Taking a rhino hunt in Africa has traditionally been one of the great milestones of an African hunter’s achievements. A rhino hunt is one of the big five hunts and due to its high cost, is usually the last of a hunter’s big five list to be checked off . Rhinoceros populations have been hunted almost to the point of extinction in Arica’s recent past. Due to demand from the Far East for rhino horn, rampant poaching has put the rhino in peril. Both white and black rhino populations have made recoveries and populations of white rhinos have rebounded to around 20,000 with most of those animals being located within South Africa’s boundaries. Black rhinos are believed to number around 4,000. While both species are threatened by poaching, a rhino hunt plays a vital role in rhino conservation today by bringing value to those that have rhinoceros on their properties. Without this value, there would be no incentive to harbor large herd of rhinos and to constantly maintain the vigilance necessary to protect them from poaching.
Black rhino in modern times are hunted very little, with only South Africa and Namibia allowing a couple of rhino hunts each year. The majority of white rhinos in Africa today are found in small populations in Botswana and Swaziland and in larger populations in the Republic of South Africa and Namibia. A rhino hunt in Africa is only permitted in Namibia and South Africa at the present time. Most hunting for white rhinos occurs on private game ranches in South Africa. Permits that allow rhino hunting are issued to give the land owners some financial incentive to keep these magnificent creatures on their property and help guard them from poachers. Due to the limited availability of export permits, a rhino hunt for white rhino is relatively expensive and ranges from $55,000 upwards to the $90,000 range.
An alternative has evolved to eliminate the need to kill the rhino. Green rhino hunts quickly became an industry where a hunter could dart a rhino with tranquilizers, the rhino could be quickly examined by a veterinarian, the hunter could get a quick picture with his trophy and then an antidote could be administered to the rhino and the rhino would wake up and go his way. Fears quickly grew that rhinos were being darted too frequently, so a process was developed where the hunter could administer a vitamin dart to the rhino, thus sparing the rhino the trauma of being tranquilized. No matter how they are hunted, a rhino hunt in Africa is a great privilege for the modern day big game hunter.