As one of the Big Five, rhinoceros are an integral part of the African safari experience, and spotting them in the wild is considered a highlight for many travelers. Of the five species of rhino, two are found in Africa: the white and the black rhino. The other three species, including the Indian rhinoceros (or greater one-horned rhinoceros) and the critically endangered Javan and Sumatran rhinos, are found across Asia.
Unfortunately, rhino populations have dwindled over the years due to poaching and habitat loss. These gentle giants are often hunted for keratin, which is found in their horns and is used in many traditional medicines to treat a variety of ailments.
While some rhino subspecies are already considered extinct or functionally extinct, there has been some conservation success for rhinoceros. Conservation efforts have helped populations of the southern white rhinos, mostly found in South Africa, grow to around 20,000. The greater one-horned rhino is also recovering thanks to conservation efforts in Asia, as population numbers have significantly increased in recent years.
One of the best ways to help rhinos is to improve awareness and education surrounding poaching, hunting and the illegal wildlife trade. You can also make plans to see them in the wild for yourself on a sustainable Nat Hab and World Wildlife Fund safari in Africa, India or Nepal & Bhutan. Our presence in these regions helps with conservation efforts to preserve these and other wild creatures and their habitats.
Learn more about rhinoceros by taking our quiz for World Rhino Day (celebrated each year on September 22)!