Africa - Kruger national Park - Hippos and Impalas
The Common Hippopotamus is described in The Audobon Field Guide to African Wildlife, having a ‘huge rotund body on stubby legs’. That just about sums them up. But they also have cute little ears that have a pink tint to them!
There are several areas in the park where hippos can be found, especially if there is running water. In both the Crocodile River and Lower Sabie river there are numerous hippos lounging in the swift moving water. They snort and blow bubbles and mist, and it appears that they ‘blow air’ as we’ve witnessed large bursts of air not coming from their heads!
It’s hard to count them as they tend to congregate below the water and only a few will rise up at a time. They forage for grasses at night on shore and just hang out in the water during the day. Thinking that there are six or seven in the water we then see 4 or five more, we think!
From heavy and lumbering and looking so ungraceful on land to the sleek, quick graceful impala.
We had heard that there were so many impalas in Kruger park that we’d get sick of seeing them. Well, I wouldn’t say we’re tired of seeing them, but there are a bunch of them! It’s easy to just go on by without really giving them their due!
They are multi toned browns and with the darker color on the top of their backs, look like they’ve just been rained on. Only the male gets the horns in this group. When we first arrived, there was a lot of rutting and practice rutting going on. For the past few days, we haven’t seen much of this and are attributing this to the full moon shortly after our arrival.
We’ve seen big groups of females lorded over by one very busy male! A harem that he must defend and then tend to. We’ve also seen groups of males all hanging out together, just chilling or practicing their sparing techniques.