Chitwan National Park:
Early afternoon, searing heat, a bumpy ride in a jeep to the entrance of the park.
We were only a small group, 2 German couples, their guide,Krishna, the naturalist Peter and me and our guide Madden. We were glad to now walk on the broad flat trail beneath the majestic Sal Trees, that provided shade. 600 meters on Madden hissed” Rhino”
Yes, lining up behind the guides we saw a large grey hump in the bushes. It had ears! And it farted!
But what worried the guides was, it was slowly coming closer and we could not cross the broad trail in front of it. The closer the Animal came, the further back we had to move. Just Krishna and Madden had bamboo sticks – their “weapon “ against the approaching colossus.
They were visibly worrrried! And urged us further and further back along the trail, then throwing stones to distract the animal and deter it from taking a run at us on the open trail. They can run faster than 45 km an hour. Only 3 weeks ago, Madden said, one of the guides, his friend, was killed by an attacking Rhino. The 4 tourists he protected, were fine, but he was trampled and died a week later in the hospital….
Our rhino was having lunch and was not up to chasing us. It trotted across the path and then peered at us from the bushes at the other side. Finally it was far enough away so that the guides told us to tiptoe/ run, as quiet as we could past the retreating animal!
We were late for our connecting boat ride at the Crocodile breeding centre……