Guided Safaris® CEO Sophia Hyet grew up in Kenya taking countless safaris across the continent; Journeys and experiences that have inspired the exclusive adventures tailored at our boutique studio in San Francisco today. Here she shares her stories and encounters with Rhino in some of Africa’s wildest plains.
“A childhood memory,” she recalls, “driving through the Rift Valley in the 80s on a quiet, sleepy dust trek when suddenly the entire atmosphere is electrified with impending motion…love how that happens on safaris. The dust settled to reveal an enormous Black Rhino, smack in the middle of the road… He was panting like he’d been out on his morning jog! A sharp intake of breath from everyone in our tiny family Peugeot, and a started jolt from him. He shakes off the dust and angles his progress back into the bushes, leaving us speechless.” Later on her recent safaris Sophia snapped this shot of a dominant White Rhino giving territorial chase to another male when the former intervened on his ‘lady and calf’ at Singita Game Reserve. A quiet afternoon with a family of Rhino completely transformed as a 4th male jogged up the road toward them. “Every encounter with a rhino in the wild is so charged with energy — All these fleeting moments that we glimpse from their secret world, remnants of a storied, photographic record of these magnificent creatures stays vividly impressed with you. I can’t imagine an Africa without them, never encountering another journey seeing one of these monumental icons roaming free in the wild again. It’s more than just a traveler’s reminiscence of “Paradise Lost”. It wrenches at the heart of man’s place in Africa. That any species suffer such peril for sport and ruthless commerce, that man would rob from something so positively brimming with life.”