Johannesburg - Five suspected rhino poachers are due to appear in the Phalaborwa Magistrate's Court on Monday, police said.

The men, aged between 30 and 45, were arrested on Thursday night, while allegedly on their way to kill a rhino at a nearby game reserve.

Police noticed a Isuzu bakkie with three occupants parked in Gravelotte around 7.30pm, said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

A black BMW X5 parked next to it.

All the occupants from the bakkie got into the BMW, but before they drove off, police pounced on them.

During a search of the car, police found a hunting rifle with a serial number filed off, 20 rounds of live ammunition and three butcher knives.

Initial investigations have revealed that one of the suspects had previously been arrested.

The five face charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. - Sapa