Happy New Year’s Eve…Party in the bush tonight…More power outages…No aircon…

May the New Year bring us all together regardless of our spots or stripes…

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Baby and Mom.  What a sight!

Tomorrow, we’ll be posting our “Year in Review” with photos and stories of special times we’ve experienced in this past fantastic year of our world travels. This past year may prove to be our most memorable ever if there is such a thing. Every year has been over the top!

Tonight we’ll be celebrating as we bring in the New Year at Royal Kruger Lodge here in Marloth Park owned by JJ and Flo, a lovely couple we met through Louise and Danie at one of several Frikkee’s Dam braai parties over this past year.  

Adorable giraffe at rest.

Louise and Danie arranged our and Rita and Gerhard’s invitation, and we won’t be surprised to see that we already know many of the attendees from other social events in the park.

As is the tradition in South Africa, we bring our beverages, ice, and at times, a dish to share. I made a low-carb chicken, sausage, mushroom, and cauliflower casserole, which I’ll bake ahead of time and cut into bite-sized squares. It may be served warm or at room temperature.

There were dozens of zebras playfully carrying on in the parkland.

Speaking of temperature, it was another hot night when the power went out for five hours during the night; no aircon, no fan. Somehow, we managed to get some sleep, although we often awoke from sweating profusely.

When the power came back on early this morning, the aircon wouldn’t come back on. Thus, once again, we have no AC. We do not doubt that Louise will arrange for the aircon guy to fix it after the New Year. It’s just impossible to get service over a holiday, and we understand that service people want time off for holidays.

Although at quite a distance, it was delightful to see so many giraffes and zebras together in the open field.

Today’s expected high is 37C (99F) which, although is hot, is not nearly as bad as it was days ago. We can manage this for the next few nights until we get service, hopefully on Wednesday.

With a limited inventory of good photos, we took a chance yesterday and went out for a drive through the park. Our expectations were low. We figured we would see much with fewer animals visiting us over the past two weeks due to holidaymakers infiltrating the park.

At times, it appeared the two species were interacting.

On a few occasions, we embarked on our usual drive, only spotting impalas who are easy to find at any time. Their prolific numbers and sturdiness keep them readily available for viewing on the hottest days and active regardless of tourist traffic.

We took the shorter route, starting at Volstruis Road, where we often find ostriches. As mentioned in earlier posts, Volstruis means “ostrich” in Afrikaans. Ironically, that’s where most of the ostriches in the park seem to hang out.  Go figure.  

Playfully interacting with one another.

At that point, if all we could get were ostrich photos, we wouldn’t complain.  Ostriches are other animals that don’t seem to care if there are tourists in the park or not. They proudly walk about as if they own the place…maybe they do.

Once we approached the intersection of Volstruis Road and Hornbill Street, yep, we saw ostriches as shown in today’s photo. From there, we drove a few a little further to behold a scene unlike any other we’ve ever seen in Marloth Park.  

Zebras and giraffes were sharing the same space in the parklands.

In an open field, part of the parklands, we spotted no less than 17 giraffes with youngsters and at least two dozen zebras, including their recently born offspring.  

It truly was a sight to behold, a menagerie of animals co-mingling in the same space with no concern whatsoever as to one another’s presence. They occupied an area equivalent to a long city block, and we held our breath in the total wonder of what lay before our eyes.

Zebras and giraffes at a distance.

Sure, I wish we’d been able to get better shots, but we were on the road, and they were in the center of a large open field. But that fact didn’t keep us from trying to get a few good shots to show here today and more to share after the New Year, most likely on Wednesday.

As mentioned above, tomorrow, we’ll be back with a “Year in Review” post with some of our favorite photos, including some from Antarctica and Buenos Aires, both of which occurred in 2018.

Ostriches don’t seem to mind what’s going on in the park. They are easily found near Volstruis Road.

May your New Year’s festivities be joyful, festive, and safe, and may the New Year bring you all the riches you so well deserve. Happy New Year to all!

Photo from one year ago today, December 31, 2017:

Tom’s monstrous meal from a great barbecue place in Palermo, Buenos Aries. I ordered the guacamole for my salad and ate all of his sugar-free coleslaw. For more photos, please click here.

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