"I was swallowed by a hippo"

Each stroke of 27-year-old safari guide Paul Templer’s paddle took his canoe closer to the stunning mist-shrouded Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Along with two local guides, Ben and Evans, and a safety kayaker, Mac, they were paddling six clients – a German couple, Joe and Gundy, and four Air France crew - down the Zambezi River into the sunset with a tray of snacks and an eskie full of drinks.


The Zambezi River teemed with wildlife, and a hippo – a fully-grown territorial male bull - was causing havoc along this particular stretch of water. Approaching a group of hippos sunning themselves in the shallows, Paul wanted to steer clear of the Range Rover-sized male. Especially since among the pod of hippos ahead was a female and her calf. So, he decided to cut around the mammoth creatures, through a narrow set of channels. That's when disaster struck. And this is how Paul survived...


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