DAY SEVEN AND A HALF OF OUR AFRICAN ADVENTURE
So. Here I am about to report on the second last event in which I thought I might die. To be honest, I wasn’t initially keen at the thought of canoeing along the Zambezi river because there is clearly a risk attached to it that even the best guide in the world can’t always avoid. If you are a little on the cautious side then I would advise you not to look at “hippos and canoes” videos on Youtube. It is of course possible to get into dangerous, even life threatening situations with both hippos and crocodiles – and frankly the elephants standing about in the river cooling themselves down look even bigger when you are sitting on the water than when you are sitting on your bed! However, I was easily persuaded by my wonderful guide Victor, once there – it is something frankly not to be missed – you can see why the Zambezi is one of Africa’s most celebrated attractions – it is truly magnificent. Canoeing is a wonderfully tranquil (when you are not shitting yourself because a hippo has disappeared somewhere near you) and incredibly easy (ditto) way to see the river and all the animals that come down to drink and cool off in the water – more of course in the dry season.
How can somewhere so dangerous feel so peaceful? You just feel such an immense almost animal pleasure at being somewhere so beautiful, so remote, so wild….
The confluence of the Chongwe River and the Zambezi is arguably one of the most spectacular stretches of the river and after a brief safety talk that I tried hard to maintain my breathing with – all about not dangling limbs and swimming to edges (but I got confused as to which response was for which animal – bit like when I couldn’t remember whether I was supposed to stare into the eyes of the leopard or look away). I was in a canoe with Victor behind me and my brothers were in a three seater canoe, again with a guide at the back. Off we went.
The photos I think speak for themselves:-
THEN the all important sundowner moment – made me speed up with my canoeing in order to get there on time:-
CHEERS!! Me with my brothers after another splendid day:-