Satara Summer 2021 – The River Horses

The Hippopotamus is a perennial favourite with visitors to South Africa’s wild places. Generally regarded as “jolly”, probably because of their portly bodies, hippos are actually extremely aggressive and dangerous and noted for killing more people in Africa than any other wild mammal.

Especially when they are out of the water, and feel their escape to their aquatic abode blocked, hippos become very aggressive. One morning near Balule we encountered an enormous Hippo bull sauntering back to the water of the Olifants River, and we were happy that he chose to follow a game trail back instead of walking along the road!

When they feel threatened, hippos will often rush back to the water and beware anything caught in their way. We saw this cow and calf returning in a hurry to the pool at the Sweni Hide near Nwanetsi – the speed with which they smashed into the water was amazing!

It’s often difficult to determine whether hippos are playing or fighting – both look equally serious to us human onlookers. Joubert got this pair going at it in the Gudzani Dam near Satara.


31 thoughts on “Satara Summer 2021 – The River Horses

  1. Aletta - nowathome

    Ek is maar lugtig vir die diere. In 1986 het ek die geleentheid gehad om saam met Parkeraad en Dept van Omgewing in St Lucia op die rivier/ meer te vaar waar gewone toeriste nie kan kom nie. Die seekoeie was reg laangs die boot. Jy kon letterlik jou hand uitsteek om aan hulle te raak. Was maar ‘n skrikkerige ondervinding!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Tannie Frannie

    Dit herinner my aan ‘n wonderlike oomblik toe ek kon sien hoe ‘n seekoei onder die water op die bodem draf, deur ‘n glaspaneel wat die slimme Amerikaners in Disney World se Animal Kingdom langs die ou se waterpoel geรฏnstalleer het. (Weliswaar was hy nie in die wye natuur nie, maar Animal Kingdom het darem genoeg ruimte vir hom om te beweeg, dis nie ‘n ‘dieretuin’ nie.)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. wetanddustyroads

    Ek weet hulle is baie gevaarlik … maar kan nie anders as om aan jare terug se advertensie van Chomp te dink nie … “ou groot mond” ๐Ÿ˜„. Pragtige foto’s – ek kon amper hoor hoe hulle daar in die water rond plas (dit klink so lekker spelerig …)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. H.J. for avian101

    The hippos are huge animals and quite heavy,. However they can be extremely dangerous in the water. I believe they have the higher record of human casualties in Africa. Great post, D. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      They can be equally dangerous on land and in water, H.J. and yes, they’re certainly the African mammal that cause the most human fatalities. One of my Sunday school teachers was killed by a hippo while she was on holiday near the Kruger Park.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sustainabilitea

    Joubert gets another excellent batch of photos (but yours are good too, Dries.) ๐Ÿ™‚ I love riding horses, but not on these river horses!! The shot on the very top made me smile because if you look closely, there appears to be a hand reaching out from between the teeth on either side. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people


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