the Waugh safari

Hippopotamus

In the evening we go down to the lakeside to shoot duck; thousands of flamingos lie on the water; at the first shot they rise in a cloud, like dust from a beaten carpet; they are the colour of pink alabaster; they wheel round and settle further out. The head of a hippopotamus emerges a hundred yards from shore and yawns at us. When it is dark the hippo comes out for his evening walk. We sit very still, huddled along the running-boards of the cars. We can hear heavy footsteps and the water dripping off him; then he scratches himself noisily. We turn the spotlight of the car on him and reveal a great mud-caked body and a pair of resentful little pink eyes; then he trots back into the water.

Evelyn Waugh, Remote People. 242-43. Waugh spends a bit of time with European settlers in Kenya.

Photo credit Jim, The Photographer on Flickr.