Terrifying moment rhino charges at family's car on safari

What it looks like when a rhino comes charging at you


 Terrifying moment rhino charges at family's car on safari

A mum's hair-raising safari pictures show just what it's like to be charged by a one-and-a-half tonne rhino.

American Holly Powers caught these amazing photos as she and her husband Christopher took their 20-month-old son Thomas for a morning drive.

The family set off from their home to the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, in Pretoria, South Africa, as their son had been waking up at 5.30am every day.

But Holly, 35, couldn't have guessed what would happen next when their family trip turned into an incredible encounter last week with not one but three massive white rhinos.

Holly, who works with orphans and vulnerable children internationally, said: "We have a 20-month-old little boy who wakes up at 5.30am every day, so on this morning we decided to get up and take a drive.

"Rietvlei is about a 10-minute drive from our house so we headed there and a short time after entering the reserve we encountered two white rhinos about a 100 metres down the road.

"They both slowly sauntered toward our car and got very close but were not aggressive in any way.

"While watching the two that were right near our car we noticed a third step out of the bushes, 100 metres away, where we had first seen the original two.

"This rhino headed in our direction starting out at a slow walk but then suddenly started to run toward us at full speed."

Already stunned by the amazing encounter Holly turned her Nikon D3100 at the third rhino despite her husband's slightly worried pleas to wind up the window.

She said: "I was in awe of the first two rhinos that were so close to our car and when the third stepped out of the bushes I was shocked that there was a third.

"When it started to run at full speed my thoughts went to my camera that was already in my hand and ready to go.

"I couldn't believe how fast such a large creature could run - I caught almost its entire approach on my camera all while my head was out the window and my husband was yelling at me again and again to roll up the window.

"My adrenaline was running and I was so excited that I was catching this whole thing with my camera that I really didn't think about the danger.

"My husband was stressed and new we were at some risk because rhinos have been known to occasionally attack cars in Kruger National Park and other places around South Africa.

"I suppose as long as we were in the car we weren't at any real risk of physical injury, just damage to our car. In addition, these rhinos had been de-horned for anti-poaching purposes, so this inherently lowered the potential damage risk as well."

Thankfully there was nothing to worry about and despite charging towards them the rhino slowed as quick as it had started and joined its companions just feet from the car.

Footage taken by Holly's husband Christopher, 37, shows just how close the magnificent creatures were.

Holly said: "All three hung out around our car for a while and then continued on down the road.

"We turned the car around and followed them for a bit. I'm glad that we did because just a little down the road we came to a small mud pit where we then witnessed each of them take turns rolling around in the mud.

"The whole experience was incredible and we couldn't believe how close we were the whole time. We felt fortunate to be the only people present to witness all of this."

Wildlife Photographer Of the Year shortlist 2014

Wildlife Photographer Of the Year shortlist 2014

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