Sighting of Hippopotamus in Niger River

Hyppo sighting

Monument of hippopotamus in Bamako


The name of the country, Mali comes from the Bambara word for hippopotamus, hence hippopotamus plays considered significant animal in Mali.  There is a monument of hippopotamus in Bamako.


The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), from the Greek (hippopotamos, hippos meaning “horse” and potamos meaning “river”), often shortened to “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.

Hyppo sighting

The pinasse and its skipper that I took to cruise along the niger river


The hippopotamus is semi-aquatic, inhabiting rivers and lakes in sub-Saharan Africa in groups of 5-30 hippos. 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.


Hyppo sighting

The view of niger river from inside of pinasse 


Despite their physical resemblance to pigs and other terrestrial even-toed ungulates, their closest living relatives are cetaceans—whales, porpoises and the like.  The hippopotamus is recognizable for its barrel-shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size. It is similar in size to the White Rhinoceros; only elephants are consistently heavier. Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it can easily outrun a human. Hippos have been clocked at 48 km/h while running short distances. The hippopotamus is among the most dangerous and aggressive of all animals, and are regarded to be Africa’s most dangerous animal. There are an estimated 125,000 to 150,000 hippos remaining throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, of which Zambia (40,000) and Tanzania (20,000-30,000) have the largest populations.  They are still threatened by poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth, and by habitat loss


Hyppo sighting

You may not dare to cruise with this condition of the pinasse.  In fact we had to stop 3 times as the wind blows too strong and created the strong wave.  I so worry that pinasse may break but finally I safely cruise back to Korïoume 


A male hippopotamus is known as a bull, a female as a cow, and a baby as a calf. They are also known as the Common Hippopotamus or the Nile Hippopotamus.

Hyppo sighting   Hyppo sighting   Hyppo sighting

First group of 2 hippopotamus was seen before Hadoubomo.  Then we proceeded further and I saw another group of 4 hippopotamus.  Spent about 40 minutes here searching and look out for hippopotamus.  These 3 shots of hippo that I manage to captured from a distance of 50m from our pinasse

Because of their size, hippopotamuses are difficult to weigh in the wild.  The average weights for adult males ranged between 1500–1800 kg. Females are smaller than their male counterparts, with average weights measuring between 1300–1,500 kg.  Older males are much larger, reaching at least 3,200 kg and occasionally weighing 3636 kg.  Male hippos appear to continue growing throughout their lives while females reach a maximum weight at around age 25.  Hippos average size is 3.5 meters long, 1.5 meters tall at the shoulder.  A hippo’s lifespan is typically 40 to 50 years.


Hyppo sighting


Hippos spend most of their days wallowing in the water or the mud, with the other members of their pod. The water serves to keep their body temperature cool, and to keep their skin from drying out. With the exception of eating, most of hippopotamuses’ lives from childbirth, fighting with other hippos, and reproduction, occur in the water.

Hippos leave the water at dusk and travel inland, sometimes up to 8 kilometers, to graze on short grass, their main source of food. They spend four to five hours grazing and can consume 68 kilograms of grass each night.




  1. Assalamu’alaikum Fauziah

    it is great that Malaysia also do have hippo at Paya Indah wetlands. I believe Paya Indah wetland still exist. Yes surely hippo is huge size of animals in the world. Thanks


  2. Salam Mamadou
    The first time I saw a hippo live was at the Payah Indah wetlands years ago. I don’t know if the wetlands still exists or whether the hippos are still alive.
    They are surely huge animals.


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