Swimming with crocs and photographing big nile crocodiles was a new experience for me but turned out to be quite a lot of fun and even allowed a real close up underwater crocodile encounter. The crocodiles are all very large with the male nile crocodile Zimbakwe, presenting an intimidating figure at 14ft in length, and over 1000lbs with his two female corodiles Ma Baker and Sweet Sue coming close behind.
The real fun happens when you are locked into the croc cage and raised by crane to be lowered into the pond where the crocodiles are lounging. The water temp can be a bit of a fright, but as you acclimitize the crocs take over your focus. The crocodiles will eye the cage with interest and even poke their nose through the bars but are unable to open their mouths. Unlike Great white Shark cage diving, they move a lot slower, the water is a lot cleaner and that allows a much more intimate swimming with crocodiles experience. I heard a tourist exclaiming that he felt this croc experience was way better than his shark cage diving experience with great white sharks down the road in Gansbaai, Western Cape, South Africa. This is a unique crocodile encounter never presented like this before any where that I have heard of and for adrenaline junkies is a definte must do.
After eyeing out the big nile crocodile I managed to plant a kiss on the side of his jaw but I wouldnt advise this to be standard practise and the females are a lot more active and challenging in the water so I made sure I didnt even have the smallest toe or finger sticking out the cage as they actually brush their toothy jaws along the side of the cage.
Actually being able to watch a crocodile in the water is a fantastic extreme experience as they are excellent swimmers and completely mobile and flexible in the water. As with all apex predators they have the uncanny ability to sneak up right behind you to identify whether or not you are on the lunch menu. I watched tourists in the cage who didnt even know that while they looked at one croc which was floating on the surface a little way off the other crocodile was right behind them.
The big crocodile allowed me to hold his paw which really brought to reality how large he actually is as his nails are as big as my thumb and the muscles in the paw feel a bit like a human hand wrapped in a leather glove.
For an unforgettable adventure, go get wet and swim with crocs. See the story released in the Daily Mail by clicking Crocodile Newspaper feature. These images can be purchased for commercial use.