This Pic of the Week comes from the Shayamanzi houseboat on Lake Jozini, from where visitors are likely to spot a family of elephants or a wallowing hippo on their cruise.
Most of the time, the hippos resemble large groups of rocks, with only part of their backs or heads visible above the surface of the lake. Unable to swim or even float, they walk under the water along the foot of the lake so that they can stay submerged throughout the day to protect their sensitive skins from the sun.
The main reason that hippos stay in the water is because their skin is unable to sweat and they are prone to overheating.
The elephants, however, are often heard before they are seen. This communication is integral to elephant families, which are extremely close knit. If any member of an elephant family is hurt or threatened in any way, they gather round to help.
They also express their affection by linking trunks or ‘trunk hugging’ other members of the herd.