I have a photo album called “Good places I have eaten lunch.” Clearly, this hippo pool in the Masai Mara reserve will be in it. But it was breakfast, and it was fantastic.
Hippos are way more massive when you see them in their environment. I keep thinking how big everything looks, except the lions, which look a bit smaller than I always imagined in the wild, out here. I’ve seen elephants and hippos and giraffes in zoos. They look really big.
Here, they look. really. big.
Watching the hippos swim around and blow water after their 5-minute submersion, and then lumber out of the water, I realized why.
In the zoo, you are looking at the animal. Here, you see them against trees, rocks, the river… everyday things of normal size that you are used to. Seeing them against those things, you realize just how massive or tall or lanky or intimidating they are.
Big John and Jackson says you would get about halfway across the river swimming toward the herd of hippos, who look completely dozed off and relaxed. Then, they would attack you. They don’t eat you, but they will snap you in half with their giant mouths and jaws, which, again, look way bigger when they are opened completely wide here in in the river.
They could get your entire torso, hip to hip, in there for sure, and clearly a head.
The crocodile you might have a chance on, if he’s full. He’s also huge. Much “huger” than other alligators i’ve seen and in the zoo. They are like black armor in the sun, and a dinosaur, passed through another age.
I also peed here. It is a grand place to pee, if there ever was one.