Top 11 National Parks to See African Hippos


A hippopotamus, commonly known as a hippo, is a large, herbivorous semi aquatic mammal native to sub saharan africa. It is the third largest land mammal after the elephant and rhino and can weigh as much as 1.5 tonnes.

Despite their massive weight, hippos are very fast and can reach speeds of 19mph over a short distance. 

Where do hippos live

Hippos live in areas with a lot of water such as rivers, swamps, or on lake shores. They live in groups of upto 20 hippos led by a dominant male. According to National Geographic, hippos spend as much as 15 hours a day in the water and only come out to graze at night. 

In Africa, hippos can be found in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Botswana and many other sub saharan countries. 

What do hippos eat in Africa

African hippos eat grass and fruits. Adult hippos can eat as much as 80 lbs of grass every night. They can roam for upto 6 miles in search of grass if need be. In dry months, hippos can go without food for upto 3 weeks. During this time, hippos survive on food stored in their large stomachs. 

How dangerous are hippos

Hippos are one one of the most dangerous animals responsible for the death of approximately 500 people every year. They have been known to charge at boats, humans, and even other animals. Therefore, if you’re ever on safari and you come across a hippo, don’t provoke it as it is an extremely aggressive animal. 

In recent years, humans have come into conflict with hippos especially when they roam into farmland at night. This has led to the death of many people and in some cases, the hippos are hunted down and killed as well. 

How many hippos are in africa

There are approximately 130,000 hippos in Africa according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Hippos are not endangered but have been listed as a vulnerable animal. Their numbers have held steady after a decline in the late 1990s due to poaching. 

Where to see hippos in africa

Hippos mostly live in wetlands in sub saharan africa. Outside of Africa, hippos can only be found in zoos and in Colombia thanks to Pablo Escobar. 

The best places to see hippos in africa are as listed below in no particular order;

  • St. Lucia Kwazulu Natal
  • Liwonde National Park, Malawi
  • Kruger national park
  • Kazinga Channel, Uganda
  • Lake Naivasha, Kenya
  • Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Lake Baringo, Kenya
  • Lower Zambezi National Park
  • Murchison Falls Park Uganda 
  • Lake Mburo Park, Uganda 

St Lucia Kwazulu Natal

St Lucia is a small town in KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. It acquired world heritage status in 1999. It is world renowned for being the gateway to
iSimangaliso Wetland Park, home to hundreds of African hippos. 

Hippos often roam the streets at night in search of grass, and there are street signs warning people about hippos roaming at night. This makes St. Lucia one of the best places to see hippos in Africa. 

Liwonde National Park, Malawi

Liwonde national park is located in the south of Malawi. The famous Shire River passes through this park creating the perfect habitat for hippos. 

There are hippos almost every 20 – 30 metres along the river. The river is navigable as well which means that you can get close to the hippos on a boat. 

Kruger National Park

Kruger national park is one of the most famous parks in South Africa. It is home to hundreds of animal and bird species. Hippos in Kruger live in the numerous wetlands within the park. Due to Kruger’s great road networks, you can easily spot hippos while on safari. 

Kazinga Channel, Uganda

Kazinga channel is a 20 mile long channel connecting Lake George and Lake Edward in Uganda. The channel is world renowned for having the largest concentration of African hippos and nile crocodiles. 

The best way to see the hippos on the Kazinga channel is via a boat ride. 

Lake Naivasha, Kenya

Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake in Nakuru County, Kenya. The lake is home to hundreds of hippos and crocodiles. There are luxury lodges along the shores of the lake and the hippos often roam into these lodges at night in search of grass. This makes naivasha perfect for tourists who want to get up close to hippos. 

Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango delta is a vast swampy grassland in Botswana. The Moremi Game Reserve is located on the eastern side of the delta. Each year, the delta is flooded by the swelling waters of the Okavango river. This creates the perfect habitat for animals, especially hippos. 

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National park is a vast protected reserve in Tanzania. Due to its vastness, the Serengeti has numerous wetlands and swamps which are perfect for hippos. During the day, you can see large groups of hippos in the water. 

Lake Baringo, Kenya

Lake Baringo is a freshwater lake located in Baringo County, Kenya. It is one of the lakes found in the great rift valley. The lake is full of hippos making it a perfect place to see large groups of hippos. 

Lower Zambezi National Park

Lower Zambezi national park is located in Zambia on the border with Zimbabwe. The Zambezi river valley is known for its abundant wild animals which includes hundreds of hippos. The best way to see the hippos in lower zambezi is by boat. 

Murchison Falls Park Uganda 

Murchison falls national park is located on the shores of Lake Albert in Uganda. The animals in the park include elephants, crocodiles and hippos. 

Lake Mburo Park, Uganda 

Lake Mburo National park is located in Nyabushozi County in western Uganda. The park is home to a wide range of wildlife including giraffes, zebras, and hippos. 


Africa is the only continent in the world where you can see hippos in the wild. If you are planning a safari, make sure to ask your tour guide about the best places to see hippos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>