The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) or hippo is a large, mostly plant-eating African mammal, one of only two extant species in the family Hippopotamidae (the other being the Pygmy Hippopotamus). It is the heaviest extant artiodactyl, despite being significantly shorter than the Giraffe.
The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers and lakes in sub-Saharan Africa in groups of 5-30 hippos. The hippopotamus also uses water to keep itself hydrated and able to carry out his life functions. During the day they remain cool by staying in the water or mud; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water, where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river. They emerge at dusk to graze on grass. While hippos rest near each other in territories in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land.
I took this picture during one of the boat safari on the Zambezi River.
The Zambezi is Africas fourth largest River system, after the Nile, Zaire and Niger Rivers. It runs through six countries on its journey from central Africa to the Indian Ocean. Its unique value is that it is less developed than others in terms of human settlement and many areas along its banks enjoy protected status.
It's power has carved the spectacular Victoria Falls and the zigzagging Batoka Gorge.
The Zambezi has been harnessed at various points along the way including the massive Kariba Dam between Zambia and Zimbabwe and Cabora Bassa Dam in Mozambique. Plans for another dam at the Batoka gorge have fortunately been shelved.
The Rivers beauty has attracted tourists from all over the world providing opportunities for a myriad of water sports and game viewing.
Running for a length of 2700kms, it begins its journey as an insignificant little spring in the corner of north-west Zambia in the Mwinilunga District. It bubbles up between the roots of a tree, very close to the border where Zambia, Angola and Zaire meet.
It enters Angola for about 230kms, where it accumulates the bulk of its headwater drainage, and re-enters Zambia again at Cholwezi rapids flowing due south but substantially enlarged by the entry of various tributaries.
It passes through the flat sandy country of the Western Province, then traverses the broad, annually flooding Barotse Plains, where much of the water is lost to evaporation, then over more rocky country where its tranquil course is interrupted by the Ngonye falls and rapids.
This upper part of the river is thinly populated by pastoralists, farmers and fishermen and although wildlife is sparse it is remarkably free of pollution. This is also the scene of the remarkable Ku-omboka Ceremony where thousands of inhabitants move annually to higher ground as the Zambezi floods into the low lying plains.
As it turns to an easterly direction it forms the border between Zambia and Namibia and eventually joins up with the Chobe River in the Caprivi Swamps, briefly forming a border with Botswana.
For the next 500kms it serves as the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe thundering over the Victoria Falls and through the narrow, steadily deepening Batoka Gorge which flattens out at the broad Gwembe Valley.
From here it flows into the Kariba dam for 281kms - its width at one point being 40kms. From the dam wall the river travels due north, heading east again at Chirundu.
Here it is flanked by the Lower Zambezi National Park on the Zambian side and Mana Pools National Park on the Zimbabwean side. This middle zone supports one of Africas most important wilderness areas.
After the Luangwa confluence, its a much larger Zambezi that flows into Mozambique and out towards the Indian Ocean, having provided power, food, pleasure and transport for many and a home for untold numbers of wildlife along its journey.
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ingvar (2086) 2009-02-20 4:22
Perfect testimony to the power and danger of this magnificent animal
ymrk (14955) 2009-02-20 4:24
Böyle büyük bir ağız görünce,kendi ağzım aklıma geliyor.Bir keresinde koca bir Halley'i ağzıma alıp,yutmuştum :)
Nefis yakalamışsınız hocam,ürkütücü,etkileyici ve fantastik!
İyi günler dilerim,
tober (8797) 2009-02-20 4:28
Suaygırını doğal ortamında son derecede ihtişamlı bir şekilde görüntülemişsiniz. Bakarken benim bile ağzım açık kaldı. Bu görüntüden sonra Zambezi Nehrinde bot turu yapmak her babayiğitin harcı olmasa gerek :)
Elinize sağlık Coşkun Bey.
zeynepe (0) 2009-02-20 4:35
Abimden duydum çok geçmiş olsun Coş:)
National Geographic'den muhteşem bir kare.O dişlere pek de yakınlaşmak istemezdim doğrusu.
Muhteşem , tebrikler , iyi haftasonları,
TGULUMSER (13252) 2009-02-20 8:44
Coskun Bey merhaba,
Bu kadar yakindan bu sahneye tanik olmak muhtesem bir sey. Bizimle paylastiginiz icin tesekkurler,
anesugur (18789) 2009-02-20 12:25
Merhaba Coşkun bey,
Biz ancak hayvanat bahçesinde görüyoruz.
Doğal ortamlarında fotoğraflamak çok zevkli olmalı.
Elinize sağlık. Selamlar. Uğur
devimeuxbe (58557) 2009-02-20 13:16
impressive smile !
this is a great capture with a good timing.
alibasarir (15580) 2009-02-20 13:24
merhaba coşkun bey
gerçekten müthiş güzel yakalamışsınız.adeta belgesel niteliğinde olmuş.ürkütücü gibi gözüksede bence çok hoş bir görüntü elinize sağlık.
hay_kes (30436) 2009-02-21 0:24
Merhaba Coşkun Bey,
Sıradışı bir portre çalışması, zamanlamanız mükemmel.Aksiyonu harika yakalamışsınız.Elinize sağlık.
berek (36554) 2009-02-21 21:46
şöyle bir aray sıkışsak yandık vallahi.. tam zamanında çekmişsin üstad eline sağlık. selamar
didemay (2945) 2009-02-24 4:01
Haammmmmmmmmm...muthis yakalamissin. Sevgili Hipo'nun agzi acikken ve boyle bir kareyi cekmis olmani imrenirken soldaki suyun kaya/topraga vuran hareketi ile bir de kompozisyon cikartmissin ortaya. Eline, reflekslerine saglik.
amazon (12112) 2009-02-24 5:38
hipopotamlari sevmeyi hep cok istemisimdir lakin bu portreden sonra bu istegim baska bir bahara kalacak sanirim,sevgiler,