Hippopotamus

Learn about the extraordinary life of these water-dwelling giants that roam the waters of Africa.

30km/h

Speed

1.5 – 3 tonne

adult weight

40-50

year life span

Population

130,000

Vulnerability Factor

Vulnerable

Activity period

Nocturnal

Diet

Herbivorous

The hippopotamus, scientifically known as Hippopotamus
Amphibious , is a large herbivorous mammal native to sub-Saharan Africa.

Hippos possess a massive and robust body, covered in thick, hairless skin that varies in colour from grey to brown. They have short legs, a broad muzzle, and wide-set nostrils positioned on the top of their head, allowing them to breathe while partially submerged in water. Known for their enormous mouth and formidable tusks, hippos display a set of long, curved incisor teeth that can grow up to 51 centimetres (20 inches) in length. While appearing slow and gentle, these mighty herbivores can be surprisingly agile and dangerous when defending their territory or young.

Find them at the following tours

Our carefully crafted tours offer the perfect opportunity to witness a diverse array of magnificent creatures in their natural habitats. Join us on these remarkable journeys to see this animal, and let the magic of the animal kingdom unfold before your eyes.
Starting from

$11,990.00 pps

4 spaces available

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Hippopotamus Overview

Overview

The hippopotamus offers unique photo opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts. Capturing the sheer size and power of these magnificent creatures can result in awe-inspiring photographs. Whether it’s a close-up shot of their gaping jaws, showcasing their impressive tusks, or a captivating image of hippos submerging themselves in water, photographers can capture the essence of their semi-aquatic lifestyle.

Photographing hippos in their natural habitat requires patience and understanding of their behaviour. The early mornings or late afternoons are ideal for capturing the golden light reflecting off the water, creating stunning backdrops for the hippo’s massive silhouette. A telephoto lens can help in capturing the details of their textured skin and intricate facial expressions, allowing photographers to convey the raw power and beauty of these fascinating creatures.

Hippopotamus Overview

Key facts

  • Hippos are the third-largest land mammal, with males weighing up to 1500kg.
  • They are primarily herbivorous, feeding on grasses, aquatic plants, and fruits, consuming vast amounts of vegetation each day.
  • Hippos spend most of their time in water, where they regulate their body temperature and protect their sensitive skin from the sun.
  • They are excellent swimmers, capable of staying submerged for several minutes and propelling themselves through the water using their powerful legs.
  • Hippos are highly territorial and aggressive, especially during the mating season or when protecting their young. They are responsible for more human deaths in Africa than any other large animal.
  • Although they have a stocky build, hippos can reach impressive speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour (19 miles per hour) on land. • Their unique skin secretes a pinkish, oily substance that acts as a natural sunscreen and moisturizer, helping to protect their skin from drying out and sunburn.
  • Hippos have a complex social structure, living in groups known as “pods” or “bloats” that can consist of several individuals, led by a dominant male.
  • They communicate through various vocalizations, including grunts, roars, and bellows, which help establish dominance, warn of danger, or communicate with other members of the group.
  • The hippopotamus population is currently considered vulnerable due to habitat loss, poaching, and conflicts with human activities.

Types and Habitats

Elephants are categorized into two main species: African elephants and Asian elephants. African elephants inhabit diverse habitats, including savannas, forests, and grasslands, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. Asian elephants are found in fragmented populations across 13 countries in South and Southeast Asia, occupying habitats ranging from tropical rainforests to dry grasslands.

Elephants are herbivores, consuming a varied diet of grasses, leaves, bark, fruits, and roots. They require substantial amounts of food and water daily to sustain their massive bodies.

FAQ

Explore the Fascinating World of This Animal Through These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Hippos face several threats in the wild, including habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict.

Hippos are well adapted to aquatic life and can stay submerged for up to 5 minutes at a time. However, they usually resurface every 3-5 minutes to breathe.

Hippos are herbivores, feeding primarily on grasses. They are known to consume large amounts of vegetation, often grazing along riverbanks at night.

Despite their bulky appearance, hippos can reach impressive speeds of up to 30 kilometres per hour (19 miles per hour) on land.

Yes, hippos are social animals and live in groups called pods. A typical pod consists of several females, their offspring, and one dominant male.

Hippos are massive creatures, with adult males weighing between 1,500 and 3,200 kilograms (3,300 to 7,000 pounds), while females weigh slightly less.

Yes, hippos are excellent swimmers and spend a significant amount of time in water to keep their bodies cool and protected from the sun.

Hippos are known to be highly territorial and can display aggressive behaviour, especially when their territory or young ones are threatened. They are considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.

The gestation period for hippos is around 8 months, after which a single calf is born. The mother protects and nurses the calf for several weeks before introducing it to the pod.

Hippos are found in sub-Saharan Africa, mainly inhabiting rivers, lakes, and swamps. They require access to water for hydration and to keep their bodies cool.

The common hippopotamus is currently classified as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss and poaching threats.