New kids on the block in Zululand Rhino Reserve

New kids on the block in Zululand Rhino Reserve

Written by Hillary Gaertner

Good things come in threes. From fairytales to Hollywood blockbusters or, in this case, animal babies in the bush, the “rule of three” seems to always apply.

Zululand Rhino Reserve has recently been blessed with three different species of young. The reserve welcomed elephant calves, cheetah cubs and a rhino calf, which make a grand total of six new kids on the block.

Love has clearly been in the air and Rhino River Lodge rangers and guests have been soaking up the cute factor whenever the little ones decide to show their faces.


Ranger Frances Hannah tells us about her encounters with the youth of today as they so comically settle into life in the bush.

Elephant calves

“The two new elephant calves were born only one week apart, and I had a sighting of the elephant herd welcoming the little one into the clan. It was a lot of trunk hugging and flapping ears. A birth sac was found just up the river so it was definitely a newborn baby!”


White rhino calf

“We had a baby white rhino using the ‘speed humps’ as a ramp. He would speed up and almost lift off the ground as he sped over them as fast as he could. He would halt in a cloud of dust, turn around and start again. All the while his mom chomped grass in the field next to the road.”


Cheetah cubs

“We have two female cheetahs with cubs that we know of; one has two and the other has three. We spotted the mom and her two cubs on a red duiker kill, and the cubs resembled honey badgers with their lightening white fluffy backs. Only spotted legs and black tear marks gave them away as cheetah. Though they were less than three months old, they were tucking into their dinner with extreme gusto.”


There’s been a baby boom over the past couple of months but Ranger Frances hints that it isn’t going to stop anytime soon. “Not to let the cat out of the bag (pun intended), but we are led to believe that more lion cubs might be on the way.”

Hopefully there will be three new sets of cubs causing havoc in the private reserve soon, and the lodge’s “rule of three” will continue complete with great stories to be told.

Previously published on Africa Geographic.

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