When we were researching where to stay in Kenya, our travel agent from Scott Dunn highly recommended staying at Saruni Rhino and I’m so glad she did. I didn’t realize how the Rhino is hunted for it’s horn and poaching is a severe problem. These magnificent creatures look like dinosaurs and are so exhilarating to see in person.
Where to Stay in Kenya
The Saruni Rhino is an intimate place to stay! There are only 3 rooms (also called Bandas) available, and with the location right along the river bed, you are sure to see animals visit the waterhole at all times during the day or at night. There is even a light by the waterhole at night to see who is visiting while you’re eating dinner in the main lodge.
Our Banda had a bed on a swing out front, which was perfect to relax and watch the animals approach the waterhole.
Tracking the Rhino in Kenya, Africa
Our guide would take us out in the morning or afternoon to go Rhino trekking. The rangers in the conservatory would keep an eye on where the Rhinos are located, knowing their habits and behaviors after years of observation. We’d hop in the car and drive about 30 minutes to the Sera Conservatory front gate, then typically another 30 minutes to the rhinos.
After we’d meet up with the ranger trackers, we’d hop out of the car and walk with them by foot to see the rhino. Typically we would stay pretty far away so that the rhino wouldn’t feel threatened and charge at us. The rhinos seemed more scared of us anyway and would run away if they heard us coming too close. We first found Moseku, a 7-10 year old rhino.
Rhinos can hear and smell very well, but they can’t see very far. Our guide would see which way the wind was blowing by kicking up dirt to see which way it would blow so we could make sure that the rhino(s) couldn’t smell us. As we would get closer, we’d tread carefully and as quietly as possible, which can be very hard when walking on gravel and branches.
Our guides would find the rhinos by sound, following footprints, or finding their poop! We walked around for an hour one morning and barely saw a rhino through the bushes. We were lucky enough to find the baby named Lojipu, the 3 year old “baby” rhino. His mother left him after he was a few days old, so the rangers bottle fed him and are hoping to release him back into the wild. He was very playful and acted almost like a dog running around. We weren’t allowed to touch him, but it took everything in me not to run up and hug him.
What to Pack, Wear and Bring for Rhino Trekking
What to Wear
Since you might be sitting in a vehicle for a while, wear something comfortable. I wore a t-shirt (sprayed with permethrin), bug repellent pants, hiking shoes, a hat, and brought a fleece sweater for the cool mornings and evenings. I am not an outdoorsy girl by any means, and would rather be in a dress and flip flops.
If I had skin showing I wore bug repellent, and I didn’t get one bite! Bugs love to bite me wherever we go and I was deathly afraid I was going to be eaten alive in Africa. I used Ultrathon insect repellent and it worked so well! We sprayed our clothes with Permethrin which lasts for about 7 washes. Some of our clothes were already treated and brands like Exofficio will last for up to 70 washes!
Don’t forget to bring these with you:
Camera - have batteries and extra memory cards on hand just in case
Water (your guide might already have some)
Snack - granola bars are easy to bring with you
I highly recommend this excursion if you’re on your way to Africa! Don’t miss out! We booked our trip with Scott Dunn, tell them you were recommended by Kathleen at the Sweetest Escapes!
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