Voetsek - laughter Snapped Meme
Photo Cred: Snapped Meme

Wildlife photographer Richard Degouveia’s hilarious encounter with a charging rhino, captured on video, has South Africans in stitches as they marvel at his unexpected use of “Voetsek” to ward off the charging beast.


Sabi Sands, South Africa (13 July 2023) – Renowned wildlife photographer and safari guide, Richard Degouveia, recently found himself in a hilarious yet adrenaline-pumping situation during a wildlife adventure in South Africa’s Sabi Sands.

A video capturing his encounter with a charging rhino has gone viral, and South Africans can’t stop laughing at his unexpected choice of words.

Richard’s lifelong passion for wildlife led him to embark on a career as an environmental consultant, conducting impact assessments for various companies. However, his thirst for creative exploration drew him closer to nature, and he transitioned into the role of a safari guide. With his love for photography, Richard found his calling in the wild terrains of the Greater Kruger National Park, where he began his guiding career at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. After spending five remarkable years at Sabi Sabi, Richard yearned to expand his horizons as a private guide across Africa. His travels have taken him to some of the most breathtaking wilderness areas, from the mountain jungles of Uganda and Rwanda to the diverse biomes of Southern and Eastern Africa, as well as the enchanting island of Madagascar. Richard specializes in teaching wildlife photography, finding joy in helping others capture the beauty of the natural world.

It was during a lockdown adventure in the Sabi Sands that Richard experienced a heart-pounding moment that he will never forget. In a Sony Alpha wildlife photography series, Richard embarked on a deserted reserve to capture awe-inspiring moments with the majestic creatures that roam freely. Little did he know that a seemingly peaceful encounter with a white rhino bull would take an unexpected turn. As Richard focused his camera lens on the tranquil rhino bull, he anticipated capturing a serene moment. However, when he started the car and began to reverse, the rhino’s behaviour swiftly changed. Without warning, the once peaceful creature began charging towards him, catching Richard off guard.

In a split second, instinct took over, and Richard found himself shouting, “Voetsek!”

“Voetsek,” a common South African term meaning “get lost” or “go away,” is not what one typically expects to hear in the face of a charging rhino. Yet, Richard’s reflexive response to the escalating situation proved to be both effective and comical. The unexpected choice of words had South Africans in stitches, as they marvelled at Richard’s comedic bravery.

The TikTok video capturing the moment has garnered nearly 2 million views, spreading laughter and amusement across the country. Richard’s ability to inject humour into a tense situation showcases his quick thinking and the unpredictability of wildlife encounters. So maybe next time you find yourself face to face with a charging rhino (or any other hair-raising situation), remember Richard’s unconventional response and embrace the unexpected with a hearty “Voetsek!” or “F*k off”.

Sources: Richard Degouveia Social Media 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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