There is actually a rhinoceros in the Singapore zoo.  It is part of the night safari.  We have been on this night safari, and... if you live in or visit, Singapore-- you should go.  But let's not pretend that seeing a rhino in a zoo is anything like seeing one 10 feet from your land cruiser.  with its baby...

You know, before we go straight to those pictures, I feel I should interject a few things.
First off- when you're on a safari, and out in the wild, even when you're all snug in your little hotel tent, and you put your feet into the bed, and you feel this surprisingly warm and wiggly thing down there where you expect only more cool crisp sheets... well, you might jump too.  My brain did do an amazing number of immediate calculations and rememberizations in that shortest of nanoseconds such that I knew it was only a water bottle and not a python, but it wasn't fast enough to capture the very little yelp prior to its escape.

Also, even in our safe little tent camp, we were not completely safe.  You see, there were these warthogs:

and they were all over the camp.  At least 5 or 6 of them.  If you got close to them, they would run from you, but still.

Also there were some DLTs:

They napped by the pool mostly.  See how dangerous it was!  Actually if you did leave your tent at night you were only to do so with a guard at your side.  There was some mention about if things got really desperate out on the Mara, lions would make their way in and pick off the overly relaxed warthogs for an easy meal.

On the note of the whole water bottle thing, I don't think we've mentioned what the weather was like in Kenya.  It was pretty great.  Despite the fact that Singapore is 1 degree north of the equator, and Nairobi is 1 degree south of the equator, they have vastly different climates, owing largely to the high elevation of Nairobi:

The private airstrip for our camp.  Altitude reads 5360 feet.  Coordinates also provided if you want to google map us.

During the day, when the sun came on full force, it became pretty warm, and you didn't want to stay in direct sun, but all it took was to duck into shade and the temperature changed by several degrees.  This does not happen in humid Singapore and was a welcome feature.  In the evenings it cooled down quite a bit, to the point that a hot water bottle at the foot of your bed was fantastic.  Once you knew it was coming.

Right, so on to number 4.  We spotted the rhinoceros on our 3rd or 4th game drive (2 per day).  In a way, they are easy to spot, even from distance.  While the buffalo have convex backs, viewed from the side, the rhino has a concave back, so you can differentiate by the profile.  Still, we were somewhat amazed at our guides' ability to spot them from pretty much as far as our eyes could see.  And so we tore across the plain to get a nice close look.

Wow.  Would you look at that thing?  seriously.  That can not possibly be a modern day creature that just walks around Africa chewing on plants, with its 2 horns and giant body.  let's get a little bit closer...

Oh my.  That, my friends.  That is a dinosaur.  surely a vestige of a day gone by. 

And then, it turns, it looks at us.  Oh my God it's coming right for us!!!  but then you remember, this thing doesn't even make the list.  pfft, 12-14 kills per year.  we're not even afraid of you, rhinosaur.

Besides, she's got a kid to look after and can't just go picking fights with land cruisers.

Awww, aren't they cute?

On the note of the whole dinosaur thing... I picked up Obama's "Dreams from My Father" for light reading on the trip.**  It was a neat choice as it's the story of his journey from Indonesia to US, ultimately taking a trip to Kenya to trace this half of his heritage.  I happened to be on a safari just about the same time as he was in his book.  He described what he was seeing:

"It was like that for the rest of the day, as if I were seeing as a child once again, the world a pop-up book, a fable, a painting by Rousseau.  A pride of lions, yawning in the broken grass.  Buffalo in the marshes, their horns like cheap wigs..."

He goes on to give some more flowery description before pausing and reflecting:  "This is what Creation looked like."

And I think that's a pretty good summary of how it makes you feel, like you're in quite a different world and time even, a place where you can actually start to imagine giant dinosaurs walking around like they make perfect sense.

4 down.  1 to go!

*rhinosaur, as far as I am concerned, was coined by Philip when I suggested that rhinoceros are clearly dinosaurs.  what a fitting name.  rhinosaur.  Dinoceros is a close second.

**In the interest of full disclosure and political equality, I also picked up George W's "Decision Points" for the same trip.  I enjoyed both, and invite no political commentary on this blog whatsoever.