Loango Hippos, Gabon

Photograph by Michael Nichols

A mother and her calf hippopotamus cool off in the "Land of the Surfing Hippos." Loango National Park got that nickname from the resident hippopotamuses' habit of swimming in the ocean and body-surfing to and from feeding grounds.

(Text adapted from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Gabon's Loango National Park: In the Land of the Surfing Hippos," August 2004, National Geographic magazine)