rhino was born, the mother stood up to see her new baby, a little girl. As the baby caught its breath and let out a few cries the mother wasted no time in getting her new calf up and walking It was very interesting to watch the mother gently persuading the calf to stand, and the calf trying with all its might trying to stand with its legs made of jelly. After a couple of unstable bum wiggles and tumbles it soon started walking about. We never wanted to leave, but sun soon set and it was dark and for the safety sake we did not want to bother this new bond at such a vulnerable time.
We hurried back first thing the next morning to see how things had progressed through the night, as the sun rose we found the new baby rhino running around with its new-found legs at first with the father (we did not expect that as males do not have anything to do with their young), feeding and starting to explore the new surroundings, with a healthy road ahead.