22nd Sep 2016 9:50am | By Hannah Harris
First announced by WWF-South Africa in 2010, it was 2011 that saw World Rhino Day grow into an international success, thanks to Lisa Jane Campbell and Rhishja Cota-Larson. World Rhino Day has since grown to become a global phenomenon, uniting non-governmental organisations, zoos, cause-related organisations, businesses, and concerned individuals from nearly every corner of the world.
World Rhino Day celebrates all five species of rhino: black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos.
If you’ve always wanted to see one of the most endangered species in the world in their natural habitat, find some inspiration with our round-up of destinations where you can spend time with them, from safaris in Namibia to rhino parks in India.
The white or black rhino: Etosha National Park Safari in Namibia
Namibia was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution and is a great destination for those looking to find a more authentic and ethical African safari experience. The country currently boasts the largest population of black rhino in the world. The white rhino is also a major conservation success story, having been brought back from the very brink of extinction - numbers are growing in Namibia, after being re-introduced from South Africa in 1995.
For practically guaranteed rhino spotting, choose a trip that includes a visit to Etosha National Park. Wild Dog Safaris provides a great selection of tours around Namibia that are sensitive to the environment and wild animals. The seven day Northern Namibia tour encompasses a safari in Etosha, but also goes into the Kunene region (which lies between Etosha and the coast).
The greater one-horned Rhino: The Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in India
The greater one-horned rhino is also a conservation success, with numbers increasing significantly since 1975, when there were only 600 rhinos left in the wild. After decades of successful efforts, the species increased to 3,500 in India and Nepal by mid-2015. The one-horned rhino is now the most numerous of the three Asian rhino species. Tours to the Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary can be booked through Natural World Safaris.
The Sumatran Rhino: The island of Sumatra in Indonesia
The smallest of all rhinos, there are fewer than 100 Sumatran Rhino left in the wild. They compete with the Javan rhino for the unenviable title of most threatened rhinos. The species is found in small populations on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. These scattered populations are mainly confined to Gunung Leuser, Kerinci-Seblat and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Parks. A few are also still living in Kalimantan. Experience Travel Group can book you the trip.
The Javan Rhino: Ujung Kulon National Park in Java
There are only 63 Javan rhino left in the wild and none left in captivity, so you’ll have to be lucky to see one of these sadly so critically endangered creatures. The only habitat of the Javan rhino is Ujung Kulon National Park. Few people visit this Unesco World Heritage-listed park situated on the remote southwestern tip of Java, as it’s a little tricky to access, but if you do make it there you’ll be treated to lush rainforest, healthy coral reefs and almost untouched beaches. Java Overland Tours has a tour.
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