Hippo Sighting in the Bush

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Africa » Botswana
June 26th 2008
Published: June 29th 2008
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Hippo Sighting

After a frigid final night in Namibia ( everyone woke up comparing how they had spent the night trying to form a breathing hole around their face because they couldn't expose skin to the air) we crossed over into Botswana. This seems to be a much poorer and rural country than Namibia. Lots of traditional huts, livestock roaming around freely, roadside phone and haircut stalls.

On Tuesday morning we took an hour long 4 wheel ride from Maun to the Delta. We loaded all of our tents, sleeping pads, day packs, and food for 10 onto mokoro boats- traditional dugout boats and headed into the bush. Each mokoro had 2 passangers and one poler- these are some strong guys!!! We had a relaxing float though the channels- well relaxing for us- the polers were working hard. We all set up camp together along the river and went for one guided walk. Then were shown the toilet for the next two days. A 2foot hole behind a nearby bush. We were instructed to never go there alone after dark as animals may attack- not so reassuring. We hung out around the campfire that night chatting a bit with the polers and asking them questions but had to force ourselves to stay up until at least 8:00. We had a 5:45 wake up the next day to go on another walk. ( Note to self- capri pants and short socks are not the proper attire to wear when forging through the bush) For 4 hours DayZ our guide took us all over the bush looking for some wildlife. We went north, south, east, west. We saw more zebras (they seem so run of the mill these days) and antelope (boring) then we thought we were on to something but it ended up only being the outlines of some monkeys that were 500 yards away. The lion we so desperately wanted to see continued to be elusive and the whole lot of us were exhausted when we returned to camp.

After napping, playing cards and chatting about camp, our polers took up back out on the boats around 4:30. This time we were on a quest to see hippos. Just the sun was getting ready to set, everyone's heart stopped when the loudest roar came from behind the reeds. We all had visions for charging hippos springing on us. We pulled through to a clearing and there 100 yards from us were 2 giant, enormous, massive hippos. It was one of the coolest things EVER!!! They roared, they dove, one jumped out of the water. At one point they both started swimming our direction and all the polers started moving their boats back. Did you know more people die in Africa from hippo attacks than they do any other animal? Really it was just breathtaking.

We are now back in Maun and heading to Nata- all very grateful to have toilets again. No more holding it.

Charles' Angels
Lynn, Kirsten, Chester


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