Where to see Black Rhino in South Africa
The black rhino is the smaller and rarer of Africa’s two rhino species but has the more fearsome reputation. Shy and heavily persecuted, it tends to stick to cover.
Quick facts about Black Rhino
|Scientific name:||Diceros bicornis||Habitat:||Scrub & open woodland|
|IUCN status:||Critically Endangered||Adult weight:||800–1,400kg|
The black rhino is an imposing animal, with its tank-like body and two lethal horns. Nonetheless, it is smaller and more agile-looking than the white rhino, which may weigh twice as much. In colour, this species is no more ‘black’ than its cousin is ‘white’.
Unlike the grass-grazing white rhino, however, it is a browser, using its distinctive hooked lip to pluck woody vegetation. It also differs in profile, with a smaller head, held higher, and a more concave back.
Black rhinos are generally seen alone or in small groups. They are most active at dawn and dusk, retreating to a wallow during the heat of the day. The single calf stays close to its mother.
Record horn length
The top camps for seeing black rhino in South Africa
Based on 13 reports by our travellers since Jun 2018, visitors at these camps in South Africa have the best chances of sighting black rhino.
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Where to see black rhinos in Africa
Black rhinos occur in only a handful of protected areas in east and southern Africa. Your best chance of spotting one is at a waterhole or on foot with a tracker.
Top tips for viewing black rhino
A century ago, black rhinos were common across much of sub-Saharan Africa. Hunting and persecution for the lucrative rhino horn market has since seen them disappear from much of their former range, and the few remaining populations are heavily protected.
Top spots today include the Laikipia Plateau (Kenya), Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania), KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and Namibia’s Etosha and Damaraland.
Old hunters’ stories have saddled this species with a reputation for aggression. In reality, it is a shy animal that prefers to retreat – although you should never be complacent, especially when on foot. Black rhinos generally stay in cover and emerge at dusk. Staking out waterholes can be productive, especially after dark, as can a guided walk, when experienced trackers quickly find the animal’s three-toed prints.
Our best South Africa holidays for black rhino sightings
Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for South Africa safaris are likely to give the best black rhino sightings
More information about black rhino in our other destinations
Click here for detailed information about black rhino in other countries, including the places for sighting black rhino.