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Mana Pools National Park

Floating Under Elephant Feet on the Great Zambezi River
Sound ceases except for the front of the canoe brushing through an awning of six foot high bulrush draped into the river as we drift downstream along the bank. The guide’s eyes beam ahead and we are all laid flat on our backs with our paddles extended lengthwise down our bodies. We cannot see past the front of the canoe, as the displaced grass reveals what lies ahead at the pace of the river’s current, and then the trembling sound of elephants stomping through the grass, ripping it from its roots. The sound is visceral, its intensity awaking a primitive fear of close encounters with monstrous wildlife.