On our first safari day, at Lake Nakuru, we just barely saw some hippos. I think it was their ears, eyes, and noses sticking out of the water. Our guides took us to Lake Naivasha the next day, ostensibly to see flamingos (since there weren't any at Nakuru), but I was much more pleased to see the hippos.
This is about what we saw at Nakuru. This is the first set of hippos we saw at Naivasha. I was beginning to think I'd never see anything but "the tip of the iceberg."
Really big hippos.
This herd, bunch of blobs, was surrounded by all sorts of birds, on the shore and in the water.
This guy looks too big and tired to move a muscle.
They seem so peaceful and dreamy and innocent. But I know hippos are one of the most dangerous African animals. If they get going they can trample and crush pretty quick. I was a little worried on our boat trip that one might get miffed, swim under our boats, and turn us all out. In fact, the guide said hippos had come after him in the boat before. I imagine they are pretty good at getting out of the way in a hurry.
We saw hippos twice in the Masai Mara. One was in the river and we only saw its nose bob up to the surface about every 3-4 minutes. They can stay under water for 6 minutes at a time I hear. The other was just up the road in a kind of pool. It was back in the brush so we couldn't see it well, but it was clear that the poor thing was dead. As we idled trying to get a better view, another hippo in the pool jumped out and lumbered off. A yard or two away, really well hidden, was a lion. I think that lion was either eating the dead hippo or just waiting to get started. Kind of gross. I doubt one lion could kill a hippo - so who knows what it died of. But, if you must eat, you must eat. Blech.