A Travellerspoint blog

out of africa 2006

zimbabwe

still editing the videos at okavango. in the meantime, i have the zimbabwe pictures processed, and i am mighty pleased with the result. i used kodak disposable waterproof camera for the following batch of pictures and was extremely worried about how they might turn out. and as you can see, not bad at all. :)

victoria falls was extremely beautiful, there were rainbows everywhere. also very wet. we spent three hours in the "rain", which is actually condensed mist. the force from the waterfall was so powerful that the landscape was covered with thick smoke-like mist. many times, i just opened my mouth to collect the natural spring water and gulped it down!!! extremely yummy. mineral water straight from the source. hahaha!!!

we also went canoeing at zambezi river. wanted to do whitewaterrafting but the water level was too high, said the guide. my encounter with the crocodile was on this river. initially we wanted to paddle the canoe ourselves until we were told that the river was full of crocodiles and hippos. to locate the hippos, we had to hit the sides of the canoe so the hippos, which were submerged in water, would stand up and we would avoid going near them. we were told hippos could try to turn the canoe over if we ended up on their heads. crocodiles... we had to swim away if we encountered any, said the guide. worried about them, we decided to go with a guide each.

and then i spotted the crocodile on the riverbank, it was pretending to be a log. as i was going "look the crocodile looked so peacef..." and the crocodile suddenly started crawling down the bank and into the water in our direction. within three seconds, it was just 2 metres away from us. i was stunned, and my instinct was to run away. "it's coming towards us! how how????" but i was with the chief guide and he said "no, i'm the guide, we have to shield the rest" and without haste, he paddled towards the croc. i just froze as we were just half a metre away from the huge croc, which was about two metres long, and HUGE. i was staring straight into its bulging eyes and teeth. my heart was thumping so hard and i remember closing my eyes and telling myself "i'm dead". the guide used his paddle to jab the floating croc's head and it went underneath our canoe. we were lifted a little by its moving body and suddenly it was gone. that was close! the guide said "it could still be following us. paddle faster!" and i paddled as fast as i could. suddenly, i felt like i had so much strength. i was frightened to death and i just wanted to go as fast and as far away from the beast as i could. to stop only so i could periodically thump the sides of the canoe to check out for hippos. there were about 10 hippos and we paddled away from them.

on reflection, i felt so fortunate to be alive. the guide said something like when we're in the river, we're at the mercy of the beasts. "if you see a hippo, and swim away, and a lion is waiting for you on the bank, you're done for. that's life, it's just too bad for you". haha.

but it was damn shiok, i tell you. damn challenging and damn exciting. and damn scary! woo hoo, i survived the zambezi river, how many people can say that? :)

for my africa pictures, click here

Posted by jalanjalan 20:44 Archived in Zimbabwe

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