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Watch: Elephant Versus Hippo at the Watering Hole 

elephant vs hippo at watering hole
Screenshot from YouTube video by Masaai Sightings

In the heart of the Kruger National Park, a dramatic encounter unfolds at a seemingly peaceful watering hole, setting the stage for an extraordinary showdown between the animal kingdom’s titans. Documented by Naledi and Maasai observers, this article explores an intense territorial face-off between an elephant and a hippo.

The Initial Encounter

The tranquillity of the watering hole is disrupted when an elephant, accompanied by a companion, finds a hippo resting in its preferred pool. Elephants, known for their strong territorial instincts, are seldom willing to share their space, especially with large, potentially competitive animals such as hippos. By nature’s rule, size and strength often dictate the outcomes of disputes.

Power Plays and Persistence

Lone African Elephant walking over a grassland. Image by Filip Olsok via Pexels

As tensions rise, the elephant takes decisive action to expel the hippo from the water, using its immense size and strength to enforce its claim. The hippo is quite adamant and persistent. It returns to the pool multiple times to reclaim its spot. The fight over a pool where neither is ready to give up shares their true nature.

The Territorial Behavior

The clash between the elephant and the hippo illustrates how fiercely animals defend their domain. Marking their territory and defending it is quite important in the wild. Elephants will chase anyone away trying to enter their territory.

A Solitary Journey Begins

Image by 16692474 via Pixabay

The confrontation concludes with the hippo, repeatedly thwarted, leaving the pool to venture into the surrounding greenery. The hippo leaves the pool finally. It moves ahead in the lush green grassland for a new home. Displaced from his territory and family, this hippo must find a new pool to start his family.


Even magnificent creatures like elephants and hippos face difficulties in the wild. Their territorial marking instinct is evident in their struggle over a watering hole. Their behavior and instincts to claim their territory are worth watching. In wildlife, where every day is a struggle, a negotiation, and, for some, a fresh start, it is a monument to the species’ raw beauty and unpredictable nature.

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