The open air bar faced out across the wide Zambezi river, facing east, warmed by the morning sun. In the fierce heat of the evening it was cooler and the beer was cold. I was sitting at the bar chatting with the manager, a Dutch woman long used to the pace of this wilderness. It was the laughter that stopped first, then a quiet came like a wave across the seating area. A massive hippo, three tons at least, sauntered across the grassy area surrounding the bar. It was just a few feet away from some of these adventurers. I think I gasped, but I’m not sure of it. This is a dangerous beast of the first order, and way too close. Tonight though it was only interested in grazing the sweet grass by the river. It disappeared off into the blackness of the African night, and soon the laughter returned.