Hot, hot, hot…42C, 108 F…We went to Kruger…Hornbills preparing for mating season…

This is not a birdfeeder.  This is an abandoned bushbaby house that our 12 bushbabies don’t care to use.  These male and female hornbills have recently taken seeds from our birdfeeder and placed them inside the bush baby house.

“Sighting of the Day in The Bush”

These four bushbucks, two moms, and two babies know the drill. Stand at the bottom of our veranda steps, and you’ll get pellets and ice-cold lettuce, celery tops, carrots, and apples. When we returned from Kruger a short time ago, they were waiting there for us. They sure appreciated it today.

Today’s post will be more compact than usual. We just returned from a full day at Kruger National Park and the time available to get it done before our evening ritual on the veranda begins at 1700 hours (5:00 pm) is limited.

We’re assuming they’re preparing this house as a future nesting spot since we see them do this almost daily.  They both come to peer inside to check out their handiwork.
When they’re satisfied with their day’s work, they head back to the birdfeeder for a bit of sustenance for themselves, as shown below.

With temperatures expected in the 42C (108F) range, it made a lot of sense to spend the better part of the day in airconditioned comfort in the little car while driving through Kruger searching for magical moments.

On top of it, the sugar cane burning fires filled the air with so much smoke getting away was a perfect scenario. We began packing our iced teas, camera, batteries, passports, and prefilled-out Kruger entrance document and were on our way in no time at all.

Here’s the mating pair filling up in preparation for the upcoming spring mating season.

It was still earlier enough in the day not to feel the magnitude of the expected temps, but we dressed in shorts and tee shirts, ready for however hot it may eventually reach.  

This young male kudu has a long way to go in his maturity to become a “Big Daddy eventually.”  In the interim, we’re thrilled to provide him with pellets when he stops by.

With a plan to stop at the Mugg & Bean Restaurant in Lower Sabie for breakfast or lunch, we knew we’d be spending our time there, outdoors in the hot weather on their veranda overlooking the Sabie River but didn’t give it a thought. This is Africa. It gets hot here.

And, for those of our readers in other parts of the world, it’s still winter here.  Spring begins in the next few days as fall begins north of the equator. We haven’t forgotten how hot it is here in the summer months.  

His horns (not antlers…they don’t lose these) will eventually make another twist as he matures.

Almost five years ago, we spent three months here during the heat of summer. It was hot and sweaty. We managed, as we’ll work now. In some countries, homes may have full-house airconditioning as we experienced in our old lives.  

Elephants we spotted from the fence in Marloth Park during yesterday’s drive.

In Africa and in many other countries worldwide that cater to tourists, air conditioning is only provided in bedrooms by use of an on-the-wall unit that generally keeps the sleeping quarters comfortable, which is the case here.

Right now, on the veranda, it is exactly as stated above. But, when anywhere else in the house, the heat is felt full-on. Perhaps, by the time we prep the veranda for the evening, the temps will begin to subside. In any case, we won’t be missing a night outdoors due to the heat.  

It’s common to see elephants at the Crocodile River on these hot days.

In our old lives, we’d never had sat outside in such hot weather, preferring to stay cool and comfortable indoors. But, as we always say, “This is Africa,” It’s not like our old lives.

And today, while in Kruger, we’re especially reminded of how unlike our day was compared to any day in times long ago remembered. This is a different life now, not to compare, although it’s irresistible to mention the vast difference at times.

So here’s how the day rolled out. This morning as I was getting ready for the day, we experienced a power outage. With no power for WiFi, we decided today would be a perfect day to head to Kruger.

We can’t wait to share today’s photos in tomorrow’s post. We took so many good photos, and it will take days until we get through the bulk of them we’d like to share here.
Please check back tomorrow for some first-time-sightings (for us) that Kruger bestowed upon us in her magical and mysterious ways.

Have a great evening!  We plan on it!

Photo from one year ago today, September 18, 2017:

At the Atenas Railway Museum in Costa Rica, Juan Ramon was excited to show us this bottle with a marble inside.  For more photos, please click here.

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