Physical characteristics and distribution

Body length: 4 – 4.5 m
Weight: 1.3 – 3.2 t
Life expectancy: 30 – 50 years
Distribution: Sub-Saharan Africa
Habitat: Lake, swamp and slow flowing waters
Species: endangered


Hippos are very cumbersome. They have stocky, short legs to carry their enormous weight, and a square head with gigantic incisors and canines in the mouth. These grow up for a lifetime. The biggest tusk you ever found was 64.5 centimeters long. Her thick, gray to brownish skin is covered with glands that secrete a saline red liquid. This secretion not only keeps the skin of heavyweights moist, but also protects it from the scorching sun of Africa and also has an anti-inflammatory effect. It used to be because of the red color, the animals would sweat blood.

Reproduction and development

The pairing of hippos takes place in the water. After a gestation period of about eight months, a single, about 50 kg heavy cub is born in the water, whose skin is still gray-pink colored. The hippo babies are almost always born during the rainy season in October and April, because at that time the mother finds a lot of juicy grass and can therefore also give enough milk. Immediately after giving birth away from the other hippos, the mother lifts the offspring with her muzzle in the air so that he can breathe. Since the little ones can soon hold their breath for up to 20 seconds, suckling takes place under water. When they are a few weeks old, the children return with the mother to the herd. There are real “mother-child groups” in which the females take turns looking after their offspring, who play with their young conspecifics. Way of life and behavior The gray giant are the only cloven-hoofed animals that spend most of their lives in the water. They are very sociable and live in herds. During the day, they sunbathe together in lakes or slow-flowing waters, and are only too happy to be visited by a small bird, the Madenhacker. He helps them, like many other African animals, with personal hygiene: he picks annoying vermin from the skin of his “customers”. Hippos are also excellent divers: not only can they stay underwater for up to six minutes, they can also close their nostrils. Only at night they go ashore and graze there.


Like cattle, hippos have a stomach with several chambers. They only eat after sunset; but then they destroy sheer quantities: up to 45 kilograms of grass per night, whereby the females can eat even more than the males. They visit pastures near their native waters. To get there, they stick to their trails, the so-called “Hippo Trails”. These well-trodden tracks can be seen from the air.

Hunting style, equipment and countries

Hippos or hippos can be hunted in different African countries, among others in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. Hippos are usually hunted on rivers or dams and shot there in the water by head shot or on land on Schadflächen. Hippos has a minimum caliber of 375 H & H.

Hunting trip Countries

South Africa

If you have any questions or are interested in a mediation offer for hunting trips and hunting on Hippo, please contact us via email or contact form.

All offered trips are arranged by us and carried out by our partners as organizers.