Running in to a rhino in the wild sounds like a pretty neat experience (and truth be told… it was) but then it occurs to you that there is a WILD rhino standing right there!

    While Holly and I were touring around Nepal and China, one of the things I really wanted to do was go to Chitwan National Park and see the northern white rhinos that live there in the jungles (and maybe see the tigers, which we didn’t see).  We have never been to Africa (yet), so this was really our first real safari experience with a good number of exotic animals.  Leading up to this particular citing, Holly and I had seen rhinos while touring the jungle on elephant back and in a canoe.  While on the elephants, the rhinos really pay you no mind and in the canoe they just seem annoyed by you and walk away.  This particular adventure though was on foot. 🙂  After leaving the canoe we walked through the forest which was amazing!  As we were walking, troops of monkeys would run by about 20 or 30 yards away and you would hear noises and calls not found back in the States.  Then we reached a bank that dropped off about 15 feet down to the river basin.  The grasses down there were tall and thick and your mind races with what could possibly be hiding down there.

    Our guide Brahma scanned the area and then spotted this big guy chowing down on the vegetation and excitedly pointed him out.  We were standing next to a good sized… dead… tree and Brahma suggested I climb it to get a better vantage point for my pictures.  With his help I scurried up the tree to a giant limb and started clicking away.  Just like on the Discovery Channel, birds kept landing on its back and right on cue they all faced the same direction.  About that time I heard Holly say something to our guide; I turned to look just in time to see Brahma pick up a large chunk of wood.  Interesting.  Holly asked if I was in danger; he responded “Oh, he’s fine up there”.  He shook the log and said “just in case”.  LOL Oh, right… we’re not at a zoo!

–Dan Thompson

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