Africa

The Strange. The Rotund. The Dramatic. The Hippo.

Hippo in Tanzania

In a spurt of energy, this hippo shot out of the water without warning. I don’t know why, and moments later he was wading quietly with his friends. ~Tanzania

Is a hippopotamus a hippopotamus, or just a really cool Opotamus? ~ Mitch Hedberg

I’ve come to love the hippopotamus.

I’ll admit, I didn’t in the beginning.

They seemed, dare I say it? Boring. Always submerged beneath the murky depths of a watering hole just floating, honking and farting.

Hippo in Botswana

Such a handsome devil. This is the expression a hippo gives you when you meet face-to-face unexpectedly. ~Botswana

It was hard to find them attractive with their massive bodies, teeth the size of bananas and large bulbous heads topped off by absurdly small ears and eyes.

I couldn’t emotionally connect in the same way my heart swells when a lion cub appears, or speeds up when an elephant trumpets.

Wide-mouthed hippo in Botswana

Translation: “I see you coming…GO AWAY!”~ Botswana

But as with most things, once you make the effort to spend the time, to really look, you begin to see  the unexpected, the fascinating and the endearing.

Today I find the hippo oddly adorable. What turned me off, now makes me smile. They’re not boring at all, they’re rather dramatic actually, and full of life.

As I prepare for my return trip to Africa (South Africa and Kenya) next week, I look forward to more encounters with the hippo. I will greet them with fresh eyes and a warm heart, and who knows what I will find….

Two hippos in Botswana

A pair of bruisers that were a tad annoyed that we had parked near their watering hole

 

Sideways hippo with open mouth in Botswana

I wonder if a hippo has ever gotten stuck this way? ~Botswana

 

Splashing hippo in Botswana

When a wide-open mouth stance didn’t properly communicate his feelings , this VERY territorial hippo added vigorous splashing of water to his statement. ~Botswana

 

Hippo peek a boo in Botswana

I honestly believe this big guy thought we couldn’t see him. ~Botswana

 

Hippo pod in Kenya

Lounging on a tiny island in the middle of the Mara River near our camp, this happy hippo pod took advantage of a cloudy day. ~Kenya

 

Big male hippo in Tanzania

Face off: A thick, soupy, SMELLY watering hole hosting 60+ hippos suddenly moved aside to give this giant male his space. He held that VIP position for over and hour. ~Tanzania

 

Hippos fighting in Tanzania

“Let’s RUMBLE!” ~Tanzania

 

Hippo romance in Kenya

This is either romance or a drowning. You decide. ~ Kenya

 

A hippo pod at sunset in Botswana

A wonderful day in the bush ends with a curious pod of hippos at sunset. ~ Botswana

 

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