Mud, mud glorious mud
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood
So follow me follow down to the hollow
And let us there wallow in glorious mud…
This is an extract from an old Flanders and Swann song. It is also one of the greatest little poems written on these animals!
Kaingo’s Mokolo river is home to hippos.. In the early morning hours or late evening, they may give you a glimpse of their bulk. For most of the day though, only their eyes and nostrils will be visible above the water.
I have always been fascinated by the hippo. They are just right in some parts, and just wrong in others. They look like a large pig…but their DNA and blood protein proves their relationships to whales and dolphins. They are predominantly herbivorous, yet there are verified reports of them scavenging as well.
I find that they are even-tempered, mostly. Bulls can be very territorial, cows fiercely protective of their young. Truth be told, I have had a few encounters of the scary kind with the old hippopotamus.
One such an encounter had me scrambling up a tree when I surprised a sleeping hippo, out of character, bedding down in some thickets near the river. I never thought something so large could move so fast. I never thought that I could climb that fast either…
Ever seen a hippo yawn? They open the mouth to about one hundred and fifty degrees! That is impressive. They do not yawn because of boredom either; the yawn is a clear message:” get any closer, and I may just bite you in half with my massive incisors… Look at them! Impressive hey?”
On the Kaingo boat or from the safety of a game viewing vehicle, the Kaingo hippo will not likely pose a treat to life and limb. We do however have a policy not to get too near them. No need to rock the boat…