Hippos walk under the boat

17 January 2011

By Paul Soilolo - Guide, Greystoke Mahale

Lake Tanganyika provides an idyllic location for park visitors to enjoy sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking, still known to form one of the most biologically rich fresh water habitats in the world supporting more than 400 fish species of which the vast majority is comprised of endemic cichlids.

The most economically important fish is a Sardine, a tiny plankton eater that lives in large shoals and is caught by local fishermen at night using a fine net strung between two boats. On some nights we can see the kerosene lanterns used by the fishermen to attract the Sardine to the boats. Of coarse they are well outside the 1600m Marine Park boundary.

It was an unforgettable day when I went out for evening activities with six guests in Lake Tanganyika. We encountered a school of clean Hippos, and we watched them as they walked underneath the boat we were on. On this crystal clear water is a fascinating watching them swimming under and by the boat, and you could see their spoor right on the shallow parts of the lake.

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