Elephant Day!…Never cease to amaze us!….

This may have been the huge matriarch.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

This zebra posed for a photo between the fronds of a plant on the veranda.

Driving through Marloth Park is almost as exciting as driving through Kruger National Park. Knowing we can drive less than 10 minutes on the bumpy dirt roads, which if on smooth surfaces would take only a few minutes, inspires us to venture out as often as possible.

We’re seldom disappointed. With sheer determination and patience, we have the opportunity to see a side of the river that visitors to Kruger can’t access from the roads, a bird’s eye view of what transpires on the wildlife-rich Crocodile River.
As usual, we were quite a distance from them, doing our best to get decent photos.
I can’t begin to describe the bumpiness of the roads in Marloth Park. It’s almost as if you’re on the ride at a carnival called the “tilt-a-whirl,” except it’s even more of a wild ride with all the ruts, potholes, hills, and ridges, like none other we’ve seen anywhere.
The attention and care adult elephants provide for their young, and each other is breathtaking.
Thank goodness my spine doesn’t cause pain anymore after changing my diet seven years ago this month. Otherwise, the ride would be unbearable for a person with back pain of any type. The degree of bouncing in a little car would be a disaster.
Using the tripometer, we’ve found we don’t travel more than 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) during a two-hour drive. But, what we witness most days during this two-hour stint is satisfying and breathtaking.  
The parade of elephants spending time in the Crocodile River, as seen through the fence between Marloth and Kruger Parks.
By including a day in Kruger once a week plus relishing in the wildlife we see in our garden, we certainly get end up with an exciting wildlife experience in one way or another each day.
A youngster is rarely allowed to wander off without adult supervision.
Last night, on the veranda, with the weekend holidaymakers diminishing on a Sunday as usual, the animals began to return to the garden after a very sparse weekend. At most, a few warthogs and bushbucks came to call on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
We often wonder where they go when the tourists fill the park. Do they head to the surrounding parklands out of sight and the sounds of all the noisy tourists? I don’t think so. Tom seems to think the tourists are feeding them so not-so-healthy foods that keep them hanging around with them instead of us.
Four youngsters with a babysitter!
Oh, no doubt some tourists feed the wildlife “bad-for-them” foods such as chips, leftover bread, sweets, and other items. But I’m convinced they aren’t around when we don’t see them wandering around the park on holiday weekends.
It’s impossible to avoid a view of the fence in some of the photos.
Instead, on weekends, we find considerable numbers of wildlife at the Crocodile River who aren’t influenced by holidaymakers’ presence in the wild areas of Kruger National Park.
Not only is discovering wildlife while on the drive special in each case, but we also enjoy the idle chatter between the two of us and even the quiet periods when we’re both lost in looking through the lens of the binoculars (Tom) and the camera for me.
We’ve zoomed in between the narrow fence wires for most of these photos.
We both rely upon our instincts as to which path to take, especially when one of us senses we’ll have safari luck by taking a certain road or trail. Sometimes, we’re right, and other times, we’re not, but the harmony in which we make these simple decisions is part of the joy of the experiences.
Today, we’re staying in, catching up on more research for future travels. In 10 days, we leave for our “visa stamp” trip back to Zambia and Botswana for yet another week.  
The interaction between the adults and calves is both loving and educational.
Having had the experience almost three months ago and knowing what to expect puts our minds at ease, and we’re looking forward to going back to Chobe National Park for more adventures.
We’ll be back with more tomorrow. Thanks, dear readers, for taking the journey along with us!
Photo from one year ago today, August 6, 2017:
Before sunrise, we captured this cloudy scene over Atenas, Costa Rica. For more photos, please click here.

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