I think I had more fun watching (and listening to) hippos than any other animal in the Serengeti, and they’re out in full force at “Hippo Junction,” a riverside sunset spot favored by the owners at Sayari Camp. Apparently, they love this part of the Mara River because the water’s deep and the bottom sandy. Up above on the riverbank, gin and tonic in hand, you can see them bobbing like giant sausages and grunting like Mack trucks. Better to encounter these heavyweights here, from a safe distance, than outside your room at Sayari, where they sometimes go foraging at night.
I couldn’t write up a list of my Serengeti highlights without including Nathoo R. Nathoo, the fantastic head guide at Sayari Camp. Whether he was leading a walking safari, rifle in hand, or spotting black rhino a mile away from the front seat of the truck, he was the man: relaxed, knowledgeable, with a squeaky laugh that just makes you smile. And he can lift an elephant skull with relative ease.