A special bush braai to remember…A sunset like none other…And a moon that lit the night…

Excellent stopped the vehicle for us to take photos of this amazing sunset. This occurred at 6:19 pm.
 This occurred one minute later at 6:20 pm.
 This occurred at 6:26 pm. We all agreed that it looked as if the “eyes of God” were watching us. In awe and total silence, we all snapped away.
The moon as it appeared on the horizon. Wow!

Dinner in the dark in the bush is not for the faint-hearted. Although safe with an armed guard on the constant lookout, a cleared area for cooking and table setup, we weren’t traipsing in the tall grass in order to dine. 

The table settings were lovely. Imagine serving a meal for eight guests (and most times as many as 18 guests) in the dark. 
We were so busy having fun, I missed taking a few good food photos and, spent little time making sure my shadow didn’t end up in the photo. The others had sushi while had this appealing and delicious appetizer plate containing everything I could eat.

An enclosed candlelit, toilet area off to the side, partially damaged by rhinos when no one is around, provided ample modesty when a visit was much needed after the long game drive. 

Tom squawks that he doesn’t like salmon. But each time it is presented to him when dining out he enjoys it.  Go figure. Tom’s holding his little LED flashlight in his hand, as shown.
In South Africa, shrimp is referred to as prawns. After consuming these multiple prawns, I could easily have been satisfied to stop eating. We continued on.
This dish took me aback. It was Ostrich Carpaccio, a local delicacy. I thought of our two-time visitor, Clive (aptly named by a Facebook friend), and I had trouble with this item. Tom loved it, eating mine as well.

A roaring fire and our gracious hosts, Louise and Danie, and all their helpers greeted us warmly when we arrived, as the smell of a wide array of foods wafted through our senses.

After we were served the multiple courses, we headed to the table with the main courses, piling our plates with wide a wide array of local favorites.
This plate is pap, a common maize dish in South Africa. In my old life, this would have been a favorite of mine. Now, I had to pass. But, the vegetables on the right become a favorite. The yellow item in the pan is pattipan squash, an item I can have.
This pork dish was made with pineapple.  Danie had left a portion held aside for me without the fruit.
This Greek salad was right up my alley, also a local favorite found in restaurants.

This special Valentine’s Day braai had been postponed by a day due to rain. The eight of us, a small group for this special occasion, were immediately offered beverages, alcoholic and non, easily finding ourselves at ease in this seeming vulnerable location in Kruger National Park, with no fences, with wild animals all around us.

This is a pan of skewered Moroccan chicken. I told Tom, “Get used to it, Honey. You’ll be eating plenty of that soon enough!” It was delicious.
My plate, filled with the above items that I could have, all wonderfully seasoned and prepared.

This has been our third bush braai since arriving in Marloth Park. The first time, I must admit, I was tentative, looking under our table every few minutes for scorpions or snakes and glancing around the lighted perimeter for lions or hippos which we could hear at a distance. But, these next two occasions, I rarely looked down, feeling safe and protected by our conscientious hosts and their staff.

Tom didn’t hesitate to partake of his dessert plate.

Whenever we heard a sound, we all stopped talking as our guards went into action to investigate further. His rifle-armed and ready with ample bullets on his belt, we had little to fear. “Lucky,” our guard was a military guy. He knew what he was doing.

This shot was taken while seated at our table. We felt fortunate to see the breathtaking sunset and rising moon all in one night.

Soon we were seated at our beautifully set tables with comfortable chairs, linen napkins, fine china, silverware, and glassware, it could only be construed as elegant dining in a rather unusual place, for most of us anyway.

Tiffany and John, the darling couple we thoroughly enjoyed on the game drive and at our table during the bush braai.

At our table was the lovely couple from Australia with whom we chatted on endlessly only stopping long enough to savor course after course of delectable delights presented by our hosts. The special dietary needs of both Tiffany and I were honored with great reverence and creativity. Tiffany is a vegetarian and me, well, you know the drill. Not a morsel was presented that didn’t comply with our needs.

What a fabulous group of people.  Four of us were tourists and the remaining are residents of the area.

A bottle of champagne in a silver ice bucket sat unattended on our table. We commented that we hoped that later Louise and Danie would enjoy it in celebration of yet another fine job of entertaining guests in the bush, one of their many specialties. 

Tom took these beautiful sunset photos using the small pink Samsung camera.  The lens was dirty from smudges on the interior of the lens resulting from humidity in Kenya, as is the same problem with my Sony.

After a delicious dinner and dessert (I didn’t  have dessert but didn’t mind at all), a bouquet of red roses and a box of chocolates were presented to the ladies with little liqueur bottles presented to the men, an elegant touch to end a fabulous Valentine’s evening, a special bush braai, a night to remember.

Another similar shot from the Samsung camera. Before my computer crashed, I had an app capable of removing the spots. Now it is gone. Soon we’ll purchase a new camera.

The people were astoundingly fun and playful and  Louise and Danie shared in our merriment. We couldn’t thank them enough for this evening and all they have done for us since the day we arrived.

At different points the group was singing, laughter filling the air. Group photo-taking ensued and when it was time to go, we all hugged one another, none of us want to say goodbye.

An evening to remember in every way added to the surprising number of extraordinary experiences we’ve had in South Africa.  It’s hard to believe that in 11 days, we’ll fly to Morocco. This, dear readers will be a hard act to follow.

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