Caprivi Strip, Namibia, Africa

A hippo smiling, a funny facial expression of a hippo bull. The African sunrise gives this hippo’s mouth extra beautiful lighting. Still, in this portrait, this male hippo is protecting his pod and gives us a funny smile!

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 20 September, 2023

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This photograph was captured with a ILCE-7RM4 and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Exposure time: 1/800s
  • ISO: 500
  • Focal Length: 600mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 7672 by 5115 pixels (WxH).

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Who had such a funny invitation from a hippo smiling like that? A smile of the most dangerous animal in Africa, a hippo. Well, appearances are deceptive, as we all know. The African sunrise gives this hippo’s mouth extra beautiful lighting. Still, in this portrait, this male hippo is protecting his pod and gives us a funny smile!

Funny Hippo Smiling – Are Hippos Friendly?

Cruising with our small boat on the Kwando River early morning. The sun reached the horizon, and in the distance, a hippopotamus pod was busy dozing away. We slowly approached the large hippopotamus pod, but kept far on the other side of the river channel. Suddenly, a head pops up on the surface in front of the hippo pod. Checking us out, a hippo bull protecting his pod.

The sunlight touched the water and the wild animals on the surface. We were drifting along, taking images, especially of this friendly looking hippo bull. Turning his head as we slowly passed them.

How is it said? Appearances are deceptive! Indeed, within a few seconds of giving us such an inviting smile, the hippo bull charged us. Suddenly, the smile turned into a huge bow wave coming towards our small boat. We were glad our boat had enough horsepower to escape this powerful, angry hippo.

However, this was the first time a hippo was charging us. Usually, hippos are friendly animals, as long as you keep out of their territory. But learn more about the hippos of Africa.

The hippo population is in decline. Most dramatically in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hippos are classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

You can purchase a hippo image license online. If you are looking for a photo print of this hippo, please click on the buy print & license button. More information about the high-quality print material you can find on my photo prints for sale page.


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1 comment for Hippo Smiling – Funny Facial Expression

  1. Karen

    “When you finally get to soak in the tub after a long day of being a big, fat hippo“.
    Thank you! This picture made my day: I wear a big fat smile 😁

    • Anette Mossbacher

      I am glad the hippo made you smile. 😀 Cheers Anette

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