David Livingstone

Zambia underfoot: On the ground at Zebra Plains

Zambia underfoot: On the ground at Zebra Plains

MFUWE, Zambia - We're nodding off in our tent, pitched under a tree, when the crunching and gnashing begin.

It's the hippos again, a half-dozen massive beasts climbing up from the Luangwa River for their nightly feed. During September, a hot, dry month here at Zebra Plains Camp, in northeast Zambia, the tree's foot-long fruit hang low, an irresistible meal for diners with gaping jaws and fist-size grinders.

Silence falls as the hippos lumber away. For a moment we doze - well wined and dined after a long day tramping through the bush, tracking wild game. Then the bushes rustle and the elephants arrive, treading gently to avoid our plastic ground cloth and canvas patio chairs....