My Travel Blog

Hungry Hungry Hippos – Our Last Animal Drive

We saw a lot of hippos on our trip, but they were always in the water.  They are huge, ugly, and are very territorial.  You don’t want to get too close to a hippo.  They have giant nasty looking tusks, and even though they are herbivores they will use their tusks whenever they feel threatened. Even worse, these great big fat sausage like animal can run faster than you. The bottom line is don’t mess with the hippos.

There’s one thing I forgot to mention about hippos.  Not only are they ugly, but they’re also disgusting.  You’ve probably heard the saying when the s_ t hits the fan. Well guess what.  When hippos have to relieve themselves they use their tail as a fan. That’s right, and they spray it all over the place.   Hippos typically only come out of the water at night, but we saw plenty of bushes where they had taken care of business.

There were plenty of Hippos to see in the water.

Hippos look like oversized stuffed sausages.

One of the great things about the safari camps was the local wildlife that hung out around the camps.  There were plenty of birds and monkeys, but we also saw warthogs, antelopes, and at one camp there was even a hippo that would sleep at night just below the deck of the main dinning building. Of course there were a number of occasions when we had an elephant go through our camp. One afternoon Lisa and I decided to have lunch on our private deck. There were monkeys all over the place, and there was even a nursing antelope. An elephant sauntered by, and then went up to our neighbor’s pool to have a drink. It was all very uncivilized, which was just the way we wanted it.

A warthog with friends.

This is a mother Nyala and her nursing baby that were right next to our room.

An elephant that came to visit us during lunch, and take a drink from our neighbors pool.

We started out with a very civilized lunch. It didn’t last.

The monkeys were everywhere.

It was our last animal drive, and we were headed back to camp. Our guide received a call from one of the other jeeps that they had found a couple of lions.  It was getting dark, but we decided to rush over to see what was going on. What we found was so sad.  There were two young male lions that had apparently lost their pride. They were trying to call them with their low mournful groans.  They missed their family.


A throne at the Royal Malawane for my princess.

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.