Hippo Beach

Explore the Hippopotamus, a large, mostly herbivorous, semiaquatic mammal living in the nature of Africa. Narrated by Stephen Fry, Hippo Beach tells all there is to one of the most dangerous and strangest animals in Africa.

A hippopotamus can’t swim – even though most of its life is spend in water. Furthermore, hippos are mainly grass eaters, but still have no problem challenging fearsome predators like the lions for their prey. Getting in between a hippo and its desires is usually a death sentence for anyone not fast enough to get out of its way. A hippopotamus at full speed can charge at 30 kph (18,6 mph) with its full weight of over 1 ton.

These are strange creatures with foot-long tusks who spend most of their time defending their stretch of river or beach against any other rampaging bulls. Their clashes are usually devastating with full on action-packed battles. But besides these violent territorial disputes a hippo’s life is also full of tenderness towards their offsprings. Interestingsly, they’re also known for their comedic quirks.

To signify their territory a hippo not only uses its full force to disband any meddling enemies – they also spray their dung around like agricultural machines. Exploring further, Stephen shows us hippos are definitely not the cleanest. Females usually defecate by the heads of males in order to show their affection. A very different kind of love letter on the sands of Hippo Beach.

Hippo Beach
  • Info
  • Release date2001
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Phil Chapman
  • Part of the seriesNatural World
  • Production companyBBC