Posts in Category: hippopotamus

Black Friday Special! Hippo from the bank

Hippopotamus: Kazinga Channel, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — I have lots of photos of hippos taken from the boats on the the Nile and the Kazinga Channel, but this is one of the few I have taken while on foot. We had stopped by the channel for a break, mid game drive, and there was a whole school of hippos off-shore. Sony Rx10iv at 469mm (close!). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.

Yes there are a lot of hippos…

in the Kasinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park. We saw many schools and each school was way large! These hippopotamuses are actually kneeling on the bottom of the channel. They do not float! Just keeping their delicate hides out of the sun. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 207mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/1000th.

I am watching you!

Hippopotamus on the Kasinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda from our August visit. Keeping his (or her) eye on us as we cruised past fairly close. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Elephant over hippos

You see lots of wildlife from a boat on the Kasinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda…but of course mostly hippos…a few of anything else. Sometimes you see hippos and something else 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 310mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/1000th.

Almost a non-bird post :)

On the Kazinga channel, in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, this past August, on a school or pod of hippopotamus…a Yellow-billed Oxpecker works the hippos’ backs. Almost not a bird shot at all! The density of hippos in the Kazinga Channels is as high as any waters in Africa. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.

African Wildlife edition: Hippos again…

We might as well catch another Hippopotamus mood while we are here on the Nile River in Murchison Falls National Park (or at least while I am going through photos from our visit). Hippos are indeed among the oddest looking mammals, with that huge sardonic smile, stuck-up nose, eyes that do not fit in their skulls…and with their ears tucked back in sockets. Odd indeed…but then we probably look just as funny to them. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 595mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Wildlife edition: The placid side of Hippos

This is a more typical “action” shot of Hippocampus. The youngster here is yawning. A frequent behavior and often photographed as it is about as much action as you are likely to see in a bloat of hippos at mid-day. When an adult does it, with the full grown tusks, it is, of course, much more impressive. 🙂 Again, these hippos will send the daylight hours hiding from the sun in the shallows, kneeling on the bottom to keep as much of their skin underwater as possible, and taking frequent dips to completely submerge. This bloat (or school, or pod) was along the shores of the Victoria Nile between its junction with the Albert and Murchison Falls in Murchison Falls National Park…taken from the tour boat to the base of the falls. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Hippo edition: Fight!

Hippopotamuses live, you might think, fairly placid lives…grazing during the hours of darkness, sometimes wandering miles from water, and spending the days kneeling in the shallows of lakes and larger rivers to protect their somewhat delicate hides from the equatorial sun. Plaid, except when they aren’t! This is mock battle between two (probably young) males at the edge of one of the big bloats of hippos that we saw from the tour boat on the Nile below Murchison Falls, in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda. “Bloat”, “crash”, “school”, or “pod”…all are used to describe a group of hippos. Our guide on the boat called them schools…but bloat is, according to internet sources, the more common and perhaps more correct term. I have heard it said that more people are killed by hippos each year, than by all of the big five taken together. Anywhere between a hippo and the water is a very dangerous place to be. You definitely do not want to be bitten by a hippo, as it only takes one bite. Still, the impression of a placid life is probably correct, 90% of the time. These two quickly settled back into the water once whatever point needed making was made to their satisfaction. Sony Rx10iv at 164mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed (cropped and enlarged) in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.

Hippopotamus at eyelevel

As I have said before, the only safe way to get close to a Hippopotamus is in a boat…and the most dramatic views are from a small boat, where you are close to the waterline. On our boat tour of the Kasinga Channel between Lake George and Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, we had a smallish launch, maybe 14 foot, and were close to the waterline indeed, and eye to eye with the Hippos we encountered. The Hippos in the channel are used to people in boats, some smaller even than ours, and, though certainly aware of us, went about their business pretty much undisturbed. This shot is at 600mm equivalent. Sony Rx10iv in Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Hippo grazing

Hippopotamus, Kruger National Park, South Africa

I somewhat maligned the Hippopotamus yesterday when I included it among Africa’s Big Five…the five animals that have no fear of a man on foot, and therefore are considered “dangerous game”. The fifth member of that group is actually the Cape Buffalo. However, as was pointed out to us several times during our stay, the Hippo kills more people in South Africa every year than any of the actual members of the Big Five. They are not aggressive at all, but you do not want to be caught between a Hippo and the water when Hippos are on the move, or between a Hippo mother and her calf at any time.

This image represents a somewhat rare sighting. Hippos have very sensitive skin, and can not stand long exposure to the direct sun, which is why they spend the day submerged in water, and only graze at night. Conditions in Kruger are so bad that this Hippo was out in full daylight, looking for food. Sadly the remaining grasses of Kruger after their long drought can not support the numbers of Hippos in the park. Dead Hippos are becoming a common sight in Kruger as they are dying of starvation at up 30 per week. The day I left South Africa they made the heartbreaking decision to cull 300 Hippos in Kruger and distribute the meat to surrounding villages. This image brings mixed feelings, to say the least.

Sony RX10iii at 485mm equivalent field of view. 1/250th @ ISO 250 @ f4. Processed in Lightroom.