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The last warning | by hvhe1
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The last warning

Imagine sunrise in the Okavango Delta, leaving the enchanting Jacana Camp in a small boat, still almost dark, floating through a small path through the whispering reeds and waterlilies.


All of a sudden a enormous splash next to the boat and the ranger whispers "Hippo.. big one!". The very next second the water is calm again, but you know the big animal is somewhere under the surface . Your heart starts racing and you can't help holding your breath. Where will it emerge!


I went down as flat as I could, meanwhile adjusting the camera to the best I could, given the very poor lighting conditions. With the surface of the water covered in waterlily leaves I had no clue as to where it could be.


And then.... only 5 or 6 meters from the boat, about where my camera was aimed, his massive bulk jumped high out of the water with a heartstopping splash. I nearly jumped out of the boat, but not before I pressed that shutter-button! :-)


The result was this full-frame image. Certainly too close for comfort and almost too close for the lens, but I'm not complaining.


Needless to say that we took his warning seriously and left him in peace. But it sure took a while before my heart rate was back to normal.

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Taken on April 5, 2014