It seems that even our resident hippo bull at Tanda Tula Safari Camp can’t escape the winter chill at the moment.
During the summer months, he usually returns early morning from his nightly feeding routine and submerges himself in our camp dam for the remainder of the day. However, with the cold front we are currently experiencing, even the hippo has resorted to sun bathing, and is very well insulated with a fat layer of up to 12 centimetres!
In spite of the icy night time temperatures, the days are sheer bliss with temperatures hovering anywhere between 20-30 degrees Celsius. As the guests soak up the suns rays at the swimming pool, the hippo has taken to the riverbed to sun himself. The hippo is well adapted to sun bathing and have their own built in “sun tan lotion”. This is sometimes referred to as ‘blood sweat’ and is secreted from the sub dermal glands in the skin. This secretion helps keep the skin soft and takes on a reddish colour when the hippo is out of the water-you will notice this colouring in the photos. In a bid to soak up some sun, our hippo has been languishing for hours in the same position, and the most frequently asked question by guests is, ‘is he alive?’-the answer is, ‘very much so’!