In the summer of 2010, I took a month-long trip to Africa and spent two weeks on safari and two weeks exploring and visiting friends. I was the guest of renowned Professional Hunter Stef Swanepoel of Numzaan Safaris based out of Thabazimbi in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The Limpopo Province lies in northwestern South Africa, bordering Botswana, and is noted for the wide variety of plains game found there. I had been hunting Cape buffalo and plains game for several days and saw many trophy animals, but still had not fired a shot. I was determined not to shoot any game animals until I had looked over numerous contenders.
On the evening of the third day of hunting, I had just sat down to a wonderful dinner of gemsbok loin, native vegetables,
mashed pumpkin, home-baked bread, and a bottle of red wine when I heard a vehicle driving up the bush road toward camp. It was Stef, and he had some interesting news: a large rogue hippopotamus was causing severe crop damage on a sugar cane plantation and had possibly killed two field workers. He had also chased other workers and killed livestock in his territory. The villagers who lived and worked on this plantation had a self-imposed curfew from sunset until after dawn because of the terrifying nocturnal danger posed by the hippo.