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Rhinos at Inverdoorn

WRITTEN BY // Kirstine Dewar CATEGORIES // Rhinoprotect-blog | Inverdoorn-blog


Rhinos at Inverdoorn

When you first hear the lovingly pathetic, high-pitched trumpeting sound emanating around the enclosure, it is impossible to believe that the noise is being made by such a large, thick-skinned, tough looking mammal. But it is feeding time, and Bundu and Lavinia, the two baby rhinos at Inverdoorn, are letting everyone around know that they are hungry. At only just over a year old, both are still being weaned off their milk so that in months to come, they will be able to be successfully released into the reserve.

As they are hand-fed their mixtures of rice, molasses and milk, it is the perfect opportunity to check them over and give them a bit of a friendly scratch and pat! Whilst they are both very good-tempered, Lavinia, the female, can be a little bit naughty, so you have to remain cautious of their large size and of course, their horns. Running your hands over the remarkable structure of the horn (made up of keratin – the same material that makes up human fingernails), it is extremely saddening to think that so many rhinos have been killed just for this one small part of their body. Both black and white rhino populations have been devastated over the years due to poaching. Just last year, 668 rhinos were killed and their horns illegally poached and sold on the black market. It is predicted that by 2025, rhinos will be completely extinct in the wild.

But that is something that many organisations and people such as RhinoProtect hope to prevent. The team is dedicated to protecting rhino populations in South Africa, working with wildlife specialists to help ensure the safety of these beautiful mammals. Many people all over the world are debating the implications of dehorning rhinos, and how such a process would affect their behaviours and development. RhinoProtect consider viable alternatives to dehorning that cause the least harm to the animals. One such method is horn treatment: this involves injecting the horns of the rhinos with a cocktail of dyes that firstly make the horns and all associated products completely unfit for human consumption and secondly, makes the horns easily detectable through X-ray security scanners. This obviously aids in deterring the illegal smuggling of rhino horns.

Along with 65 other rhinos in South Africa, this horn treatment has been used with the three wild rhinos here at Inverdoorn Game Reserve, to help ensure their protection. The two female rhinos, a mum and baby, along with an unrelated male rhino, are a breath-taking sight for visitors, along with the gorgeous backdrop of the Tankwa Karoo. Our staff are dedicated to their well-being, patrolling the perimeters at night as well as educating the public about the importance of saving the species. When Bundu and Lavinia are able to be released alongside the three current wild rhinos, it is hoped that the spark of love will ignite, and that soon more baby rhinos will be on the way!

Until they are released, the staff and volunteers at Inverdoorn will continue to help them grow up fit and strong! They came to Inverdoorn from another farm, as both of their mothers were sadly killed by poachers. Now, we are helping to give the two friends a happy life. The weaning process will continue until eventually, they will become completely independent and will be able to fend for themselves.

It is an absolutely amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to hand-feed and pet rhinos, and a joy to know that you are part of something that is aiding in their conservation. However, it is important to remember that they are wild animals – a species adapting to roaming the vast plains of Africa. Reserves and organisations such as Inverdoorn and RhinoProtect have set very important goals: to help protect the remaining rhinos and to boost their numbers so that future generations will still be able to enjoy seeing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats.




About the author

Kirstine Dewar

Kirstine Dewar is a cheetah handler at Cape Cheetah. She is completing her BSc (Hons) in International Wildlife Biology at the University of Glamorgan. She has conducted field work and research in Borneo and Malawi. She enjoys scuba diving and playing the clarinet.

Reservations & Info

Inverdoorn Game Reserve


112 LOOP STREET 8001

Tel:  +27 (0)214 220 013
Fax: +27 (0)86 719 71 50


Meet The Team

  • Meet the team: Alex Isaacs

    Meet the team: Alex Isaacs

    Inverdoorn – Writing about going on a big 5 safari game drive in the Western Cape is a million times easier than writing about oneself. Because I suppose, you can do hours of research on the...

  • Meet the team: Lena Pailler

    Meet the team: Lena Pailler

    The staff at Inverdoorn comes from various parts of the world as well as different continents within South Africa. As a result they all have very different and diverse backgrounds, but...

  • Meet the Team: Wilna Paxton

    Meet the Team: Wilna Paxton

    The staff at Inverdoorn hail from various parts of South Africa, and even other parts of the world. As a result they all have very different and diverse backgrounds, but are connected by...

  • Meeting the Volunteers: Kirsty Woodhead

    Meeting the Volunteers: Kirsty Woodhead

    Before meeting Kirsty Woodhead, I knew that she had South African roots and was curious to hear her accent. Having moved to Canada at a young age, she has lost her accent and laments this...

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Did you enjoy your trip to Inverdoorn? Submit a review to Trip Advisor or send us a review via our website. We want to hear all about your trip: what you liked, what you saw, the best parts and any suggestions and ideas for how we can improve the experience for YOU are also welcome. You can read what others have said about us by checking out some of the articles and press releases or chat to other guests on Trip Advisor. You can even join our Inverdoorn Community and stay in touch with our rangers, animal handlers and other guests.

Contact Infos

Inverdoorn Game Reserve

112 LOOP STREET 8001

Tel:  +27 (0)214 220 013
Fax: +27 (0)86 719 7150


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