We didn’t expect to wake up to news of our favourite hippo, Bertie, having had the battle of his life. Whilst on morning game drive, Alfie and his guests came across a hippo who had succumbed to his battle wounds in what looked like a ferocious fight between two males – one clearly wanting to establish dominance and the other determined to keep his.

If you’ve visited Makanyi, you would have seen or heard us talk about Bertie, the resident hippo of our lodge dam. He has been with us from day one when Makanyi  first opened its doors in June 2015.  He had been the dominant male here apparently since 2013 and had successfully managed to fend off many attempted takeovers of his territory. He was quite a character in that not only did he have very distinguishable tusks which made him instantly recognizable, but he also had some endearing quirks about him: when he heard vehicles approaching, he’d put on a display for us by opening his mouth wide, showing off his impressive pearly whites and he would also love to roll over on his back with his feet in the air!

Needless to say, it is always sad to see these events unfold but this is a common occurrence in the wild. Nature was simply taking its course. Out here the saying “survival of the fittest” is very much a reality and the way of the bush.

Bertie, you were a constant and we’ll miss hearing your chatter from our dam. We hope that your successor will be as cool as you were! Go well, Bertie.  Thank you for years of company.