From Nairobi, we fly to Johannesburg, South Africa. It’s quite a contrast. It feels like a European country here — with paved roads and European style architecture — until you reach the wilderness.
As we drive out to Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, we pass farms and dozens of private game reserves where South African and international tourists can see animals up close.
Wildlife tourism is a major industry here and one that has enabled the steady increase in the number of rhinos not only in national parks, but also in private reserves.
South Africa is home to three quarters of the world’s rhinos. The recovery of the white rhino here has been one of the world’s greatest conservation success stories. From a low of only 50, the white rhino population has recovered to 18,800 and has thus been removed from the “critically endangered” list. This is a sharp contrast to the Northern Whites I saw in Kenya that skirt on the edge of extinction with only seven individuals remaining.
In Kariega, I meet veterinarian Will Fowlds and he takes us to see a very special rhino, a rare survivor of the rhino wars.
In my next post, I will introduce you to Thandi.