Challenges, Inspiration

Dara’s Zambezi diary: day one

January 29, 2013

“In his first exclusive online diary for the Telegraph, Dara O’Briain faces the reality of an imminent hippo encounter as he heads down the Zambezi for Comic Relief.

So, this is it. No matter how much I use my favourite of all the coping strategies, flat denial, the noise I can hear outside my tent is the Zambezi river and I’m about to throw myself at its mercy by attempting to raft down it.

I’d love to be able to say that doing this ludicrous thing in an attempt to raise money for Comic Relief seemed like a good idea at the time, but it didn’t – and now I’m here I realise my initial instinct was right.

I attempted to strike a deal with my band of twitter followers last week whereby they donated a fiver and we never spoke of this foolhardy venture ever again, but they refused.

Who can blame them from a comedic standpoi nt though of course? Watching a man of my physical magnitude attempt to get in and stay in a hollowed out treetrunk of the type we will be using on Day one is worth much more than five pounds and I was a fool to think otherwise.

What I was also foolish to assume was that because I am genuinely concerned about my ability to actually carry out the task at hand – namely raft 110km (68 miles) in five days down one of the planet’s most powerful rivers – it would represent my biggest fear about this challenge.

It is not though; what breaks me out into a sweat about this jaunt, or at least it would if it wasn’t already roasting hot, is what’s in the river.

At our briefing we were told that our chances of not encountering hippos in our five days was almost zero, that deadly snakes can and do swim across the river and that the very second we got out of a boat we were to move a good distance away from the bank so as not to be vulnerable to crocodile attack. Which is all just excellent.

To see how I get on go to or follow us live on twitter @rednoseday and if I’m spared a gruesome end I’ll be sending what will no doubt amount to a series of SOS signals each day on this very website.

Wish us luck.”

To keep up to date on all things Hell and High water, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our Blog, YouTube account and mailing list. You can also find out all about the challenge and see the latest news here.

If you’ve been inspired and want to take on your own experience of a lifetime, then check out our amazing and global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs here. You can even take part in our exclusive Zambezi challenge. Click here to receive details once the challenge is complete.

source – The Telegraph –

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