The campsite was right next to the river, where the hippos were making loud chomping noises from eating seagrass so loud that I almost couldn’t sleep.
I finally fell asleep and woke up not long after to pee some of the beers I had drank the night before. When I zipped up my tent and put my head and a torch out the entrance I realized that I was shining my light on of the evil, human killing creatures I had heard heard laughing just some hours before, which was sitting less than three meters away! I was quick to draw my head back into the tent and stayed awake while watching the hippo walk away through my mosquito net. The hippos stayed close the next nights as well and me and my brother were happy every time the sun came up in the morning and we understood that the hippos had let us live for another day.
From Victoria Falls we had a 10 hour drive to get to Kafue National Park. The camp was located right on the Kafue River, which after 6 kilometers was connected with the Zambezi River. The Zambezi is the 4th biggest river in Africa and goes through Zambia, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and was the place where we were going to spent our next days.
We started early the next morning with paddling and came to our camping place in good time before it got dark. It was important so that we could collect firewood and put up our tents before it got dark. We also spent the next full day paddling on the river, repeating the same procedure like the day before where everyone helped collect firewood and then put up their own tents. If there is one thing in particular I liked about the canoeing trip on the Zambezi it was the sleep and the meals, which felt particularly good out in the wild and after such exhausting paddling. The canoeing trip was much like the Orange River, but on the Zambezi we got to see lots of animals such as elephants, crocodiles, impalas and lots of hippos. After the two full days of paddling we had put behind us 60 kilometers with an average speed of 8km/h, and when the boat came to take us back the next morning, we were all glad that it was over. Even though we had some fantastic days at the river.
The next day we got to do a walk into a nearby village where the women let us watch them making “maizmehl” and the older boys let us play football with them. During the whole two hours we spent in the village, we had nearly a hundred kids following us the whole time. Even though most of them were malnourished and had no shoes they seemed happy and were smiling more than most kids back home. The village left a big impression on me and the little money we spent there on donations were probably the most well spent money on our whole trip.