7 Intriguing Rhino Facts That May Surprise You


Imagine that your safari in Africa is only a few weeks away. You are already thinking about what items to take with you on your trip, imagine being in a safari jeep and gazing into the distance with binoculars, trying to spot animals that are trying to remain unseen. You’re already imagining the super photos you’ll bring back from your trip and can’t wait for your adventure to begin. Well, we invite you to plunge into the atmosphere of the African savannah and learn something about its primary inhabitants. Today, we will tell you about 7 intriguing rhino facts—the most elusive and fascinating inhabitants of the African savannah.

Five Rhino Species

There are five rhino species: the white rhino, the black rhino, the Indian rhino, the Javan rhino, and the Sumatran rhino. Each has unique characteristics and inhabits different regions of the world. There are only two species of rhinoceros living in Africa: the black and the white rhinoceros.

Black and white rhinoceros are the same color

To understand exactly which rhinoceros is in front of you, pay attention not to the color of its skin but to the shape of its lips. The black rhinoceros has a more pointed upper lip, with which it is convenient for him to break off branches from low trees and bushes—their food. In addition, the black rhinos are slightly smaller than the white ones. Black rhinos spend time alone and usually hide in the bushes.

The white rhinoceros has a square upper lip, which is also because of the characteristics of its diet. The animal feeds only on terrestrial vegetation. The white rhinoceros has a rather impressive size and is the second-largest land mammal after the African elephant. Unlike the black rhinoceros, representatives of the white species are more social and like to gather in small groups.

Birds are frequent companions of animals

Although rhinoceroses rarely welcome anyone’s company, they are completely calm about the fact that birds like to sit on their backs. Birds sit on the animal for one purpose—to eat insects that are on the rhino’s body. Birds also perform another important mission—they warn the animal of danger because the rhinoceros see poorly and may not react in time to the appearance of an enemy.

Rhinos love to take mud baths

The skin of a rhinoceros is quite dark, so the body quickly heats under the African sun. Animals love to take long mud baths to cool their bodies. The dirt remains on the skin, so even after drying, it can protect the animal’s body from overheating.

The only enemy of the rhinos is a human

In the savannah, the animal usually remains safe because there is no predator there who would like to hunt the rhinoceros. Only its cubs can occasionally become victims of a big cat or, for example, a crocodile.

Unfortunately, adult individuals often become victims of poachers, since rhinoceros horn is of great value. People brutally killed animals to get horns, which were subsequently used for a variety of purposes. For example, handles for knives were made from the material, and such a thing was a symbol of status. In some countries, people still believe that rhinoceros horn powder is an effective cure for many diseases, even cancer.

Rhinoceros horn has the same composition as a human fingernail

Rhinos’ horn, like human nails and hair, is made of keratin. First, it affects the shape of the horn. Its front part is curved towards the head since keratin grows faster in the front part of the horn than in the back. Second, the horn can grow back if the animal suddenly loses it during a skirmish with other individuals.

Female rhinos carry a baby for 15 months

That is the longest pregnancy of any mammal. Rhinos live a pretty long time, up to 55 years. However, because of a long gestation period, a female rhinoceros can give birth to offspring once every 3 to 5 years. That is another reason the rhino population is recovering too slowly.

These 7 intriguing rhino facts are only a small part of what we can tell you, but they will already help you better understand the peculiarities of these animals. We invite you to a safari, for example, to Tanzania, Kenya, or South Africa, where you have every chance to see these incredible animals in person. And our guides always have the most intriguing information about the African savannah; you will be interested in hearing it!

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