Retina Hippo Pool (Central Serengeti)
- Type: Sightseeing, Zoos and Aquariums
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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You're bound to stumble across hippos at other Serengeti watering holes, but nothing can compare to the spectacle of the Retina Hippo Pool in Central Serengeti. Where the Seronera and Orangi rivers converge, you'll find a deep puddle of water constantly churned by roughly 200 sloshing, playing hippos. Some recent visitors note that the smell can be somewhat overwhelming—they are animals, after all—but that's hardly a deterrent.
One TripAdvisor user had been worried about having the opportunity to get a good photo of the hippos, but notes that: "They were active, playing and having fun. Also this is one of the few places in the Serengeti where you can actually get out of your vehicle to take pictures." But while getting a closer look is definitely encouraged, remember that hippos are very large and very dangerous, so make sure to keep some distance. Also, quick hippo fact: On a hot day, hippos tend to sweat, just like us. But their sweat has a reddish hue. Don't worry, they're not bleeding; rather, hippos' strangely colored sweat actually helps protect them from sunburn.
You'll find the Retina Hippo Pool in the northwestern section of Central Serengeti, just north of the Seronera Valley. Come between June and November to spot the hippos (as well as the many other animals that stop by the pool for some refreshment).