Today's picks

    Now THAT’S a holiday snap! How tourists are paying £5,000 to dive into a river in Botswana to swim alongside 12ft-long Nile CROCODILES

    It may sound like a suicide mission, but the latest attraction for adrenaline junkies is… swimming with crocodiles.
    Tourists pay more than £5,000 to dive into a river in Botswana to swim alongside 12ft-long Nile crocodiles.
    The creatures, which weigh up to half a ton and can kill a man with one snap of their massive jaws, are responsible for killing hundreds people every year.
    The experience is organised by tour operator Big Animals, which assures thrill-seekers that the cold waters of the Okavango Delta, where the trips take place, make the crocodiles ‘lethargic and slow’.
    Divers are urged to descend quickly below the surface – the crocodile’s ‘kill zone’ – and ensure they are not seen as a silhouette against the sun, which will make them likely to be seen as a ‘potential meal’.
    Wearing scuba gear, the group follow an expedition leader behind a crocodile, and when the time is right, one by one they will swim forward to be alongside it.
    British holidaymaker Tony Rowlands, 62, braved the dive and emerged not only intact but ecstatic.
    He said: ‘It was wonderful. You can swim up close to this massive prehistoric animal, knowing he could tear you to shreds in seconds but he doesn’t, and it’s wonderful.’
    In a small team accompanied by crocodile ‘spotters’ and experienced divers familiar with the territory, he went out each morning at daybreak in a flat-bottomed boat. Mr Rowlands, who owns property companies in Liverpool, said: ‘We were quiet, looking all the time for a big croc warming himself on a riverbank. The big old ones are the best – they can be around 50 years old and they are scared of nothing and have no reason to be skittish.
    ‘They’re the last of the dinosaurs for a reason. They’re survivors and they’re clever.’ Remembering the moment he swam alongside a crocodile, the former Royal Navy sailor said: ‘I thought to myself, “I should be more worried than I am – this is completely insane”.’
    Amos Nachoum, of California-based Big Animals, said: ‘This is for people who want the ultimate experience but who are also experienced divers.’
    Before the dive, tourists have to sign a document waiving the Botswanan government and Big Animals of responsibility should anything go wrong.

    Related Articles