Bittersweet birthday party last evening at Jabula…Day 3 without water in Marloth Park…Headache update…

An oxpecker working on insects on this giraffe’s hide.

Last night we attended a birthday dinner gathering for our friend Sinndee who recently lost her dear husband, and our friend, Bruce. It’s difficult to extend birthday wishes to a grieving spouse, but the small group of us made the best of it with lots of hugs, compassion, and support.

While at Jabula last night, we were delighted to see our friends Janet and Steve, who’d only arrived back in Marloth Park a few days ago. They bought a lovely couple from the UK with them. We are looking forward to seeing them soon, once they are settled. Then, Lynne and Mick, their close friends from Jersey, will arrive in November.

New friends we made, Les and Jerry, when at the Mugg & Bean in Lower Sabie, a few weeks ago. It was fun to have them visit us before their departure. They live in Alaska.

They’ll all leave before Christmas, and we’ll be gone for about ten days in November, but surely we’ll all have great social times together.

Off and on throughout the evening, we were warmly greeted by people we’ve come to know in Marloth Park, and it filled us with a strong sense of belonging. It was outrageously busy and the love and care highlighted the atmosphere to all by owners Dawn and Leon. We have built a strong friendship with the two of them and always feel so included.

A waterbuck on the shore of the Crocodile River while we were dining at Amazing Kruger View.

Many say that Jabula epitomizes the magic of the “Cheers” bar on the TV series from the 1980s…the place where everyone knows your name. There is nowhere we’ve ever been in the world with the atmosphere of this fine restaurant, bar, and lodge with exceptional food, service, and ambiance.

More lucerne was delivered this morning, and we’ve already had countless animals stop by for a nibble. Some are gluttonous and will stand there and eat for an hour or more, and others will take a few bites and wander away in no time. We love the fresh smell of the lucerne, a large bale of hay, green and moist, and a great source of nutrients for the animals, especially needed right now in this dry period with little rain.

Egyptian geese looking for food on the bank of the Crocodile River.

In months to come, we should see plenty of rain and the greening of the bush, which provides vital food for the animals. When that happens, they will still stop by for pellets since they love the ease with which they can eat, and many enjoy the interaction with humans. Humans often underestimate how adapted certain species can become when interacting with us.

Giraffes in our garden. They return often.

For us, who spend all day observing their behavior, it’s easy to see how much they enjoy being near us. It’s not entirely about food, which many claim is the case. We’ve spent the better part of our days and nights watching them, and it’s evident that they associate being in our midst with a positive emotional and physical experience. How ridiculous for us humans to think all animals only care about is food.

We are always excited to see giraffes stop by.

We never grocery shopped in Komatipoort this week, fearful of food spoiling due to load shedding. However, it appears Eskom has suspended load shedding for the next several days. The only reason we can think of why they stopped load shedding is the upcoming scorching weather tomorrow, predicted to be 107F, 42C, and the potential backlash from the public when there could be 7½ to 8 hours a day without power to run the aircon. This type of heat is dangerous for many without the aircon working due to power outagges.

Norman and his son Noah enjoying this morning’s lucerne delivery.

South Africans are fed up with power outages. And, can you imagine tourists coming to South Africa to see wildlife only to discover there is no power and, like the past three days, no water here in Marloth Park? People spend hard-earned money to afford to get here, only to live without power and water. For four of the next six days, the temps will be over 100F, 38C, the projected hottest tomorrow.

We’re staying in today but decided to return to Jabula again tonight. Eating out a few extra days is ideal with only a little meat on hand. It’s hard to get excited about spending time in the kitchen on such hot weather days.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, October 8, 2021:

Yesterday afternoon, when this warthog stopped by, we were hopeful that it was Tiny. After carefully examining the photo of Tiny shown below, we were sure he was not Tiny. For more photos, please click here.
This is a photo of Tiny we posted on February 21, 2021. The differences between him and the pig we saw yesterday are distinct.  Note the eye bags, the size, and shape of the facial and temple warts, and of course, the size and shape of the tusks. For more photos, please click here.

Comments and responses Bittersweet birthday party last evening at Jabula…Day 3 without water in Marloth Park…Headache update…

  1. Lisa Reply

    Whoops! Your title includes headache update but then you never mention it again, did
    I miss the headache update or did you forget to post it?

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