Meet the Rhinos | Animal Experience | Monarto Safari Park

Meet the Southern White Rhino crash at Monarto Safari Park

If you’ve ever wanted to get up close – very close – to a Southern White Rhino then this is the ultimate animal experience for you!

It’s hard to describe the feeling of getting right up close to a Southern White Rhino less than an hours drive from Adelaide, AND being encouraged to give them a friendly scratch!  These huge, horned animals somehow appear so gentle as they meander up to their keeper as he calls their names.  Like trusting horses they come all the way up to the fence and happily allow their curious visitors to feel their skin and give them a rub behind the ears.

The Meet the Rhinos animal experience allows visitors a behind the scenes look at their sleeping quarters before they head out for their breakfast.

Arriving at Monarto Safari Park around 9.30am to check in, we meet our friendly guide inside the Visitor Centre before heading out to the mini bus.  It’s only a short drive and we listen as our guide talks to us about the Park and the exciting plans taking place here to create the largest safari-style habitat in the world outside of Africa.

Our Rhino keeper on the day, Riley, meets us at the bus and we have a quick chat before heading over to meet our first Rhino, male breeding bull Umfana. At first sight he is just breathtaking. It is remarkable to watch him casually make his way over to us and we were in awe of his size and stature.  

We watch Umfana play amongst his bamboo poles and once he settles, we are shown how to safely give Umfana a rub along his back.   He happily obliges as our small group each take a turn giving him a scratch.  

Next we  make our way over to the females Uhura, Umqali, Savannah and teenager Carrie who arrived late in November 2022.  The four girls are housed together and just like Umfana are happy to make their way towards our group and stand close by for a scratch.  It’s quite surreal to see them together, so close and calm.  


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Riley shares numerous rhino facts with our group as well as interesting personality traits about each of the rhinos. A s well as questions, photos and videos are encouraged throughout the tour.

The steel bars are unsightly but necessary for obvious reasons.  We felt safe the entire time and marvelled at how comfortable the rhinos appeared standing so close to us.

Once we had finished saying hello to the girls the gate was opened for them to move out to their exhibit for the day to enjoy breakfast and the enrichment Riley had left out for them to explore.  

We then made our way back to Umfana to watch him move from his night quarters out to his yard for the day.  He went directly to his breakfast, we watched for a while and then it was time for our guide to take us back to the Visitor Centre. 

Once the mini bus returns to the Visitor Centre you walk back in via the Gift Shop which is full of fabulous products from adorable stuffed toys and incredible art to your typical tourist souvenirs.  There is a cafe, viewing platform and gallery to explore, as well as an outdoor nature playground.  If you haven’t already, you can then purchase tickets to visit the rest of the Park and make the most of your day at Monarto.


Rhino Facts:

Threatened with extinction due to excessive poaching, the Southern White Rhinoceros roam the southern half of the African continent, in savannah and grassland habitats.  The White Rhino is one of the largest land animals and have the biggest horn of all rhinos.   Their physiology closely resembles that of zebras and horses, having the same basic digestive tract (single-chambered stomach).

Monarto’s Meet the Rhinos animal experience supports conservation and is the perfect gift for animal lovers of all ages, especially teenagers and young adults who are often hard to buy gifts for.  The minimum age to participate is 10.

Highlights of this Animal Experience:

  • Getting up close with the Southern White Rhino crash
  • Behind the scenes glimpse at the rhino’s night quarters not seen from the tour bus
  • The small group allows for lots of questions and photos
  • Learn about the crash directly from their keeper who knows them well

Meeting the Rhinos was a magical, memorable morning adventure.  We are already looking for a suitable date to book this experience again!

Days & Times:

  • Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:55am to 10:25am

Things to remember:

  • Check in at the Information Hut in the Visitors Centre on arrival
  • Maximum of 7 participants
  • Duration is approx 30 minutes
  • Park entry is not included in this experience
  • Minimum age is 10 years old (all children under 16 years must be accompanied by a paying adult)
  • Accessibility – not wheelchair accessible
  • Enclosed, flat footwear is required to participate


Monarto Safari Park also offers an afternoon Black & White Rhino Interactive animal experience.


63 Monarto Road, Monarto, South Australia

If you haven’t visited Monarto Safari Park for a while, the Park has a new entrance as of 2022:

things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the Zoos SA website.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post and our review is done completely independently. All photos are by Play & Go.

Image Source: Play and Go 2023



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