The southern white rhinoceros is an impressive animal and one of only five rhinoceros species that still exists. The name rhinoceros meaning ‘nose horn’, from Greek ‘rhino’ (nose) and ‘ceros’ (horn), is commonly abbreviated to ‘rhino’. With its distinctive appearance characterised by the two horns on the face, one can easily imagine this iconic beauty being a relic of the past that escaped from Jurassic Park! Rhinos once roamed throughout Europe and Asia and were particularly widespread across Africa’s savannahs, but today, few survive outside protected areas. All five species are threatened, primarily due to poaching.

Two species of rhinos occur in South Africa, the white, or square-lipped, rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) (witrenoster in Afrikaans), and the black, or hook-lipped rhinoceros, (Diceros bicornis).


HESC maintains a strict policy of no contact or interaction with animals kept on the property. Our policy is aligned with international trends based on animal ethics and welfare and is aimed at ensuring the safety and health of both animals and visitors. Our policy further endorses the right of animals to live a life without fear, which is often the consequence of close contact with humans with whom they are not acquainted. We avoid human-imprinting, whereby the animals will identify more with humans than with their own species and cause them to become problem animals once released.