On your way out of the park you will see the Rhino’s. Rhino is derived from the German word ‘weit’ which describes their wide lips. Unfortunately for centuries, the Rhino has been hunted and killed for their horns which have been used for folk medicines and dagger handles which has caused the white Rhino to become almost extinct on two occasions over the centuries.
Behind the scenes they have the Southern Black Rhino which is endangered in Eastern and Southern Africa. There is less than 2,500 in the world today.
You will have to look hard in the long grass behind the fencing to see the cheetahs unless of course you are there at a time when they are up and active. In the warmer weather they spend 85% of their time lounging around in the long grass back from the fence lines.
You will start seeing the Zebra’s on the 2nd half of the tour around the park. My first vision was of one was its massive rear end. The Grevy’s species are the largest and most solitary of the zebra family and is also one of the most endangered because of poaching. The other species of Zebra at the park is the Grants Zebra which normally avoid other species except during feeding at which time they can become aggressive in competing with the other species.
This antelope originates from Northern Africa and is very hardy in terms of being able to adapt to most desert conditions. They rarely need to drink fresh water. They are large hefty animals. In their native land and with the introduction of 4WD’s fewer than 500 Addax are believed to remain in scattered herds.
They are pretty hardy creatures and able to withstand great temperature variations and lack of water. Unfortunately in Africa, due to hunting pressures, they are declining. They were extremely friendly and most of them had no problem coming up and eating out of your hand.
We thought these were actually mountain goats but it turns out they are commonly known as Barbary sheep and well suited to steep slopes. Originally from Africa they were introduced to areas of the South West US.
The overlook is the halfway point around the park. Set high up on a hill you can get a fabulous view down the valleys. There is a nature store with gifts, handcrafts from local artists and souvenirs. There is also the café there, Children’s Animal Center and a nature trail which is half a mile and a fairly robust hike along the hillside.
Wild herds of fallow deer have been established around the world in many countries. Supposedly they have a prominent Adam’s apple which is supposed to distinguish them from the Axis deer when the antlers are absent – can’t say that I noticed.
At this time of year (Autumn/Fall) you can see the males Red Deers rutting, making their loud bugle noises while they endeavour to collect their harem.
They will also come up to your vehicle for food.
This particular deer is closely related to the American elk – the largest American deer. The red deer has been eliminated in much of its original area but is protected ion Scotland, Germany and Austria.