When I returned from my much-needed trip to pee on hippo island, I noticed the rest of the group rising and unzipping their tents. I was exhausted from so little sleep and still coming to terms with the fact that I had been chased by a hippo in the night.
Even so, I could barely suppress a gasp of amazement as I watched the sun rise from above the towering hillocks in the far distance, their dark silhouettes contrasting with the huge red ball of flames which added a beautiful golden tint to the land below.
Breakfast was prepared. The guides stood behind the metallic foldaway tables, their backs to the Zambezi river which flowed past quietly. I noticed a group of hippos resting in the river, only a few metres from our island and swallowed nervously.
I made myself a tea before sitting down on a green canvas stool to enjoy breakfast in the wild. It was hard to come to terms with where I was - sat on a sandbank in the middle of the Zambezi river, completely in the wilds of Africa. I listened to the gruff chorus of bellows coming from the group of hippos, backed by the chirping of numerous birds. Occasionally a splash would sound as a hippo yawned or a crocodile slipped from the grassy banks of the river, becoming submerged except for their beady eyes atop their prehistoric skulls.
I sipped on the hot brew that I had cupped between my hands, the steam rising up and warming my chilly face. Mornings here were very cold, far colder than I had expected and I found myself huddling for warmth in my sky blue fleece.
After breakfast we began to take down our tents. I liked to think I was starting to get the hang of handling my tent and started tugging the black metal pole out from the canvas. It was icy cold to the touch but came out with ease. Working with Emily, we quickly folded down to tent so that it could be transported across the river on a small motor boat which went on ahead of the group.
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