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Black Rhino
Asset 19

Black Rhino

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.


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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.


±5,500

Current population

1.3 m

Record horn length

50 km/h

Max. speed

16 months

Gestation period

The top camps for seeing black rhino in South Africa

Based on 8 reports by our travellers since Jun 2018, visitors at these camps in South Africa have the best chances of sighting black rhino.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for black rhino

% of travellers who saw black rhino

Top 10 camps for black rhino

% of travellers who saw black rhino

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.

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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


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Black Wildebeest Self-drive Safari

19 days • 10 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Journey from South Africa’s cosmopolitan Cape Town to central Namibia’s Okonjima Nature Reserve during this self-driven safari. The route passes through a stunning variety of landscapes, offering access to this beautiful continent’s rich diversity.

US$3,450 - US$3,540 per person

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Kwandwe Self-drive Safari

3 days • 1 locations
PORT ELIZABETH AIRPORT TO PORT ELIZABETH AIRPORT

An elegantly stylish lodge that is well suited to families, Kwandwe offers a range of safari activities and the chance to sight all of the Big 5 during exploration of the eastern cape.

US$2,140 - US$2,920 per person

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The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$12,520 - US$15,130 per person

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Leopard Safari

13 days • 4 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO CAPE TOWN AIRPORT

Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town – a classic southern African itinerary combining luxury, wilderness, safari and culture. We can't think of a better way to spend two weeks.

US$8,120 - US$11,080 per person

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Ostrich Self-drive Safari

14 days • 9 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Great value self-drive adventure through the epic desert landscapes of southern Namibia and South Africa’s Kalahari, visiting highlights such as Fish River Canyon, the ghost towns of Lüderitz and Sossusvlei’s dunes.

US$2,090 - US$2,640 per person

View all holidays to South Africa

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.


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