See Graceful Hippos Underwater

You would never know it by watching them on land, but when hippos take the plunge, they are incredibly graceful. See eye to eye with our huge hippos as they swim effortlessly underwater – inches from your nose – in their giant glass-walled pool. If you’re lucky, you might find yourself in a staring contest!

Conservation Status

Source: IUCN

Destination Africa Mini Map

You can find this animal in
Destination Africa

Saving Hippos – Changing Lives

It was a simple concept – create a sanctuary to save hippos – and over a decade ago, the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary was founded to do just that.

Learn More

Learning Centre

The Calgary Zoo has North America’s largest indoor hippo tank. In the wild, tilapia fish swim alongside wild hippos in the Nile River. At the zoo, tilapia help us keep the tank clean by feeding on hippo waste.

Important Facts

Here's where we call home

Hippos live in many parts of Africa south of the Sahara Desert including West, Central, and South Africa. They spend most of the day wallowing, resting, and swimming in or near rivers and lakes surrounded by grasslands, emerging from the water at night to graze.

At a Glance

Scientific Name

Hippopotamus amphibious


655 - 3,200 kg (1,442 - 7,048 lb.)


Up to 1.6 m (5.2 ft.)

Conservation Status



Freshwater rivers



Are you ready to make some new animal friends?

Buy Tickets