Today is our ten-year travel anniversary…

It was hard to believe we were there in 2013 at the Great Pyramids. See the post here.

When we received a notice from the provider that WiFi was out in the entirety of Marloth Park as of Sunday, I panicked, knowing I had to upload a short post and write a new post for today’s tenth anniversary.  There was no way I’d have time when our guests are arriving at noon today.

From our first anniversary in Kenya. I suppose I should have zoomed in as he did when taking mine. Look! You can see my shadow as I’m taking the photo. Too busy to edit photos right now! See the post here.

Mentioning my concern to Tom, he expressed the usual, “TIA, “This is Africa” and this is what happens here…no power, no water, no WiFi.”

Our first anniversary walking on the beach in Kenya on the Indian Ocean. Tom shot this appearing footless photo of me. Actually, I was wearing those ugly water shoes, grateful they were hidden in the surf. See the post here.

I nodded my head in acknowledgment. But I must admit I was frustrated thinking I wouldn’t be able to upload the tenth-anniversary post on the day of the anniversary, October 31. Thus, I decided to write the entire text offline on Sunday using Word and hoped that by today, I’d be able to load it into the WordPress editing section of our website.

Plumerias are often used in making leis. We spent our second anniversary in Maui, Hawaii. See the post here.

Initially, we’d planned for the anniversary post to include a new itinerary. But, after considerable research and a degree of uncertainty around what we’d like to do over the next few years, we have to forgo that thought which we’ll return to sometime in the future.

Inside the reception building, we asked a staff member to take our photo at Namale Resort & Spa in Fiji, as we celebrated our three year anniversary of traveling the world with a tour and lunch at the world renowned resort. See the post here. See the post here.

We know this…we’ll be here in Marloth Park, except for our upcoming trip to Seychelles on November 24, followed by the cruise of the islands beginning on November 26 until next June, one way or another. After the cruise, when we attempt to return to South Africa on December 4, we’ll hope to be able to receive a new 90-day visa stamp to  be able to stay.

Our ship is shown behind us off the top of the hotel on our fourth travel anniversary, See the post here.

This time, we are prepared if we aren’t allowed to re-enter the country when we get to Johannesburg. We’ll immediately book a flight back to the US and stay a few weeks visiting family in Minnesota, earlier than we’d intended.

October 31, 2017, our fifth anniversary of traveling the world, taken on the veranda at the villa in Atenas, Costa Rica. See our post here.

If we have to leave right away, even if they give us seven days to depart, we won’t bother to return to Marloth Park and, instead, leave from Joburg, arriving in Minnesota in cold weather with only summer clothes in our duffle bags. We’ll head to a discount store such as TJ Maxx and purchase jackets and a few cold-weather items to get us through the few weeks we’ll spend there.

After a few weeks, we’ll fly back to Marloth Park. By being in the US, our home country, we’ll be able to get another 90-day visa without an issue.

Saying goodbye, our final photo was taken this morning with Tom and Lois! It’s been a fabulous three weeks, we’ll always remember. It was our sixth travel anniversary. See the post here.

In any case, we’ll leave South Africa around June for our upcoming Azamara cruise on August 1, 2023, followed by another cruise a few days later, eventually returning to the US (Boston) on August 30. We have yet to decide where we’ll stay from June to August. We are still conducting research.

The New York skyline on a cloudy day, viewed from the ship on our seventh anniversary. See the post here.

It’s easy to see how so much is up in the air with the number of cruises canceled in the past few years. We hesitate to book too much since we’ve already lost a lot of money from pandemic-related cancellations.

Each morning, I listen to cruise podcasts, only to discover that some cruises require masks to be worn outside the cabin. As much as we’d like to believe the pandemic is over, it is not, based on behaviors on some cruise ships and some travel venues

Camels were walking along the beach along the Indian Ocean. During our eighth anniversary, we were in lockdown in Mumbai, India and had no new photos to share. See the post here.

We are not fearful of travel for that reason but face the pandemic’s impact on availability and pricing for ongoing journeys.

Once we leave here in June 2023, we won’t be keeping this house and will pack up entirely, leaving a few bins of kitchen items here with Louise in storage. Most likely, we won’t be returning to Marloth Park for nine months to a year, perhaps longer. We shall see.

The two of us, posted on our nine-year anniversary at Tom’s retirement party in 2012, about one week before we began our travels. See our post here.

The next country/continent visit will be South America. We still have several places we will visit, including Galapagos Islands, The Pantanal, and the Amazon River, both upper and lower regions. All of this will require cruising to some extent. We’re excited about these options.

Of course, good health is always the determining factor as to how much longer we’ll be able to travel. But for now, we’re feeling well and able to continue.

Photo of us at a cell phone store a few days ago, before our tenth travel anniversary. See the post here.

As for the past ten years, we have no regrets. Yes, we’ve experienced some ups and downs, but we’ve never questioned our decision to carry on. We’ve loved this life, its vast experiences, and the depth of the joy and love we experienced together and with the many people we’ve met along the way, let alone the vast array of wildlife and nature that have been blissfully bestowed upon us throughout the world.

We’ve considered doing a recap of each year, but that would be redundant. On many occasions, we’ve reiterated our travels, year after year, particularly when we were in lockdown in Mumbai, India for ten months in a hotel room. Instead, we’re posting some photos from prior anniversary years  and other dates from various locations including their links, which you may have already seen or not. If you have seen the photos, excuse our redundancy.

Yes, it’s been ten years, and we’ve aged in the process, but we are both grateful to be together and live this extraordinary life. Every day has tremendous meaning to us, and we joyfully continue to share it with our worldwide readers.

Thanks to many of our readers who’ve already extended our warmest wishes to us as this anniversary approached. Your kind words mean the world to us. Your continued readership and comments also mean the world to us. Ten years? Hard for us to believe. For those readers who’ve been with us since the beginning, we imagine its hard for you to believe its been ten years. Please keep reading. We’re not done yet!

Photo from one year ago today, October 31, 2021:

Selfie of us in India in February 2020, before lockdown, excited to be on our way to the palace and Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India. Little did we know what was ahead, at that point. For more, please click here.

Short post today…Busy prepping for our Asian dinner…And, working on our 10-year anniversary post…

If you know what type of bird this is, please let us know. Our trail cam picked up this photo early this morning.

I’d considered preparing a normal-sized post today. Once I started chopping and dicing for tomorrow’s Asian dinner with Leon and Dawn,  I realized it would take me longer to do the 10th-anniversary post. I needed to do it today, so I am free tomorrow to prepare the two complex dishes and spend time paying total attention to our guests as we always do.

They plan to arrive by noon and are staying in our guest cottage overnight for a much-needed break away from the responsibility of running a very busy restaurant. David and the staff will hold down the fort while they are away and we aren’t going to allow them to lift a finger; not wash a dish, not clean up after dining, and of course, no cooking. We are handling all of that!

I went through every page in our bird book and could not find this species.

We’re preparing the Asian dinner and then breakfast the next morning. Thank goodness, we got the fried rice done yesterday. Otherwise, we’d have been too rushed today and Monday. Asian stir-fry dishes should not be prepared ahead of time in order to taste fresh and not be overcooked from reheating. The only item we’ll reheat is the fried rice which reheats quite well in the microwave.

On November 1st, we’ll post food photos and the menu. So, dear readers, I’m signing off on today’s post to continue to prep for the big meal and to start working on the anniversary post which we’ll upload tomorrow morning.

We’ll be back to you soon!!!

Photo from one year ago today, October 30, 2021:

That morning we had 12 antelopes in the garden, sharing pellets. For more photos, please click here.

Busy chopping and dicing for Monday’s guests…Ethnic foods in South Africa…

Such an unusual looking animal.

Ethnic food is not particularly popular in this part of the world. Locals like their Pap and Sheba (see a photo here), meat on the braai, and starchy sides. For dessert, they like malva pudding and Melktart (milk tart). For more on South African desserts, please click here. Based on my way of eating, none of these traditional foods fit my way of eating, other than sauce-free meat on the braai.

There are few options for ethnic specialties here in Marloth Park, although Giraffe Restaurant offers sushi, attracting many visitors, including locals and tourists. It’s not that South Africans don’t have a taste for ethnic foods. Mostly, they do, and they seem to love trying new dishes.

A few zebras and a few giraffes came to call.

But, for a restaurant to make a go of it in Marloth Park, local cuisine is the way to go. Otherwise, an ethnic restaurant would have a hard time being successful enough to survive. Thus, when I started shopping for ingredients to make Leon’s favorite Asian dishes, Sweet and Sour Pork and Fried Rice (with Spicy Prawns with Asparagus for Dawn and me). It was tricky finding the ingredients necessary to make these Asian dishes. I ended up placing an order with an online Asian grocer in South Africa.

In my old life, one of my favorite meals to make was what was then referred to as Chinese food. Politically correct or not, it is no longer called Chinese food but Asian food, although I doubt Chinese people have stopped calling it Chinese food, based on the names of restaurants we’ve seen throughout the world in bigger cities.

Zebras were eating the remnants of the last lucerne delivery

Asian food is quite popular in Cape Town.  According to TripAdvisor, there are 74 entries for Chinese restaurants. See here for details. Surely, tourists who visit the beautiful big city seek out all types of ethnics food. But it’s not the case here in sleepy little Marloth Park and nearby Komatipoort.

This morning, I decided to tackle the fried rice, having chosen to make a huge batch. This way, we’ll be able to give Leon and Dawn a good supply “to go” and we’ll freeze single portions for Tom. This way, when we braai, or make other dishes, we can take out one container at a time to accompany his dinner instead of his usual plain buttered white rice.

A baby zebra nibbling on lucerne while resting.

Tomorrow, I’ll start chopping and dicing for the two remaining dishes we’ll cook on Monday. Our guests are planning to arrive around noon so we can enjoy relaxing time on the veranda. With everything cut and ready to stir, preparing the two remaining dishes won’t take long.

Today, we received another bale of lucerne. We scheduled another bale for Monday morning so our friends can enjoy watching the animals with us. We’re hoping all of our favorites will stop by and say “hello.”

We always love it when giraffes stop by.

I am still holding my own with the headache and facial pain. On Thursday, I had the headache return for a few hours but went away on its own. The facial pain is almost completely gone. I am practically holding my breath in hopes the pain won’t return.

Last night, we had an enjoyable evening and dinner at Jabula, as surely we will again tonight, hanging out with Leon and Dawn and other patrons, laughing and telling stories. His attitude is amazing.

On the move…

We just finished making the fried rice and once it cools, we’ll place it in containers to serve and to freeze. After standing in the kitchen for several hours, I am ready to get off of my feet and take a little rest with the fan on. Although the temperature isn’t high today at 81F, and 28C, the humidity is outrageous, and the dew point is tropical once again.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more. Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 29, 2021:

We purchased these giant cabbages for the kudus, bushbucks, and duikers, which love cabbage, for about US $0.70, ZAR 10.69 each. We tear off the leaves, break them in half and toss them their way. For more photos, please click here.

Finally, a photo of us!…Getting ready for special guests on Monday on our 10-year travel anniversary…

Yes, we know Tom needs a haircut. He’ll get one next week. This photo was taken yesterday at the phone store using Tom’s new phone.

We only post a few photos of us. If it weren’t for our readers, who often ask us to post photos of us, we’d post them even less. But, when we look back years later, we’re glad we posted a few here and there.

The only tricky part is looking back and seeing how we’ve aged in the past ten years since we began traveling the world. In our upcoming 10th anniversary post, we’ll include some of those photos from the past ten years. But, a month ago, we’d mentioned posting a new itinerary.

Norman took a rest in the garden, very unusual for him.

But, as it turned out, as much as we tried, we hadn’t booked anything yet beyond the two upcoming cruises next August 2023, less than a year out, after which we’ll spend about a month in the US visiting family, which we missed doing this past May when we both ended up with Omicron and were too sick to see our family while we were in Minnesota and Nevada.

Hopefully, in September 2023, we won’t have Covid-19 again, and we can spend the month enjoying our loved ones in the two states. We have a tentative plan of where we’ll go from there, which we’ll share in the upcoming anniversary post.

Yesterday, I managed to get Tom’s new phone set up. Since the new phone wasn’t another Google Pixel we both prefer, he was okay with purchasing the new phone for US $307, ZAR 5575. As mentioned in a prior post, he’ll use this phone until we return to the US in September and can each purchase two new Google Pixel phones, which don’t come out until October 13, 2023.  We’ll have to play it by ear to see how long we are in the USA.

Norman’s son Noah, also took a rest, along with his dad.

As for our upcoming special guests coming to stay at one of the two little cottages on our property, our dear friends, owners of Jabula, Dawn, and Leon, are coming for a special Asian dinner we’re making with some of Leon’s favorite dishes. Since they are always waiting on us, Monday and Tuesday will be days we’ll be fussing over them.

Leon has been stricken with a horrific terminal illness, details we’ll share later with their permission. We are heartbroken and will do everything we can to be there for them during this sorrowful time. Life is hard. There’s no easy answer as to why these things happen. Lately, our lives have been surrounded by the illnesses and loss of friends we’ve cherished over the years.

Each day, Noah is looking more and more like his dad. Soon he will have the dark brown coat and mane which makes Norman so handsome.

All we can do as friends is provide love and support in any way that works for them. This isn’t about us. This is about the loved ones and dear friends who have been at our sides over the years and how we can support them during sorrowful times. We will share the special menu for Leon and Dawn with food photos.

Load shedding just ended and the washer restarted where it left off. Soon, I will be able to hang the second load that stopped over two hours ago when load shedding started. It appears there won’t be any more outages today but that can change in a minute. Tonight, we’re off to Jabula to be with our friends, at the friendliest and most fun bar on the planet with over-the-top fantastic food.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 28, 2021:

One Tusk is becoming quite popular around here. Perhaps, a replacement for Tiny, who never returned after we visited the US in July 2021. For more photos, please click here.

Finally, off to Komatipoort after two weeks…Out to dinner last night…We are lucky to know so many locals…

We were thrilled to see a dung beetle with its mate a few minutes after we spotted one without a mate!

When we realize we’ve spent 3½ of the past ten years of world travel staying in Marloth Park, it’s not surprising we’ve met so many people. We’ve met single-visit tourists, frequent tourists, and countless locals who live here part-time or full-time. Since we meet many people when we go to Jabula each week, it has been a fantastic means of meeting new people.

Never in our old lives did we make new friends when out to dinner. Unless we were part of a group and were introduced, occasionally, we may have exchanged a few words with other diners who were seated near us, never to see them again. But, here in Marloth Park, we’ve become friends with many people we’ve met.

First, we saw a dung beetle rolling his ball without a mate.

Last night when we went out to Giraffe, a local restaurant a short distance from here, we ran into several people we know, mostly locals. South Africans are very affectionate when greeting people they know and, sometimes, people they’ve just met. Absent during the pandemic, warm hugs and kisses are now tendered with warmth and enthusiasm.

We’ve invited Gerhard to join us at Giraffe if he can after he is done with his vehicle sale details. After we were seated in  the outdoor dining area, Gerhard joined us, sharing the details of his exciting day working with the dealership and how they would send him the funds from the sale of his “bakkie.” Getting money in and out of South Africa is not an easy task requiring many documents.

Baby zebra suckling.

Money laundering is a severe problem in this country, and the government has made it difficult to move money in and out. That’s why we never opened a bank account here and only use an ATM card to get cash and use credit cards to pay for products and services. We don’t want to deal with the red tape.

It was fun to have dinner with Gerhard one more time. Most likely, he’ll begin the long return flight to Bali to be with Rita at the beautiful holiday home where we stayed for four months in 2016. We missed seeing Rita too but knew it made no sense for both of them to come for the vehicle sale.

It’s sweet to watch the connection between the mom and her baby.

We’re taking off for Komati right now and will complete this post when we return in a few hours. Tom’s cell phone died, and he’ll buy a basic smartphone at the Vodacom store a few doors from the Spar Market. Once we return to the US next fall for a visit, we’ll both buy new smartphones. Since he barely uses his phone, whatever he buys will suffice for the next several months.

We just returned from Komati. We bought Tom a new Samsung A31 smartphone, the newest phone they had in the store which came out in the US in 2020. But, TIA, “This is Africa” and what is new to them may not be new to us in the US and other countries. Nonetheless, this phone will suffice for Tom’s needs when all he’ll use it for is a few online games he plays.

This mom and baby stood in that one spot for an hour, resting and perhaps sleeping standing up.

He doesn’t make calls or text on his phone and often uses it for internet searches. As Tom always says, if it weren’t for me, he’d “still have a rotary phone on the wall with a party line!” As a result, I handle all his phone needs, including setting up this new phone today as soon as I upload today’s post and helping him with any texts or phone calls.

This mom and baby also stood still for an hour, never moving.

We did all the grocery shopping after, refilling some prescriptions at the pharmacy. As I sit here now at 12:45 pm, with load shedding starting again soon, all the food is put away and I’m ready to get back to my walking and his phone setup.

Have a great day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 27, 2021:

There’s our boy, Broken Horn. He was so happy to see us. He was shaking his head and moving his feet up and down. Funny, boy! For more photos, please click here.

Last night’s surprise dinner guest!…Everyday brings something new!…

As soon as piglets are born, they are lively and animated, running all over. The boys have facial warts. The girls do not.

Our friends Rita and Gerhard left Marloth Park at the end of September. We were sad to see them go but excited for them that they were heading to Bali to stay in the same house we rented in 2016, and we loved every moment. They, too, have loved it there, and we’ve been excited to hear of their adventures in that special house and distant area from the capital city of Denpasar, a five-hour harrowing drive.

Sadly, an awful storm recently devastated the beach and many homes in the area, but somehow “The Beach House” is intact. Gerhard and I wrote back and forth on Whatsapp, as they’ve treasured the exquisite location with the same passion we did so many years ago.

When Louise wrote a few days ago and asked me if we knew Gerhard was back in Marloth Park without Rita, we worried something was wrong.  No, he hadn’t contacted us. But, as it turned out, he had returned to sell the “bakkie” they bought here a few years ago, realizing they wouldn’t be returning here for about a year, and the expenses and upkeep of storing the vehicle in Johannesburg made no sense while they were away.

I was so excited to see the piglets that I didn’t hold the camera steady.

But why hadn’t Gerhard let us know he was coming, and eventually was here? He wanted to surprise us once again. But, when Louise told us he was here, I immediately contacted him to invite him for dinner, not realizing his arrival was meant to surprise us. The two of them love surprises!! They showed up at Flo and JJ’s annual New Year’s Eve Party, which we attended to surprise us, and a surprise it was. They are so funny how they love surprises!!!

Last night at 4:30 pm, 1630 hrs, Gerhard arrived at our house for dinner carrying a brown paper bag with Krispy Kreme donuts for Tom, as he always does! It was great to see him. Of course, we understood why Rita didn’t join him since it was easier for him to fly out on his own to set up the vehicle sale.

As of yesterday, all of the details for the vehicle’s resale have been accomplished, and in the next few days, Gerhard will fly back to Bali to the beautiful house and his dear Rita. We’ll see him again tonight at Giraffe for drinks at the bar and dinner before he heads back to Bali. Gerhard was an executive at an airline, and he travels economically more easily than most of us.

I didn’t want to get too close and scare off the piglets.

Last night, sitting outdoors on the veranda was one of the hottest nights we’ve experienced in a year, but it was great to hear Gerhard’s stories of their blissful time in Bali. They’d not only come to Marloth due to our site but also to that fabulous oceanfront holiday home with a huge infinity pool. We spent all our days in that pool overlooking the ocean, and Rita and Gerhard did the same.

While outdoors, we saw a mom and three newly born piglets for the first time this season. Louise, whose house is only a few doors from us, said they were born yesterday under her veranda. A few hours later, they were here. We couldn’t have been more thrilled, as shown in today’s photos.

Lucerne was delivered this morning, and it’s been unreal to see so many animals come by to partake in the fresh green hay bale. We had no less than 25 animals standing over the bale at one point, enjoying every bite. I kept getting up to take photos which we’ll share in tomorrow’s post.

Also, I keep jumping up to do the steps. I made it to 7500 yesterday and hope to make it to 8000 today. Today, I had a late start when I slept over nine hours last night. This increased activity level makes me sleep better, which is an excellent side benefit. Getting in so many steps inside the house and on the veranda is challenging, but I don’t care to walk on the uneven dirt roads nearby.

On another note, I don’t know how comfortable I’d feel walking on the roads by myself right now when lions have been seen during daylight hours. I’ll continue to walk at the house.

Have a great day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 26, 2021:

Sunset over the Zambezi River, the longest river in Africa. Notice the spray from Victoria Falls in the left rear of the photo. For more photos, please click here.

Storm of the century!…Well, kind of…What a night!…Thank goodness for rain…

Mongooses were wondering when I’d cut up paloney for them. Upon seeing them at the door, I complied promptly. There ended up being about 40 of them by the time I was ready to toss it to them on the grass. Could they be any cuter?

With the dew point over 70 most of yesterday, it seemed likely to rain at some point. We made it through dinner but dined indoors at the dining room table, thinking it could start raining any minute. By the time we finished eating, the rain had begun. We immediately locked the veranda door.

While Tom did the dishes, as usual, I set up my laptop and the JBL speaker on the bed, wondering what we’d watch with the WiFi out the minute the winds kicked in. Without WiFi, we had nothing to watch except the 900 movies Gerhard had downloaded on the external hard drive he and Rita gave me last year on my birthday. What a great gift!

Big Daddies in the garden eating lucerne and pellets.

We’d seen many of the movies over the years, and without WiFi to look up the storyline, we’d choose movies based entirely on the title and the pictures on the front of the movie. It was hard to tell. But we decided to wing it and found two movies that managed to entertain us mildly. They weren’t great, but they were ok.

Each time we watch one of those 900 movies, we delete it from the hard drive. Otherwise, we’d have to remember which ones we’d already seen. Mostly the movies were from 2015 to 2017. When we’ve often streamed TV shows and movies, we’ve watched more TV series than movies. We prefer a series with numerous episodes to allow for binge-watching.

This is a blue waxbill, a tiny bird that loves to eat the seeds on the bushbaby stand.

As a result, we haven’t seen many movies over the years we’ve been traveling. We only watch something if we are home from evenings out by 8:00 or 9:00 pm, 2000 hrs. to 2100 hrs; Tom doesn’t care to watch anything later than that since I tend to fall asleep if I watch something after 10:00 pm, 2200 hrs.

The WiFi never came back on until this morning. The company serving our house and others in Marloth Park could not make the outdoor repairs when the storm raged for hours. A few times, the power went out, but we were still able to watch the movies when my computer was fully charged, and we had the inverter providing energy to our devices when plugged in at the outlet on my side of the bed.

It isn’t easy to describe the intensity of the night’s rain, lightning, thunder, and wind. On several occasions, we felt the lightning hit something in our garden outside the bedroom window. It may sound crazy, but we both smelled smoke. Tom went outside to check to make sure everything was ok. After all, we, like many residents in Marloth Park, are in houses with thatched roofs that can easily catch fire.

It’s a rarity for Big Daddies to jump over the little fence.

By no means were we panicky. As soon as we saw everything was fine, we went back to watching the movie. The storm continued until about midnight. Often, I wondered where the animals were hunkered down. Surely, they’ve all experienced such storms in the past and knew how to keep themselves safe and out of harm’s way.

With the sun back out this morning, it was hot and humid with the dew point at 72, considered “tropical,” which is very uncomfortable. But, the bush looks green with the dust washed off the leaves on the trees, and soon, from the rain, the bush will begin to green with fresh new vegetation for the wildlife. Lots more rain is needed to provide the lush green nourishment they so much need to thrive.

This is Aggie, our resident agama. He changes colors almost daily. Today, he showed us these orange spots on his body. I wish we could find things to feed him.

Of course, along with the rain comes the hatching of mosquitos. In a few weeks, we’ll begin to feel their wrath. I am already wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts to reduce my use of DEET and prevent getting too many bites. I have had three new bites in the past 24 hours, all under my clothes. I may have to use DEET before dressing for the day.

Norman, Nina, and Noah have spent the entire morning with us, hovering in and near the garden. It’s always such a joy to be with them. Also, bushbuck, Bad Leg, has been resting in the garden against the little fence. Every so often, I bring him some pellets, cold cabbage, and carrots since he’s not able to forage for himself with his injury. The birdbath has fresh, clean water so all of the animals can drink.

This is a millipede with zillions of legs. With red on her underside, I don’t believe this one is venomous.

Lollie lives outside the little fence, but she finds waterholes from which she drinks and takes mud baths almost daily. We watch her leave for a few hours, later to return a muddy mess which eases our minds that she has access to water. If and when a time comes when waterholes may dry up, if we don’t get sufficient rain, we’ll put out a shallow pan of water for her each day.

My headache is still gone, but the facial tenderness continues. I am icing it a few times each day, hoping it will resolve soon. I am still walking, regardless of the weather. Today, I will do 7500 steps toward my goal of 10,000 by the weekend.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 25, 2021:

Zebras were grazing on the grass at the Royal Livingstone Hotel in Zambia. For more photos, please click here.

Sorry we missed a day…Our hosting company was having issues…

A newly named Bad Leg, a male bushbuck who’s been spending most of his days in our garden since he injured his leg a few weeks ago. It seems to be improving a little each day. We feed him extra food since he has trouble foraging with his injury.

Yesterday, our hosting company, Hostinger, was down for emergency maintenance. Where they are located, it was the middle of the night instead of during the day here. Such maintenance is often conducted during the night to have the least impact on operational sites.

Bad Leg feels so at ease and safe in our garden he doses off to sleep.

I contacted them immediately upon being unable to open the editing page to start yesterday’s post. Immediately, I panicked, thinking it was a problem on our end. Still, I relaxed after writing to them and receiving a prompt reply regarding their emergency repairs for the outage.

Baby zebra.

However, there was no way I could notify our readers that we wouldn’t be able to upload a new post until the problem was resolved. That occurred well into the night here, making it too late for me to work on the post.

Other bushbucks stop by and rest in the garden with him.

I decided to go ahead and write the text for the post on Word, which I could later copy and paste onto our editing site at WordPress, hoping this would be possible by the end of the day.  I imagined millions of sites were down besides ours. Mostly, those sites would be in our category,  not as big as shopping sites and major sites with many more hits than we receive in a day.

Surely, our readers will know that something is wrong, but often when such an event occurs, our readers are concerned we’ve suddenly stopped posting, or something awful happened to us. We hope you didn’t make that assumption. All is well here.

Kudus looking for food.

As a matter of fact, more than “all is well here.” We are doing quite well. The headache is gone, and two days ago, I started walking again for the first time since April 20 when we tested positive for Omicron. Over the past months, I’ve spent about three hours of the day resting in the bedroom. I was too unwell to feel like sitting up all day.

Besides resting for those three hours, I cooked meals, did laundry, took countless photos of wildlife, spent considerable time preparing the posts and editing photos, and conducted research for future travels.

My boy Norman, never fails to stop by several times a day.

But resting for that many hours a day left me weak and unfit. Regardless of how hard I tried to motivate myself, I just didn’t feel I could do steps when I was feeling poorly. Having a headache for six months was more debilitating than I imagined.

Now that I am done taking all the medications, I have begun to feel energized enough to start walking on Saturday. On my first day, I managed to do over 4000 steps. Yesterday, my goal was  5000 steps, and by 1:00 pm, I had it accomplished. By the end of the day, I’d done 5800 steps.  I will increase it by 1000 steps per day until I get to the point that feels right to me.

Lots of zebras have stopped by for lucerne.

It’s not only imperative for me to walk for my cardiovascular health but also to strengthen my legs after lying around for so long. Before we know it, we’ll be leaving for Seychelles. I have one month to get myself in better shape to go on walks and tours.

I am thrilled Hostinger is operational again, and I can upload today’s post without issue.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 24, 2021:

As soon as we were situated on the resort’s veranda, we were excited to see the spray from Victoria Falls at a distance. For more photos, please click here.

Adults only….Duikers…the smallest of the antelopes…Mating occurs throughout the year…

Mating is not always successful.

We’ve observed mating behavior over two male duikers pursuing one female in the past few weeks. They run fast through the property, leaping through the air; it’s a delight to see. We know one of the males, Derek, but not the other, and of course, it’s adorable Delilah, who often hangs out with us for hours.

The past few days, we spotted her hiding in the garden to avoid being chased by the two males, including this morning over a few hours. When I was showering, Tom took these included photos of one of the males attempting to mate with her, which didn’t appear successful.

Amazingly, female duikers are ready to mate at a young age, as indicated below from the Kruger National Park website.

Duikers are very shy. We’re thrilled they feel safe enough around us to go about life’s usual activities.


What does Duiker eat?
Duiker browses a wide range of broad-leaved forbs, trees, and bushes; they eat fruit, pods and seeds, roots, bark, flowers, fungi, caterpillars and even nestling birds. In arid areas wild melons are eaten for their water content. They may be a problem in crops, orchards, vineyards and plantations.

Vital Statistics

Weight (Female)
17 – 25 kg
Weight (Male)
15 – 21 kg
Length (Female)
110 cm
Length (Male)
110 cm
Gestation Period
6 months
No of Young
1 lamb
Sexual Maturity
8 months
Birth Weight
175 g
10 cm (record – 18 cm)


The female will give birth to one young usually after a gestation period of around 6 months. Single lambs, very rarely twins, are born at any time of year, possibly with a peak in summer. Full grown at 7 months, females first mate as early as 8-9 months, and give birth at one year.

Mating system probably varies with locality and habitat from monogamous pairs to males with more than one female. Lambs are born at any time throughout the year. The female hides in very dense vegetation before giving birth.

Although the mother initially hides the young, they are well developed at birth and can run within twenty-four hours.


They are mainly active in late afternoon and into the night with other peak periods in the early morning hours. The males and females are territorial chasing away others only of the same sex Male and females tend to share territories but only come together for mating purposes They are probably the most successful bovid species in Africa.

The lifespan of a Duiker is 8-11 years. They are important prey for medium and large carnivores. They are solitary or a female with a lamb, they are rarely in male-female pairs. Scent-marks are produced by the preorbital glands and glands between the front hooves.

Where Duiker are Found

They do not occur in forests, although they will take refuge in forests when hiding from a predator. Widely distributed in Southern Africa, but absent from desert regions. The Common Duiker is usually seen at dawn and dusk in open scrub country. They avoid open grassland where there is no shelter. They are found throughout Africa south of the Sahara, except in the rain forests of Central Africa.


The Duiker avoids predators by lying quietly or freezing motionless and dashing away at the last moment if approached closely. Runs with a distinctive diving, zig-zag motion from which comes the name duiker, Afrikaans for diver. Uses its horns and sharp back hooves as defensive weapons.

The alarm call is a nasal snort, if caught bleats loudly, a sound that attracts other Duikers, and calls mothers to assist lambs. Lambs can run within a day of birth, but remain hidden in heavy cover, with the mother returning to suckle and clean them.

All the medium takes them to large predators but their main predators are Eagles, Leopard, Jackal and Python. Crocodile takes some.”

There’s lots of sniffing.

The only contradiction of duikers in Marloth Park is that we see them throughout  the day and evening. But, life for wildlife is different in Marloth Park than in Kruger National Park and we often see our two most visible duikers, Delilah and Derek all day and evening. It appears they live here since we see them so often. If we are to gaze into the garden and nearby parkland for about 10 minutes, we always spot them.

From time to time, they may run across the dirt road but return a short time later, running and jumping through the air. They are shyer than other antelopes, but since they are used to being around humans in the park, it’s not unusual for us to see them only a few meters from us, looking for pellets. They don’t seem to care for the lucerne but love pellets even more than carrots, apples, and cabbage.

We’ve never been able to be so close to duikers in other holiday rentals in the park as we have been here. The house we are currently renting is Louise and Danie’s old house, and they, like us, spent lots of time outdoors, inviting wildlife to stop by. Now, we’ve enjoyed the benefits of their passion for wildlife.

Tonight, we’ll return to Jabula. Last night, I stepped “outside the box” and ordered spicy peri-peri chicken livers instead of grilled chicken or hake. It was a nice change, and I may do the same again tonight. As always, it was great to be with Dawn, Leon, and friend Sinndee whose husband (and our friend) Bruce passed away about three weeks ago.

Above all, stay well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 22, 2021:

Tom couldn’t stop smiling while eating the tiny hot buns at our table in the hotel restaurant in Zambia. He was in “bread heaven!” For more photos, please click here.