Danger on the Surface
It's amazing how easily an enormous animal like the Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) can disappear in the water. We were cruising the Chobe River in a decent-sized boat when this big guy popped his head out of the water close to us. Their scientific name translates roughly to "water horse" in Greek, but the Hippo dwarfs that species. Adult male Hippos average over 3,300 pounds (1,500 kg) and the only larger land animals are African Elephants and Rhinos. Despite their size, Hippos are graceful and powerful swimmers and can reach speeds of 30 mph (19 kph) on land.