In East Africa, following Tanzania’s waterway inland, two mighty giants share a home; the hippopotamus and the Nile crocodile. Both creatures need water and when parts of the river slowly evaporate, wet spaces are at a premium. While hippos stagnate in crowded pools to keep cool, crocs have a different strategy for avoiding the oppressive heat. They dig caves as shelters in the riverbank. Some of these are ten meters deep and house a score of crocodiles. They are the largest predators to show this unique behavior of building shelters to avoid dehydration.
Hippos and crocs are tolerant of each other, but within their own species clashes are part of an ongoing battle to survive. Although they are vegetarian, hippos are aggressive and unpredictable. A young hippo, with no tusks to speak off, is lucky siblings are willing to keep it playfully when sparring together. The biggest risk for a young calve is being too close to fighting males and it should therefore stay close to its mother.
The eggs of a mother croc are hatching and it is time to transport her offspring to the river. She fills her killer mouth preciously with young, leaving the rest of the nest unguarded while she walks to the river. Both a monitor lizard and fish eagle are on the look for vulnerable nests to raid. Down the river a cannibalistic male awaits his turn as well. The mother founds herself in a though spot. She cannot guard her young on two places at the same time.
The curse of old age and natural death causes catches up with everyone. A young hippo has lost its mother, good news for crocs. The grieving calve stays close to its mother, until it is forced to leave, by advancing crocs. The carcass of its mother will be completely devoured. As the season changes again, both crocs and hippos stay true to their nature in this turbulent African river battlefront.