The first thing I did after arriving in Livingstone was visit Mosi oa Tunya national park to go on a Rhino walk. Mosi oa Tunya is the only place in Zambia to have Southern White Rhinos, and the park is quite small so you are almost guaranteed a sighting when you visit. I was lucky enough to see three on my rhino walk in Livingstone, along with many other animals like elephants and giraffes.
The park has a total of 11 rhinos (it used to be 10, but a baby was born a couple weeks before I visited) and you have various options for visiting. You can go to just see the rhinos like I did, go for a game drive then see rhinos at the end, or even combine it with a sunset cruise.
Choosing a tour
Because you will literally be walking right up to the rhinos, it’s not possible to do this tour entirely by yourself. You are escorted to the rhinos by several armed rangers and need to follow their instructions to stay safe.
I booked my tour through my hostel, Fawlty Towers, as their prices were all very reasonable. I paid $40 for my tour, which was cheaper than anything I saw online. The types of tour will vary so you can get ones that include a game drive, or that end with a sunset cruise.
I booked a tour that was only for the rhinos and ended up seeing lots of other animals anyway, but wildlife sightings are always down to luck so if you want to see other animals then I recommend choosing an option with a game drive. I did the sunset cruise later as part of another tour, and it was fantastic, so I’d also highly recommend that.
As I was traveling solo the tours through my hostel all required a minimum of two people, but luckily the day I arrived a group wanted to see just the rhinos, so I was able to join them. For other solo travellers, don’t worry too much, as you can book solo trips online if you don’t have time to wait for more people. It’s a very popular tour though, so chances are high that you’ll be able to join others.
It is possible to self-drive through the park. For those doing that option, you need to ask at the gate where the rangers are, as you’ll still need to be escorted on foot to do the rhino walk.
Mosi oa Tunya Park
As the rhino walk takes place in the national park, you get to drive through it on your way to the rhinos. The day I visited, they were very far from the entrance, so I got to enjoy a very long safari ride to get to them.
Almost immediately after entering the park, we reached a herd of elephants on the banks of the Zambezi river. There were so many of them, and this was my first time seeing them in the wild, so it was an incredible experience! We had to stop and wait for a while to let some cross the road, but that just meant more time for photos!
Even though we weren’t doing a proper game drive, our guide still took the time to point out all the animals and tell us facts about them. The route we took to find the rangers didn’t seem the most direct as we were weaving around, stopping to see animals. I’m not complaining of course, this was my first time seeing many of these animals in the wild. I was so excited to see them all!
The Rhino Walk
Once we reached the rangers, it was time to get out of the safari vehicle and approach on foot. Walking with rhinos sounds scary, but the rangers are there to keep you safe.
Our instructions were to walk single file, and to stay in as straight a line as possible. We stayed silent, with no chatting on the way. The day I visited, we were lucky that the rhinos were very close by. It was just a few minutes to walk through the bush. There were only three there, all sleeping away, which helped me feel a bit safer about being so close.
We stopped close enough to get pictures, but not so close as to disturb the rhinos. Still, we were incredibly close to them! I don’t have loads of photos because we just saw them from the one angle and they were sleeping,
Is it worth it?
Without a doubt, going on a rhino walk in Livingstone was one of the best things I did in Zambia. It was the perfect way to start my trip! Although I saw more rhinos on the rest of my trip, we didn’t come as close as on the rhino walk.
If you are visiting Victoria Falls, it’s definitely an activity you should add to your itinerary! Just one more reason that I prefer Livingstone to Victoria Falls town.
Have you gone on a rhino walk in Livingstone or somewhere else? How many rhinos did you see?