Hippos are the animal that I have the most 'respect' for--read fear.
We always hoped to see hippos out of the water, but that's hard to do. They come out in the evening and then it's too dark to take photos. Many of these were taken at dusk so the color is not so great. Here's what you usually see of hippos.
Keep in mind that for every one you see, there are probably several underneath the water and you don't know where. Hippos are very set in their ways and because of that are responsible for more human deaths than any other animal. They don't like you near them in the water by day and they don't like you on the paths that they take to feeding areas by night. (Remember the jaws we saw earlier.)
You want to see action.........
..........but if you're not in the vehicle, you don't want to see this--especially with the baby behind making Mama doubly dangerous.
We heard a lot and saw a little fighting between males in a pod.
About fifty meters from a large pod we saw this lonely old male who had obviously been kicked out with a fight--note the scars on his back. Every once in a while he would lie down on his side and raise two feet in the air. We don't know why unless the water he was allowed to be in by the other males was too shallow and he couldn't immerse himself to keep cool any other way.
Note also the thick tail. Hippos use this to mark their territory by fanning it back and forth very rapidly as they defecate, thereby spreading the dung all over the place.
Frank and I wanted to get great pictures of the famous hippo tooth-display 'yawn'. The hippos must watch and when you lower your camera from your eye, they do a big yawn which you, of course, miss. They do the 'yawn' mostly as they are getting ready to come out to feed when the light is fading. We never did get what we thought was the perfect one, but here's a collage of some we did take.
Click me to go to the next letter