Retina Pool Offers the Best Hippo Viewing in the Serengeti

Approximately 5 miles north of Seronera, the flowing Seronera River and Orangi River converge to form a deep pool of water called the Retina Hippo Pool. Although hippos are common throughout all the rivers in the surrounding area, the deep pool at Retina is certainly the best spot in the Serengeti to view these enormous and fascinating animals. Retina Hippo Pool is also a great spot to see other animals including crocodiles, baboons, impala, giraffe, elephants and topi.

The most unique feature and compelling draw for visitors to the Retina Pool is that they are permitted to leave the vehicle and view the hippos on foot. The riverbank here is about 10-feet above the pool and it is possible to climb to only few feet away from the approximately 200 hippos that inhabit the pool. Great photography opportunities abound here as the large groups of hippos huddle together, spouting and grunting in the water.

Crocodiles are commonly seen basking in the sun along the far shores of the hippo pool. One must approach quietly or else these shy reptiles will quickly hide. Elephants are also common visitors to this section of the Seronera and Orangi Rivers. Accompanied by your guide, you may walk as far as 300 feet to the west of the viewing terrace at Retina Hippo Pool to see the Seronera River. There is a good chance to see elephants drinking here, in this ‘less crowded’ section of Retina, as fewer hippos occupy this particular area. Sightings of large groups of elephants have been reported here on several occasions. Birding is also particularly good in this area with common species seen including egrets, herons, crowned cranes, Egyptian geese, bare-faced go away birds, kingfishers, hoopoes and the very colorful lilac-breasted roller.

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