- 15th February marks World Hippo Day, an day on which we celebrate this remarkable creature. -
As the world’s third largest mammal, the average adult hippo weighs an extraordinary 1,500kg. Primarily herbivores, they consume a whopping 40kg of grass per meal! There are many common misconceptions about the hippo starting with their likeness to other animals, as many people consider them as similar to pigs. However, being the only semi-aquatic animals to live within Sub-Sahara Africa, their closest living relatives are actually cetaceans, such as dolphins and whales. In light of this, it’s unsurprising that hippos spend on average 16 hours a day immersed in water. Even when they are asleep, hippos rise every three to five minutes for air. Another interesting fact about the hippo is that they produce an oily red liquid in the sun, which has the same function as sun cream, protecting their skin.
Besides their sweet faces, enormous size and interesting qualities, there are many factors which make the hippo an integral part of the ecosystem. Spending so much time immersed in water, hippos are crucial in enriching the rivers by stirring the mud on the floor. Also, their excretion contains ingredients fundamental to the survival of fish and other aquatic creatures which live in the waters.
Spotting these amazing animals is an exciting part of a safari holiday. Discover our best properties to see them at below…
Sanctuary Olonana is set on a private stretch of the Mara River in the heart of Kenya’s most famous game reserve, the Masai Mara. This stunning riverside setting means guests will spot extraordinary hippos basking in the river from the comfort of their private suite every day. There is no better way to wake up than to the sounds of hippos grunting and splashing around in the river below.
Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp
Hippos can frequently be found basking in the crater’s waters beneath the beating Tanzanian sun. Located at the edge of the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp sits amongst the region’s striking acacia trees. Facing south into the fernlike crown of the forest’s canopy, the camp has a unique perspective on the wow-inducing extinct volcanic landscape.
Sanctuary Chief's Camp
Located on the famous Chief's Island in the Moremi Game Reserve, guests visiting Sanctuary Chief's Camp in the heart of the Okavango Delta will enjoy spotting hippos in abundance throughout their stay, especially during the wet season when the area becomes a labyrinth of wandering lily filled waterways.
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