Boat Safari on Rufiji River

Boat Safari on Rufiji River

Have you ever been in love? I mean, REALLY in love? I am and I assure you there is nothing more romantic than finding yourself on a little boat on Rufiji River at sunset with the love of your life by your side.

We start our trip at 2.30 p.m. when our guides Zacharia and Emmanuel leave us in the boat driver’s hands. We hope they are strong hands, because the water is crowded with fantastic, but very dangerous animals.

The boat proceeds slowly, as if it wants to cuddle us.

The water is low and sometimes the small propeller of the old engine struggles in the mud that it has sucked from the bottom of the river. We are surrounded by nature: the secret is to watch and to listen in silence. Any sort of surprise is just around the corner.

Rufiji River in November, poor in water, forms lagoons and little lakes where crocodiles and hippos enjoy a fantastic accomodation and live together amazingly in peace.Storks are numerous and the most daring surf on hippos’ backs. We make a little stop near the river bank where a malakite king fish bird is showing off.

He poses for our pictures and is very proud of his bright colours. A real beauty! Crocodiles swim under the surface and emerge too near to our little boat.

They don’t care about us, while the hippos tend to stay away.

A bunch of these big herbivores run out of the water quickly. There is a female with them: she thinks her puppy has followed her, but he is still in the water and is now immersed, invisible to all of us, his mum included. She is nervous and comes back looking at us with a menacing look.

Fortunately, the puppy comes out: she is surely relieved. We are too, to tell the truth. On the river banks there are strange trunks: we discover they are dead palm trees, very high. The trunks remain there for years and host on their tops big birds looking and waiting for their prey. We stop and we get off the boat for a little walk: I have never seen anything like that.

Even the rainbow seems to come out for our exclusive pleasure. Sunset is coming and we are going back, even if I would like to stop time forever. Zacharia and Emmanuel are there waiting for us to escort us to our camp for dinner. We are literally in ecstasy.