Hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius)
The photo almost, but not quite, epitomises my biggest concern when hunting along the river banks and scaling them in Mozambique. In early autumn it is particularly risky due to the very dense vegetation. The only negotiable access and exits to and from the river are via tunnels made by hippo in the impenetrable elephant grass from where the bank starts and for about 50 yrds onto the flood plain. These tunnels are 5 ft. high and 5 ft wide, with no direct sunlight.
Meeting a hippo outside the water is no idle encounter as they feel terribly insecure anytime a human being is within 30 yards or so. Negotiating these tunnels I have often observed that the average encounter would be at about ten yards. That would mean an instant charge. As a rule my tracker normally walks in front and I follow about five yards behind him. Along these tunnels I walk in front with the .416 Rigby carried ready, with Ricardo close behind and to my right.
What needs to be noted is that hippo attacks without being wounded, making it the most dangerous of all animals in Africa. Shot placement in the photo above needs to be 2 inches north-east of the right eye.
A frameshot from some YouTube video, I am sure.