Location: The River Club, Livingstone, Zambia
Date: 30 December 2008
Observers: Peter Jones
Depending on the time of year, and the depth and flow of the Zambezi River, a family of hippo are often present right below The River Club in its unique raised position along the banks of the river. The gentle and somehow soothing grunting calls of the dominant male are a regular soundtrack for guests in camp.
Just in time for the New Year we welcomed a new arrival to the family this morning right below Selous Chalet and visible from the swimming pool deck.
The cow had isolated herself from the main pod and all of a sudden was wallowing in reddish water. A couple of minutes later up popped the young calf for its first gulp of air. A case of "now you don't see him and now you do".
The gestation period of hippos is around eight months and a calf of around 30kg is usually born in very shallow water or in reedbeds on dry land.