Join the adventure and spend a holiday in Africa! From a houseboat you can fish for the famous Tiger fish of Lake Kariba but have you ever been in the waters crocodiles call home? Here you can read all about it. This story of 2,487 words is filled with excitement over a totally new world and huge animals on land and in the water.
I was still sleepy when my uncle woke me the next morning.
‘There’s something going on further up the inlet! Let’s go, the boat is ready!’ When we came around a bend, we saw a lot of splashing going on. Tauwanga slowed down the boat and slowly, we moved closer.
‘Look, there! The crocs caught a hippo!’ Jamie called out.
In the shallows, at least twenty crocodiles were tearing pieces of flesh from the huge bulk of a dead hippo.
‘They’re in a real feeding frenzy,’ my uncle said. ‘I think the hippo must have been either sick or dead already. Crocodiles normally don’t touch healthy adult hippos. Sometimes they catch young ones, if they stray too far from the herd.’
All this was happening just some three-hundred metres from where our houseboat was moored! The dead hippo floated like a bloated, grey balloon, rocking as the crocodiles slashed their teeth into the carcass, tearing off chunks of flesh by spinning on their own axis. Jamie explained that crocodiles could not bite flesh off or chew it. At the height of the feeding frenzy, the body of the hippo was pushed ashore by the onslaught, but other crocodiles quickly dragged the dead hippo back into the water. On land there would be other predators, like hyenas, wanting to steal their loot. The ongoing pushing, pulling and tearing kept the body of the hippo constantly in motion as the crocodiles thrust their long snouts into the soft flesh, giving the impression the hippo had come back to life. Some white pieces of hippo fat drifted past us, attracting Zambezi bream, which were quick to snap up an easy breakfast. For a moment, I regretted not having a fishing rod with me, but then the idea of a crocodile at the other end of the rod did not appeal to me. A family group of hippos was in the shallows just fifty meters to the left, paying no attention to the crocodiles eating their dead mate. I moaned. In the rush, I had forgotten to take my camera!
Would you like to swim with crocodiles?
Jump into this story about an adventurous trip to Africa.
Houseboat Holiday at Lake Kariba Is available for download as .pdf
[NOTE: This story has been published under ‘First Australian Rights’ by ‘The School Magazine of NSW, Australia’.]