03.06.2008 - 07.06.2008 26 °C
I dozed as we floated through the rivers of the Okavango Delta. We were travelling in style: inside a 'makoro' (a type of dugout canoe). The sun beat down relentlessly through the reeds and illuminated the beautiful white water lillies floating on the surface.
The river suddenly opened up into a small lake full of hippotamuses. Huge, 3 tonne monsters whose grunting is a bizarre cross between a horse's bray, a giant's laugh and something that would come from a movie produced by the adult entertainment industry. Their snorting kept me awake for most of the night.
We pitched our tents on the lake shore and watched the hippos snort water into the air, raise their heads above the surface to watch us watching them, before dipping their heads into the water again and disappearing from sight.
After sunbathing we jumped back into the makoros to go swimming, just 300m from the hippos. I tried my hand at poling the makoro but soon found myself knee deep in water having lost my balance. In the evening we went for a bush walk where we saw monkeys, zebras, elephants and giraffes. We were led by a guide who looked suspiciously like Robert Mugabe. Talking about one of the Western world's greatest allies, I should also mention the curiously high number of streets named after the Zimbabwean. Suggested reasons for this should be sent on a postcard to 110 Robert Mugabe street, Swakopmund.
We then headed east towards Chobe National Park where, due to banking difficulties, I was left strapped for cash and instead of going on a boat trip, I instead spent my time topping up my tan by the pool - saving my energy and money for Victoria Falls.
The journey to Livingston, our gateway to the falls, was not without incident. I had my Botswana exit stamp in my passport on the Zimbabwean border rather than on the Zambian side which resulted in me almost travelling into the wrong country and temporarily being in no mans land. Eventually we arrived in Livingston where, after finding the white water rafting on the Zambezi closed due to the high water levels, I drowned my sorrows on the 'booze cruise' sunset tour of the river.