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White Rhinos Come from Southern Africa

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Book a Rhino Encounter

Quick Facts

Conservation status : Near threatened
Number of white rhinos : 18,000
Speed of white rhinos : 31 mph
Lifespan of white rhinos : 40-50 years

Our Rhinos

At Virginia Safari Park, our rhinoceroses are all southern white rhinos, which are native to Africa. They’re actually light gray in color, and the word “white” in their name derives from the Afrikaans word “weit,” which means “wide.” Southern white rhinos are characterized by their broad mouths that help them graze on short grasses.

In the Wild

Did you know that the white rhino is the second largest land mammal in the world? Most of the 20,0000 southern white rhinos can be found on private game reserves and other protected zones in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Namibia. Their social groups consist of as many as 14 rhinos, primarily females and their babies.


In the wild, it is estimated that a rhino is poached every 15 hours. In 2011, the Virginia Safari Park joined other zoological facilities to save this amazing species. Since that time, we have had four successful calves and are expecting two more this fall. We provide ongoing financial support to the International Rhino Foundation and partner with the Zoological Association of America’s Southern White Rhino Animal Management Program.

Read how we help

Learn What the Rhino Eats

Southern white rhinos use their flat, wide mouths to their advantage – the shape helps them eat shorter blades of grass than most other animals can consume. They can also digest plants that are toxic to other species.

Feed the rhinos

Tour the Animal’s Habitat

You can see our rhinos when you take a drive through our expansive natural exhibit. Feel free to take your time and to wind your way along the safari trail more than once to make sure you see the rhinos and other animals.

See our rhinos

Your Visit

Plan your trip to the Virginia Safari Park! Get driving directions from seven nearby cities/states, as well as links to other local attractions. You can also buy tickets and download a map of the park.

Meet the Other Animals