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Hangin' with the Hippos

NAMIBIA | Thursday, 16 February 2012 | Views [727]

My tree house.

My tree house.

In Disney films, hippos are friendly fun loving and slightly dopey creatures. In reality, they don’t wear pink tutu’s, and dance across the water.

Hippos grunt, they roll around in mud and they dont like people!

This is not the reason I decided to share a special birthday in Namibia with Hippos, I just wanted a different way to bring in a decade. It was certainly unique.

I found a cute tree house on the edge of the river in a village called Ngepi. The open tree house perched over the river, and I have to admit to being a little concerned at the mud walkway into the river beside us - it looked like a hippo path to me. The two room hut exposed our nakedness when we showered - the hippos basking in the river in front were not really that interested in watching me shower, but admittedly I was a little self conscience.

I woke on my special birthday (I dont reveal numbers) to the grunting sounds of the big fat hippos in the river, they sang in tune and I convinced myself it was to me. I sat on my balcony with a cup of tea watching them emerge slowly, above the water surface and then quickly disapearing below.

After breakfast I sat in a makoro (canoe) and was guided down the river amongst these giant slug like animals - not too close though as they startle easily and will tip a makoro without thought and kill you. Unlike the Disney adaptation, these guys are not in the least friendly.

I spent my “day” with the hippos of Ngepi, and returned that night to the tree-house with my family. We ate a chocolate cake made by the staff and drank a version of champagne I am happy not to drink again (Namibia is not known for importing the good stuff).

They may not be the most gorgeous creatures, and neither am I. But they are interesting, discerning, protective and curious - Just like me!


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