Zimbabwe: Lake Kariba – Hippo Family
Staying in a lodge on one of the islands on lake Kariba, we got to witness a hippo family come out on the grassy shore. Two adults and a tiny several-months old barrel of a baby hippo. Hippos spend most of their time in shallow waters, but they are grazers and come out to graze in the evening in search of grass periodically. Occasionally, hippos are known to travel up to 5-10km in land in search of juicy grass. This hippo family was grazing in broad daylight. Hippos have only one baby at a time and it takes 16-17 month of gestation. The babies are born tiny relative to parents – between 25-50 kg – and are delivered underwater and have to swim immediately at birth to gasp for their fresh breath of air. Baby hippos spend 6-8 month with mother until beating weaned, the mother being fiercely protective and dangerous at this time.