A story of a hippo at Shindzela Safari Camp, Timbavati Game Reserve
It was a lovely Sunday Morning; the sun had just risen and was barely hanging above the horizon. My guest and I left camp a little bit earlier to get to our main dam for some coffee and the sun rise. As we stood at the dam listening to nature waking up with various melodies and songs – we suddenly noticed Harry. Harry is our resident hippo here at the dam. He is quite a character, as he loves teasing the guests. During the day all you see of him is his nostrils and ears occasionally surfacing and then disappearing. But as soon as the sun goes down and camera’s are no longer effective, he decides to do all sorts of dances in the water – when it is difficult to see him in the fading light, and not able to photograph it in evening light. And then, as we drive off to begin the night drive, he will give a low grunt as if he is laughing at us.
Even though he is a tease, all the guests fall in love with him, and can spend hours watching him do—well, nothing much! This particular morning it was nice to see him, as he actually went missing in action for 2 days for the first time in 2 months. No one knows where he disappeared to, but it was nice to see him. He was lying in the water a little more exposed than usual, enjoying his pampering from the red billed oxpeckers running around his body collecting ticks and other mites. Whenever the oxpeckers got annoying, he would disappear into the water and surface a while later to restart his spa therapies