A Picnic at the Hippo Hide

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The Hippo Hide is one of our favourite picnic spots – nestled under a stand of huge sycamore fig trees, it faces out over the channel of Hippo Pools West, with a vast floodplain on the other side reaching off into the distance, often dotted with a multitude of game. We often see elephant crossing the water here, hippo, crocodile, lechwe and sometimes buffalo on the other side – it is a magical place to sit and soak in the beauty of the scenery and wildlife.

On this particular morning a few days ago, a picnic was planned for our guests at the hide, but the Mporota Pride had other plans. The guides had spotted them on the far side of the channel further down towards the camp, and watched them as they moved in closer towards the water. They came to the channel’s narrowest section and after a careful inspection for any lurking crocodiles, started to take turns in leaping across the strip of water.

Once across, they began to follow the channel upstream – directly towards the picnic site where the staff where busy setting everything up! After warning them by radio, the guides followed the pride along. The staff climbed up to the platform where they had a commanding view of the approaching cats. They walked past the picnic site before once again crossing the channel to the opposite side – this time leaping through the shallow water, sending cascades of spray everywhere.

After the pride had crossed, they continued on their way, allowing us to resume activity and get the Hippo Hide picnic ready for action…with only a slight delay – but nobody complained about that!

The fantastic images were taken by Moa Monwela.

Cheers for now…


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By Ryan Green

Ryan makes the most of his passion for writing, photography, travel and wild places to generate and sustain fascinating material on Botswana’s wildlife and scenic places for Wilderness Safaris.

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