Jessica is a 17 year old Hippo, who lives near Hoedspruit in the Lowveld – between the Kruger and the Blyde River Canyon. What makes her so special is that she is a wild animal that interacts with humans!

Jessica was rescued by Tonie and Shirley Joubert, on the banks of the Blyde River, after severe flooding in 2000. She was only a few hours old, weak and hungry when they found her, lying on the riverbank, having been swept away from her family. The Joubert’s took her in, and with Tonie’s experience as a game ranger, they brought her up.

The Joubert’s now allow visitors into their home to meet Jessica. She interacts with people but also other hippo’s she comes in to contact with in the river, which is her home. Visitors from all over the world come to meet Jessica and feed her and rub her back. Her favourite drink is Rooibos tea!

It was quite the experience, being able to feed and touch a real, live hippo. I REPEAT, a real, live hippo. Pretty life changing actually! How many people can say they have given a hippo a back rub..?!

Please note, this is one hippo that you can touch but do not think this is the norm please. They are extremely dangerous animals!

Travel Information

For more information see their website:

Or chat with them via:
Tel: 015-795 5249  or email:

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