Chasing rhinos in Chitwan

By Emma. Cliquez ici pour l’article de Damien. Click here for photos of there.

Rolling on the balls of our feet, trying not to make a sound, we crept across a woodland floor strewn with dry leaves. Nobody spoke a word. Senses alert. Our seasoned guide, Boggart led the way, his bamboo lathi held high and ready. I eyed the stick doubtfully and, with his warning to climb a tall tree should a rhino charge ringing like a doomsday proclamation in my ears, I scanned the surrounding smooth, branch-free trunks for a likely candidate. As suspected, there wasn’t a single tree I could ever possibly climb. In a forest of rhinos, elephants and Bengal tigers, I was questioning my sanity.

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Past giant footprints stamped in the dust and steaming mounds of fresh, fly-addled dung, we continued. Boggart stiffened suddenly and there he was. A rare Greater One-Horned rhinoceros. Massive, alert and mere feet away. Nobody moved. Nobody breathed. It was incredible. And then we backed away.

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We tiptoed onwards through the high swaying grasses, not seeing but being seen.

 

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On the traces of fresh tiger tracks, we continued,  holding our breath. Deer leaped across the dirt tracks but, for better or worse, the tigers remained frustratingly elusive.

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Unlike the rhinos. They moved like deadly mountains around us. Somehow managing to surprise us each time. Boggart, ever wary, waved us on rapidly, silently.

 

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Being on foot in the habitat of rhinos, elephants, tigers, crocodiles and bears was hair-raising. I was thrilled and thankful for Nepal’s ‘relaxed” approach to safety. A shanks’ mare safari? Magical!

 

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4 thoughts on “Chasing rhinos in Chitwan

  1. I know I am repeating myself but–Don’t pet the animals!!!
    Do they have a position for a health and safety advisor?
    Photos are marvelous.

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