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Hippo
Asset 20

Hippo

Hippo in Tanzania

Large pods of hippos are an impressive sight on most Tanzanian safaris. The country provides the opportunity to watch them from a vehicle or from a boat.


About image

Quick facts about Hippo

Scientific name: Hippopotamus amphibius Habitat: Freshwater rivers & wetlands
IUCN status: Vulnerable Adult weight: 1,300–2,600kg

While many zoologists consider there is little genetic variation across the species, Tanzania’s hippo has been described as an East African subspecies (Hippopotamus amphibius kiboko, its subspecific name kiboko being Swahili for hippo) with slightly wider nostrils and a more hollowed forehead than the western and southern subspecies.

Hippos are found throughout Tanzania’s rivers and wetlands, from Lake Victoria to the swamps of Tarangire, Ngorongoro’s crater lake and the lakes and waterholes of Lake Manyara and Katavi national parks.

Probably the best hippopotamus sightings are to be had by targeting the Mara River in the northern Serengeti or the wide Rufiji River which meanders through the Selous Game Reserve.

16 hours

DAILY HOURS IN WATER

5 minutes

TIME BREATH CAN BE HELD

200

MAX. POD SIZE

23-50kg

WEIGHT AT BIRTH

Tanzania's top camps for seeing hippos

Based on 235 reports since Jun 2018, the camps below have the best chance of seeing hippos. Simply follow the key below.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for hippo

% of travellers who saw hippo

Top 10 camps for hippo

% of travellers who saw hippo

Where to see hippos in Tanzania

Hippos are widespread throughout Tanzania and most travellers are likely to see them during a safari. For the best sightings, head to the Mara or Rufiji River.


Top tips for viewing hippos in Tanzania

One of the best places to watch hippos in Tanzania is the Selous Game Reserve, where large pods lurk in the lakes, channels and broad meanders of the Rufiji River. All the camps in the Selous offer boat trips, allowing for close-up viewing. If you stay at a camp on the banks of the Rufiji, such as Sand Rivers or Selous Impala Camp, you’ll see and hear hippos from your tent.

Alternatively, visit the Mara River in the northern Serengeti, where hippo pods snort and argue in the shallows, oblivious to the enormous crocodiles.

The less frequently visited Katavi National Park can also be very good for hippos, where pods of several hundred sometimes congregate in tiny waterholes during the dry season.

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Holiday ideas to see hippos in Tanzania

These trip ideas include places that will give you a chance of seeing hippos in Tanzania


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Marabou Stork Fly-in Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Four luxurious camps enable exploration of Tanzania’s north and southern regions. With a range of land and water-based activities available throughout, decidedly comfortable accommodation and applicable long-stay discounts, this adventurous safari is excellent value.

US$13,390 - US$18,440 per person

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Turaco Safari

12 days • 4 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

This top-value holiday idea combines two safari areas with a week on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. Photograph lions and elephants, then relax under the palms on a powder sand beach.

US$4,550 - US$5,030 per person

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Flufftail Guided Safari

10 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Stay in three uniquely special camps as you safari across the Ngorongoro Crater and iconic Serengeti Plains with your private guide and 4WD vehicle: a trip of comfort and autonomy, filled with excellent wildlife.

US$11,190 - US$14,720 per person

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Firefinch Drive-Fly Safari

9 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Enjoy a combination of privately guided and shared game drives during this good-value exploration of Northern Tanzania. Explore game-dense regions from three comfortable bases where there are a variety of activities on offer.

US$7,790 - US$10,280 per person

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Martial Eagle Fly-in Safari

9 days • 3 locations
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

This stylish fly-in safari visits two of Africa’s most iconic parks, the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

US$10,500 - US$14,310 per person

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Jackal Fly-in Safari

8 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Enjoy a range of activities during this ultra-luxurious fly-in safari. Explore the remoter regions of Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve with phenomenal guides during stays at two impressively comfortable camps that remain perfectly in-keeping with their surroundings.

US$6,460 - US$7,910 per person

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Chimpanzee Fly-in Safari

8 days • 3 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Combining two of the remotest parks in Tanzania, this safari can deliver extraordinary wildlife viewing in Katavi, and East Africa's best chimp treks, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.

US$8,450 - US$11,770 per person

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Tinkerbird Fly-in Safari

8 days • 4 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

Explore Tanzania’s famous northern circuit with safari in Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park. Four smart sister camps offer a high level of care, first-class guiding and wide range of activities.

US$8,630 - US$12,000 per person

View all holidays to Tanzania

Our top destinations for hippos

Read tips for spotting hippos in these countries and the best camps and lodges for sightings


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