There are many days when the African bush is dead quiet with not much happening at all. None the less, you always have to expect the unexpected as things can change with the blink of an eye. While enjoying a morning safari in the Kruger National Park, we decided to stop and spend some time at a watering hole. The sun was sitting high and the heat was already becoming uncomfortable. We thought it would be a good time to see wildlife coming to the water hole to quench their thirst. There wasn’t much happening at the watering hole when we arrived. We scanned the area and spotted one lone hippo bull resting under the water with just a small part of his back sticking out.
It looked like a big rock in the water. Soon three male kudu antelope arrived. Two males started drinking without hesitation. Everything seemed peaceful and quiet. One male kudu antelope decided to walk along the bank of the watering hole. The nervous looking kudu stopped and stared around into the bush. Prey animals are always nervous before they drink water. Most places with water are in the open, exposing the animals while drinking. At the same time, they cannot see what is going on around them while they lower their heads to drink. This makes prey animals vulnerable to attacks from predators. The male antelope then turned around, assured that there was no danger and that he could now go closer to the water to drop his head for a well-deserved drink. The antelope never checked the water for any dangers.
The unsuspecting kudu immediately got a big surprise when he approached the water. The lone male hippo suddenly burst through the water, charging a few meters towards the antelope. The kudu clearly got a big fright and quickly jumped around and ran towards the nearest bush to hide. All three antelope then stood there staring at the hippo looking very confused by what happened. Male hippos are extremely territorial and possessive. The big hippo clearly decided the kudu antelope came too close for comfort and he had to warn him to stay away from the watering hole that he occupied for himself.