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Travel Insurance Claims - True Stories Just some of the weird and wonderful things that happen to World Nomads travellers while on the road

True Travel Tales - Walking with Rhinos in Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE | Friday, 1 April 2011 | Views [2401]

What happened? Tell us your tale.

Towards the end of our 6-week adventure through East Africa we decided to do a walking Rhino safari in the beautiful Matobo Hills National Park, Zimbabwe.  The scenery is absolutely beautiful and we had already encountered many animals such as giraffes, baboons and antelopes when our guide attempted to get a close up of the elusive black Rhino.  Our group followed the guide, cameras at the ready for around an hour and we were starting to feel like we wouldn't get the chance to see them, when all of a sudden we felt the ground start to shake and we heard the sound of animals running.  We turned around to see three black rhinos charging towards us, flattening anything in their path.  My heart started to race and everyone panicked but the guide was too far ahead to help. We didn't know what to do so under the pressure we all ran towards the nearest trees and climbed them.  After a few moments of holding our breaths and not daring to move an inch the rhinos changed course and missed us.  I can honestly say I have never been so scared in my life, I thought it was game over and the feeling of panic did not leave me until the end of the day when I realized the incredible experience we had been through.

What was the outcome of the event? 

We survived an incredible experience and got to see how powerful and protective animals can be in the wild.  Seeing them in their natural habitat without the safety of a jeep was both terrifying and hugely rewarding - It made us appreciate all the sights and adventures we experienced throughout our travels and since then even more.

What advice would you give to other travellers to avoid or survive the situation?

Do not wear white if you decide to do a walking safari!  We later found out that it was the worst color to wear as it makes it easier for the animals to spot you. Myself and partner (at the back of the group) were both wearing white t-shirts! :-) 

Don't let the story put you off though, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Important Travel Insurance Information

World Nomads travel insurance policies (as with most travel insurance policies) do not provide cover where you are deemed to have exposed yourself to a needless risk and where you have not taken reasonable care. Activities that are extreme in nature or high risk will also not be covered.

Any safety equipment that is provided by an operator must be used and any safety procedures you are advised of by an operator must be followed.

Before starting a tour or activity you are asked to sign a waiver or the tour or activity is particularly dangerous and risky then be aware  this may also not be covered by your insurer.

If you are unsure about cover for any activities you want to do while travelling please read your policy wording or you can always contact your insurer to discuss.

Travel Safety Advice From World Nomads

Well, at least you know what you are getting when you sign up for a Rhino safari - a heck of a lot of Rhinos!

Look, you will always put yourself at risk if you go into an area with giant savage beasts. The best thing to do is to make sure you have a reputable guide (preferably a licensed operator). Do a bit of research before your trip, make sure you are getting the real deal and stay away from cheap operators - like the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. A true guide will know exactly how to deal with whatever situation presents itself, and chances are, they wont bring you into a world of pure petrification.

There is no real rule we can give if you are facing an onslaught of Rhinos though. You are in the thick of it then, and really, you are at the mercy of the gods! The safety team would most probably scale the nearest tree too - but what if there are no trees? What if you don't have enough time? In a situation like that, every second you need to be prepared for an ambush. So stay on your toes!

Related Articles:

True Travel Tales - World Cup Alive

True Travel Tales - In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

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Tags: africa, nature, rhinos, risk, safari, travel, true travel tales, walking, wildlife, zimbabwe

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