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If you forget Valentine’s Day, give a hippopotamus

February 6, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Top marks if you can name the two largest mammals on Earth. The hippopotamus is the third largest, and if you forget Valentines Day next week, remember to be romantic the following day, Thursday 15 February, International Hippopotamus Day.

One of the best places in the world to see hippos in all their glory is Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. A trip there is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift; it’s certainly memorable.

Experts have dubbed South Luangwa one of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries, and not without reason. Boutique luxury safari operator, Sanctuary Retreats, points out that the concentration of hippo around the Luangwa River and its oxbow lagoons is among the most intense in Africa – with the official hippo count an impressive 48 per kilometre along the Luangwa River, and an estimated 6000 hippo living throughout the 9050 square kilometre park.

The hippopotamus is usually just called the hippo, which makes the plural easier: one hippo, two hippos. The plural of hippopotamus can be either hippopotami or hippopotamuses. Most grammarians prefer the latter.

Romantic hippos

Apart from hippopotamus, South Luangwa is rich in natural beauty and other wildlife, including lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and yet largely devoid of tourists – which makes it one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. For the savvy traveller looking ahead of the curve, it is the perfect African destination for an authentic safari experience.

Zambia offers great safari experiences year round, but if you really want to see hippo in all their glory, the very best time to visit is during the dry season from May to October when they congregate around the Luangwa River, one of the last surviving sources of water.

Sanctuary Retreats operates two properties within the Park. Perched on an escarpment overlooking a floodplain in the South Luangwa National Park, the luxurious Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp offers stunning vistas with perfect game sighting opportunities. Nestled in a remote game-rich area of the park, lion, leopard, elephant and zebra can frequently be seen. The camp has also been constructed to blend into the local surroundings and designed to leave the lowest possible carbon footprint.

Or for a truly regal experience, the luxuriously appointed Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge is recommended. Set on a magnificent hilltop location, the Lodge was once the personal retreat of Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, and provides panoramic views across the game-rich valleys of South Luangwa National Park.

If your clients really want to get their hippo on, now is definitely the time for them to book a trip to Zambia with Sanctuary Retreats’ “Stay Longer, Pay Less” extended stay offer – where they can stay at one or more of its African camps and lodges throughout 2018 and save up to 40%.

  • Stay 4 – 6 nights at any combination of Sanctuary Retreats African camps and lodges including Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp and Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge and save up to 30%. Or stay 7+ nights and save up to 40%.
  • Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge is normally priced from USD 390 per person per night twin share.
  • Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp normally priced from USD 450 per person per night twin share.

Edited by Peter Needham

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