Hippo Encounters

Hippo Encounters

We headed out this morning under a clear Botswana sky, skimming across the tannin rich waters of the Okavango Delta wetlands. Papyrus and lily danced back and forth against the wake of our little motorboats, reflecting like Zen woodcuts in the black water.

Around one bend, hippos visible only by the twitching of tiny ears against massive heads and spray from nostrils just above the surface, we banked sharply for fear of a close encounter with the massive beasts. My hair stood on end as I could see the guides focus turn from the lighthearted naturalist to sharply focused wilderness ranger, our lives in his hands, at least that’s what it felt like.

Our guide later explained how quickly these massive beasts can move, and to treat them with the utmost respect and caution.

Heart rates racing, now returning to normal, we made our escape before pulling up to the shore of a remote island for our first walking safari. We gathered together as a group for instructions from the lead guide, walk single file, no loud noises, don’t touch this, don’t eat that.

One essential truth about going on game drives is that you never know what you’ll come across, it’s what makes them so incredibly exciting. Little did we know, an elephant lay await in the bush, …

– by Mark Black