Jessica the Hippo
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
When the owners found a tiny infant hippo washed up on the edge of a river they couldn’t help but take it in. They bottle fed the baby, brought it into their home and named her Jessica. Now 18 years later, Jessica is a full-sized hippo who lives in the river right next to their house, and even still comes inside sometimes.
Jessica is world-famous, and TV crews from all over the world have been to film her and learn about the amazing story.
During our visit Jessica was feeling a little under the weather, so she stayed in the water for photos, and we were able to feed a pet another younger male hippo. It feels insane to be so close to such a powerful and large animal, though he seems docile for the time being. They really don’t know what’s going to happen when he’s old enough to think about mating.
Nearby we checkout the impressive Blyde Canyon and surrounds, thoroughly enjoying this far-East region of South Africa.
After a lot of thought we decide to skip Kruger National Park. We have already seen a ton of wildlife, and paying to see them inside fences on paved roads isn’t really what we want to experience. I’m certain we will have plenty more “wild” experiences, and so we decide to save our money for those.
South Africa is enormous and has everything from tropical beaches to mountains, rivers, lakes, beaches and everything in between. We have been here a lot longer than we planned, it’s really hard to leave!
After 6,563 miles exploring, it’s time to move onto new places.
I feel certain I’ll be back some day.