The common hippopotamus also known as hippo, is a large herbivorous, semi-aquatic mammal a native from sub-Saharan Africa, it’s one of only extant species in family of Hippopotamidae, the other by a pygmy.
The name comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “River horse”. After the elephant and rhinoceros, the Hippopotamus is the third largest type of mammal living on land. Despite their resemblance to pigs and toed ungulates, other close relative of Hippopotamidae are the cetaceans which were diverged about 55 million years ago.
Common hippos have barrel-shaped torsos, wide-opening mouths that reveal large canine tusks with hairless bodies, colummer legs in a very large size.
An adult weighs about an average of 1,500kg and 1, 3000 kg for females and males respectively, this makes them the largest species of land mammals after the three species of elephants and the white Indian rhinoceros.
A Hippopotamus has a stocky shape with short legs; it’s capable of running 30km/hr over short distances.
The common hippopotamus inhabits rivers, mangrove swamps, lakes .where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups of five to thirty females and young ones. During the day, they remain cool by staying in the water or mud, the reproduction process and childbirth occur all in water.
They emerge at dusk to graze on grasses. Hippopotamuses rest near each other in water, grazing activities.
Hippopotamus is unpredictable and very aggressive animal which has been spotted attacking humans and other animals. Hippos are threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their ivory, canine teeth and their meat. Hippopotamus their habitat is in kazinga channel and near River Nile at Murchison falls.
They consume at night about 150 pounds of grass, during the day , they shield under water to protect themselves from the sun, since their bodies can emit a natural sunscreen which is red in color although others refer to it as a blood Sweat.
It lives in water bodies of Queen Elizabeth national park Uganda. Uganda receives a number of Tourists throughout the year to visit Queen Elizabeth and Murchison falls National Park for an amazing encounter to visit the world’s largest concentration of hippopotamus in the world; however hippos do not swim but bounce on the bottom of the lake or River. Even thou they may weigh about 3tons.some people assume that hippos are related to pigs in one way or the other, but they actually related to whales.
Hippos live for about 40 to 50 years of age, they keep growing in size until the age of 25years.Hippos live in pods, and the male hippos are called bulls and the female’s cows while the young ones are called calves. Hippos are considered to be very dangerous hence causing a number of death in Africa, this is due to an encounter of fisher men in villages .keep a distance far for your well being ,since they may cause a death threat to your life.
Hippos are always hunted for their meat; their tusks are sold as ivory, their hunted because their considered to be very dangerous to the community even to the fishermen whose boats are always seen being over turned by hippos, thus leading to a large number of death
They concentrate along the Kazinga channel at 40km,which connects to lake George and Lake Edward which has the highest concentration of hippos in all Africa, during the Kazinga channel encounter /boat ride you have an opportunity to spot hundreds of hippos in the waters and on the shores of the lake.
See them as they graze near the shores of the lake where there is no grass and has been stripped clean by hippos. During the early1960s there was a large hippo cull, during this period there were many more hippos than the surrounding area could support.
Local communities were given hippos meat which led them to develop a great taste for it. The idea came up in a way of even floated to sell cans of hippos meat and various ways of preparing hippos for humans consumption was as well looked into.
They tested various hippos although the idea died after Uganda the land locked country gained independence, hence leading to a concentration of hippos in the parts of Queen Elizabeth Park, including the Ntunge River in the ishasha sector of the park.
However Hippos are amazing creatures, their spotted in water bodies, they move during morning hours as they head back after feeding the whole night, early morning game drive will give you an opportunity to spot them out as they move, during a lunch cruise you will also be able to spot them out in water as they bounce, on waters, encounter with the worlds concentration of hippos at queen Elizabeth national park and Murchison falls national park.
Encounter and enjoy an extra ordinary experience in a life time. Book with Dina Tours and Travel, for an amazing experience in the wilds of Africa. Hippopotamus are very amazing in their nature bodies that are very large as they smash grasses at night well moving.
There also different lodges near the parks for accommodation depending on one’s budget in different parks that inhabit the Hippos.