Adventure Travelers Wendy & Jacquie disembark from canoe transfer in
Arusha region on Tanzania
Photoillustration by Mat Unger
Despite being plant eating herbivores, hippos are actually quite dangerous with their huge teeth & territorial behavior. Hippo attacks kill more humans in Africa than other animals. Fortunately this story didn't have an unpleasant ending ... so don't get close to 'em!
Today we arrived in Arusha and were picked up by our local guides to canoe
in Arusha National Park. It was green and lush we loved it! Our guides
were trying to freak us out and kept warning of hippos to make us scared,
we laughed and said if they were not scared nor were we! As soon as that
phrase left my mouth the back of my canoe rose out of the water and flipped
on to Wendy's canoe we both fell in the water with our guides (who could
barely swim) everything including our passport and shoes went flying
and we both ended up standing on the hippo. The guide shouted at us to
swim to shore, I did not need to be told twice and it took me about 10 minutes
to swim to shore, Wendy would not let go of her money so was 5 minutes
behind me dragging her backpack, mine was underwater and was staying there.
It took the guides another 20 minutes to swim in; I thought we were going
to have to rescue them. Meanwhile all we could hear were the hippos snorting.
We got the guides out of the water, one had concussion, we had no shoes and
were trying to get to our canoe without walking into any other wildlife
or acacia thorns. One canoe was out of service as it had a chunk missing
where the hippo teeth went through. So we were down to one canoe,
one guide with concussion, and the other guide trying to find my
backpack/paddles shoes etc. We could not all fit in one canoe so sat
the injured guide in the canoe while Wendy and I paddled back through
the hippo infested waters - you would be shocked how quickly we paddled
out of there!
To finish the story of we got one guide back and then drove back to get the
other one. The only casualty was one of Wendy's shoes. This is a
true story and we have the hippo bite mark to prove it!!!!