Video of the Week: My First Hippo Sighting

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.  I expected to enjoy my time in Burkina Faso, I have never met someone that had a bad thing to say about this country.  But I didn’t expect to feel as giddy about it as I have.  The country is just so full of a diverse variety of different things to see. One day you could be hiking to waterfalls and then next day wandering through scrub brush looking for elephants.  Moreover, there is a cultural/human element to Burkina Faso that really is special.  All in all, it might not blow you away with one attraction in particular, but there is such a plethora of varying opportunities that it’s hard not to stay busy.

One of my days of the past couple weeks came from a village near the town of Banfora call Tengrela.  At Tengrela Lake, there is a significant bird population, some caiman, and even a pretty substantial group of hippos.  Below is the video from my first hippo sighting in Africa, followed by an explanation.

The village of Tengrela is just 7km away from Banfora and a great spot for both bird watching and visiting the hippos.  The locals claim that the hippos are sacred, and despite the fact that hippos kill more people than any animals in the world, the locals claim these ones have never killed anyone.  Apparently, each year they do a sacrifice (non-human I hope) to the hippos to appease them and show that they are not enemies.  This definitely didn’t mean that we got close to the hippos though.  The guide was nervous of them for sure.  There was a young hippo in the mix and they were very aware of our presence.  Whenever we were anywhere near the hippos the guide started paddling like a madman, obviously slightly scared.

It really was a brilliant experience and has me primed to start seeing some more big wildlife as I push farther south into Africa!


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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1 Comment

  1. Hip bumping can be good fun but not with those partners. *laugh*
    Wonderful experience though and so happy you shared it here.

    You make a lot of sacrifices while traveling but mark your calendar and be sure you’re otherwise occupied on the day of the big ceremony. *wink*

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