Baby hippos playing.  Banky and BonBon,  March 2014

Baby hippos playing. Banky and BonBon, March 2014

Wednesday 19th March. Some happy photos for you of Banky hippo playing with his friend BonBon. Banky is still a baby and suckling milk; he turned a year old last November. BonBon had just finished suckling and she turns three years of age this April.


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I went down to see how many hippos were back at the Chlabata pool this morning.
I found 11 of them, so we are still short Dizzy and Kiboko from Robin’s family.
These two young females could be pregnant or if they are not, then they may have moved away to find a new mate. I feel in my bones that at least one of them is pregnant but to date only Relief has returned with a new baby.




It is quite common for young females from the age of between five and seven years to leave the family group and go to one of the other two river systems in the Conservancy. Sometimes they return home and at other times they do not.


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I am hoping that this is not the case and that they both will be back here shortly and hopefully accompanied by calves. In the meantime young Banky and BonBon were happily having the hippo jousting game this morning. This involves opening their mouths and pushing at each other in the river. They often leap around like dolphins and it is not uncommon for the smallest to be the one who dominates. Today Banky, who is much younger, continued to chase and play with BonBon for over one hour.

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  1. Gabby

    Oh no I hope you find dizzy and koboko! I adopted dizzy about 3 years ago. Best of luck.

    • Hi Gabby I am sure that both Dizzy and Kiboko are fine. It is just this year we have had a lot of rain which is fantastic but it does change their habits. In that when the river comes up in flood all the hippos leave their normal pools. I have had in the past young females leave the families and move to other river systems which I believe they do to find a new mate and not interbreed. I am hoping that one if not both of these two are pregnant and could have given birth, and hence will be back with a calf. Whatever the case they are just behaving as they should as wild hippos. Love Karen and the hippos

  2. Mirinda

    Love the pictures of Bon Bon and Banky, the carefree joy of the young hippo’s, thanks for sharing 🙂 Miss you

    • Hi Mirinda if it is any help I miss you too, it was so nice having you stay here for over two months last year that I got really spoilt. Ok it was for feeding the hippos but it was really great to have female company and I miss your bright spirit and optimistic viewpoints. Anyway time moves fast so hopefully it will not be too long before we meet again. Enjoy uni so you can teach me a thing or two when you come back, Love Karen and the hippos

  3. Karen Kindel

    I so enjoy your photos and comments on the hippos. Sure wish I could visit your hippo haven . Maybe my lottery ticket will be the winner (sigh).

    • Hi Karen another Karen, two making comments today. Re winning the lottery well we do our own raffle here every year to give somebody a chance to have a ten night stay with us at Hippo Haven. The next raffle to have a chance to come here will be at the end of the year. I will put up a blog when the raffle is due to happen, but sometime around November. This does not include air tickets from your own Country but it does allow you to meet the hippos and we pick you up and take you back to the capital Harare. So I hope you enter and win. Love Karen and the hippos x

  4. Dominic

    Great blog – thanks for updating us all Karen

    • Dominic just to show you how things change. Today not one hippo is at the Chlabata pools where Banky and BonBon were playing. We had a bit more rain and I think they know the river is going to come up again, so they have all moved downstream. So I was lucky to get those photos that morning.
      Love Karen and the hippos

  5. Karen Croan

    Very cute!!

  6. Rob Craig

    Baby Hippos Rule The Universe!!!

  7. I really like the new website and the photos are great, especially those of the babies.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Lona

      so pleased you like the new web site which is thanks to a lovely Frenchman
      who made it for us for free. Also glad you like the photos, keep logging into the site as I will update as often as I can. Love Karen and the hippos x

  8. Hello,

    My sister has adopted BonBon for me and I was wondering when its birthday was.



    • Hi Cora, BonBon was born on April 6th 2011. If you go to you tube my channel turgwehippomark you will find Tacha gives birth, which has had over 33,000 hits. It is worth watching as it shows BonBon when she had just been born and some amazing footage that I managed to film of a crocodile.

  9. Teresa

    Oh my, lovely photos and what a grand sight 🙂

    • Hi Teresa it is so special when you manage to get different photos. I live here in the bush and have been with the hippos now for over 20 years but you don’t get these kind of photos every day. Love Karen and the hippos x

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