The white rhino bull was agitated, snorting and swaying his head in annoyance at a tractor that had just trundled by. For my part, I was tempted to leg it as the rhino was barely 15m ahead on a dirt road and we were on foot tracking wild rhinos at the Pongola Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal. We had left the protective embrace of a Land Cruiser just minutes before. But our guide Cosmos Goba remained impassive. “He doesn’t like the sound of the vehicles and he sometimes chases them,” he explained as the rhino stomped into the bush, where he proceeded to thrash around like a cranky child. At least there was bush for the animal to melt into. The last time my wife and I had tracked rhinos here, in November 2015, the reserve was in the scorching grip of an El Nino-triggered drought. The contrast was stark. The reserve then was a parched brown with hardly a blade of grass, the deceptive hue of hardy acacia trees, the only green to be seen. It is now a lush collage of colliding shade...

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