Hippopotamuses in the water

I will admit to being somewhat startled when a pod of Hippopotamuses surfaced beside our small boat on Lake Naivasha. The boatman obviously expected it, and had brought us into this particular little cove for just that purpose…but still…he might have warned us. Hippopotamuses are big. Swamp-a-boat-easily big. And they just appear there, right beside you. So fast I could barely get the camera around to capture a few shots before they submerged again. The boatman stopped the boat, and we watched them for a few moments, enjoying themselves. Hippos spend the day submerged, coming up to breathe, or in mud flats where they can cover their sensitive skin with a layer of mud as sun-screen. They come out to browse the short grasses along the lake-shore at night. We stayed at Elsamere on Lake Naivasha, and one of its selling points (along with most of the other lodges on the shore) is that Hippos come out on the lawn at night. If you go to Africa, someone is sure to tell you that Hippopotamuses kill more people per year than any of the big five…than all of the big five added together…and it is true. It is easy to underestimate these huge, placid animals and get too close, or between them and their retreat to the water. They don’t tolerate that. So, I guess if you have to get close, in a boat is the way to do it. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr.

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