The African Rhinos

There are two kinds of rhinoceros in Africa: the white rhino and the black rhino.

White Rhinos in the Waterberg Plateau


Black Rhino in Etosha National Park


In reality, it is not the color of their skin that characterizes them, because they are both grey.

The difference between the white and the black rhino comes from a misunderstanding between the South Africans and the British. Indeed, the first distinguished the white rhino and the black rhino through their lips.

South Africans used the word “wide” to describe the white rhino’s lips and differentiate them from those of the black rhinos. The British understood “white” instead of “wide”, and it was this designation from the British that remained.

On the other hand, the black rhino spends a lot of time rolling in the mud, which gives him this darker aspect: as the name of the”white rhino” was already been used, it seemed logical to call this cousin ” black rhino”.

The difference in lip shape is related to the animals’ diets. Black rhinos are browsers that get most of their food from eating trees and bushes. They use their pointed upper lips to pluck leaves and fruit from the branches. White rhinos graze on grasses, walking with their enormous heads and squared lips lowered to the ground.

Come and discover their differences directly on site.


Claudie Diguet / Dumera Safaris