A highlight of our second day at Maasai Mara was seeing several hippopotamus “bloats” in the Mara River. One bloat in particular was basking on the shore, seemingly half-asleep, displaying their spectacular girth in full view. This was a rare opportunity, as hippos spend most of the daylight hours staying cool (and light) in the water, only getting out at night to graze.
We learned that hippos are one of the most dangerous animals to humans (second to buffaloes) as they will mow down anyone or anything that gets between them and their water source or their young (which usually happens accidentally at dusk). We got out of the car to view them high up on the opposite bank, until Rufus, our guide, noticed a lone buffalo nearby that was exhibiting some intimidating body language. We got back in the car.