In the photo above, a little worse for its fifty years of storage, you can see Ellisi from the previous post, he wears the black felt hat and his companion points toward the distant Lundi River.
"Ellisi, the tea will be good when we get to the other side." "Yebo Inkosi" he grunted, inadvertantly splashing an oarful of water over me. It came without warning, the water erupting as a hippo rose lurching toward us. "Shesha, Ellisi, Shesha" I yelled, "Hurry or we will die!"
Ellisi strained on the oar, missing a stroke here and there as I with my pole thrust hard against a submerged rock; our vessel swung about and was soon headed downstream. The hippo disappeared beneath the water and we toiled desperately, expecting him to rise again and savage us with his jaws, leaving our bodies to drift until the crocodiles came to feast.
Again he appeared, this time on the opposite side, two metres away, blasting vapour from his nostrils like a dragon. We awaited the crash of his body across our boat but it never came. instead he opened his great jaws, showing huge white chisel-edged teeth, raked his head up and down in a final warning then sank beneath the water.
We worked frantically, our faces beaded with sweat. The hippo's next appearance was beside a companion 50 metres away. He opened his jaws and bellowed a "basso profundo" warning, "hoooo, ho, ho, hoo" – one of the great animal sounds of Africa.
Arriving on the bank we heaved our vessel half up the slope and sat to catch our breaths, thinking how good it was to be on land again. Ellisi gathered scraps of wood and made a fire, I filled the billycan in the river and silently we drank our tea. I scribbled a few notes in my diary – just a few, we had a long walk ahead".