Beautiful morning in the bush…Off to the village…

An impala on a hill on a beautiful day.

Who’s in the garden this morning?

  • 4 wildebeest
  • 6 warthogs
  • 2 bushbuck
  • 6 kudus
  • 19 helmeted guinea-fowls
  • Frank and The Misses

This morning, we decided to start today’s post before shopping in Lebombo and Komatipoort. We decided to go to Lebombo, where we can buy carrots, cabbages, and apples for wildlife at great prices, compared to the Spar supermarket in Komati.

The bush becomes thinner every day. The vegetation the animals usually eat is sparse and brown, getting more before our eyes. It is no wonder we have so many animals in our garden because of our enthusiasm and willingness to provide pellets all day long. Adding these vegetables to their diet won’t cost more than pellets but provides them with some tasty, healthy variety.

These two wildebeests visit often. The one on the left is CF, for Crooked Face, and his loyal friend is Hal.

Many of the wild animals dig for roots, including bushbucks and warthogs. Offering some root vegetables and others can only be good for them. I will gladly take the time to cut them into bite-sized pieces to ensure none of the smaller wildlife doesn’t choke on the oversized chunks the wildebeest and kudus can easily manage.

Yesterday, Rita and Gerhard drove to Nelspruit to do more comprehensive errands for items not found locally or at Komatipoort. We’ve often thought of doing that but so dislike the three-hour round trip. We have learned to live with what we can find in Komati.

In this photo, it’s easier to see his crooked face, which could have been an anomaly at birth or an injury at a younger age.

They were on a mission to find folding chairs the four of us could use to sit by the Crocodile River during sundowners-time on a mission to see wildlife on the river before sunset. Fortunately, they found great chairs for all of us at the cost of only ZAR 988, US $70.23 for two chairs each. Rita had sent pictures of the different chair options, but I suggested that they move forward and choose for themselves and us.

Tomorrow, we’ll post photos of the chairs and from our time this afternoon while at the river, hoping to see some wildlife in Kruger National Park. Sometimes we have “safari luck,” and sometimes we don’t. It’s more about enjoying the outdoors, watching the sunset on the river, and enjoying idle conversation with our friends.

The joy of having Little visit almost every day is indescribable, especially after he found us here nearly two years later, even at a different house. He swoons when I talk to him.

So now, at 1:00 pm, back after shopping, I’m hurrying to get done here in time to work on the corrections I had planned for today. Once back at our bush house, before even putting our groceries away, we saw Frank and The Misses standing at the screened door to the veranda, looking for their seeds. Lunch had long passed.

Hurriedly, I refilled the little container with seeds and the second container with fresh water so they could have their lunch and beverage to wash down the seeds. We always laugh when we see them. What a joy to behold two or three times a day when they come to call.

Almost every time they visit, once done with pellets, they head to the driveway in front of the house and take a rest, often for several hours.

We need to watch them eat because we are not able to leave the seeds outside unattended. Invariably, the warthogs will come up onto the veranda and finish their seeds. We’ve worked hard to teach pigs not to eat the seeds, and most of them have, but some stubborn pigs won’t leave the seeds alone. They get plenty of pellets and don’t need seeds to supplement their diet.

While we were out this morning, we drove to Lebombo as planned and purchased a huge bag of carrots, a few bags of apples, and two massive heads of cabbage for the animals. In addition, we bought two 40 kg, 88 pounds, bags of pellets to supplement our current supply, which was down to 1½ bags.

Checking to see if we’re on the veranda, offering pellets. If not, he’ll come back later.

Then, upon the recommendation of our friend and Honorary Ranger, Patty Pan, we purchased a giant roll of “baloney,” which is a meat concoction that the mongoose and late-night visitors will enjoy. The mongoose, cats, and other nocturnal visitors are carnivores, consuming only meat, and some are omnivores, consuming meat and some vegetation. The majority of the animals in Marloth Park are herbivores, only eating vegetation.

When we returned from shopping, Frank and The Misses were waiting at the veranda’s screen door, making lots of noise. It was lunchtime, and they were hungry and thirsty! They usually stop by three times a day.

OK, folks, I’m on to my next job of the day, once I upload this post, of getting back to work on those dreaded corrections. In a week, I will be halfway through, having worked on the older posts first.

Then, in a few hours, we’re off to the river to meet Rita and Gerhard for sundowners, excellent conversation, and, no doubt, stunning views. Have a safe and healthy day!

Photos from one year ago today, May 20, 2020:

Albert, our guide in Chobe National Park and on the Chobe River, had pulled the safari vehicle close to the river to take photos of the elephants easily. For more photos, please click here.

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