Chapter 10: Hey, I Know! Let's Go on the Water in Small Boats and Annoy the Vicious Hippos! Yeah, That Sounds Like Fun!

In the afternoon, instead of a drive, we went out on the delta in boats. Small boats, boats small enough to be in trouble if a pod of hippos suddenly decided they didn't like you on their turf. We zipped along through narrow waterways between tall reeds, pampas grass, and papyrus, occasionally emerging into larger open areas. Once, while we were pulled up along the side of a bunch of reeds with a tangle of spider webs in them, Cal pointed out the one and only snake we saw on the entire trip, a western greensnake. Even though we were just a few meters away, you really had to look closely to spot the snake, it blended in with its surroundings so well.

A tangle of spider webs in the late afternoon sun

A greensnake in the bush

Later, as we motored down a narrow channel in the reeds, a hippo suddenly exploded up out of the water not 20 meters from our left side, did an astonishingly deft U-turn, and hustled off back the other way, reminding us once again that this wasn't the zoo. Even Cal had failed to spot it until it came up.


A fish eagle flies off in search of sushi

As the Sun rolled down towards the horizon, we left the narrow reed channels and came out into a large open part of the lake, and Cal maneuvered the boat to a nearly-ideal spot for watching a truly spectacular sunset. Because of the number of brush fires in southern Africa, the air near the horizon was frequently very hazy, which makes for some breathtaking sunsets. We had a great spot looking across the water and towards a tree that the Sun was sliding behind. Because of the amount of haze in the air, looking directly at the big red ball was not a problem. It was a perfect African moment.

Dinner that night was once again excellent, and nobody went psycho from the Lariam, which was a relief.

Scenes around Moremi

Oxpicker birds nosh on parasites from the hide of an impala

A cape buffalo, with its own oxpicker onboard

The disadvantage of long legs: a giraffe has to put itself in a very
awkward and defenseless position to get at water or low branches

A yellow-beaked hornbill

African "fast food:" an impala hotfoots it into the bush

A jeep crosses a "small puddle"

Open-bill storks

Another dead tree...


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