Immigration appointment day…Lunch at the country club and golf course, overlooking the Crocodile River, of course….Superb hippo sightings…

Last night’s full moon.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

When we headed out to the immigration office in Nelspruit early this morning, we saw our favorite bushbuck with her tiny offspring. She’d kept her baby tucked away for a few months to keep her safe and finally brought her around to visit. No wonder she’s been coming to call several times each day over these past few months. She’s nursing and needs nourishment.

We’d been anticipating the return appointment to the immigration office in Nelspruit for the past six weeks.  When we’d delivered our massive number of documents on September 6th, we’d been turned away and told to return on October 24th. We were too early to apply for the extension, as we’d advised by an immigration consultant. 

View from the veranda at Kambaku Komatipoort Golf Club.

We have to make the long drive back to Nelspruit from Marloth Park (103 km, 64 miles), plus the idea of possibly waiting in chairs for hours left us with somewhat of a sense of dread.

View upstream of Crocodile River.

Today at 6:30 am, we were on our way on a beautiful sunny day, hopeful for a good outcome and determined to maintain a positive attitude regardless of any inkling we may receive as to our potential approval or denial to stay in South Africa until February 20th on which our flight to Kenya is booked and paid.

Lush vegetation and birds.

It’s risky. They require us to have purchased final departure airline tickets, which are non-refundable should the extension not be approved. If we’re rejected, we’re out the money for the tickets at the cost of ZAR 16,242 (US $1132) plus the thousands of dollars of expenses we’ll incur to leave the country.

Ducks on the river.

Well, there’s so much more to it if we’re refused, but we won’t get into that again today. We were told to check the website in about three weeks to see when our next appointment is scheduled. Now, the waiting game begins.

A bloat of hippos on the bank of the river.

Back at the house by 10:30, much earlier than expected, Tom and Lois were relaxed on the veranda, enjoying the few visitors that came to call. Today for an unknown reason, is a surprisingly quiet day in the bush.

We couldn’t get over how relaxed they were in the sun. Hippos have very delicate hides subject to sunburn, which attributes to their need to stay submerged in the water.

Yesterday, we decided to have lunch at the Kambaku Komtipoort Golf Club situated on the Crocodile River in Komatipoort. With an entirely different perspective of the river from this location, we were able to take many of today’s photos, particularly enthralled with the bloat of hippos as shown.

The river continues to provide a wealth of sightings, day after day, always presenting unique and exciting sightings we never tire of. As soon as I upload this post, the four of us will take off in the little car to see what today’s river views have to offer.

Two hippos were resting away from the remainder of the bloat.

Tonight, we’ll dine in for the second evening in a row having homemade burgers and chips (fries). I hadn’t cooked homemade fries in over seven years since I began this way of eating.  

Peaceful river environment.

Of course, I won’t be eating any of them, but Tom undoubtedly is enjoying this rare treat. Instead, I’ll have lettuce wrapped burger with tomato, sauteed onions, and mushrooms with homemade sugar-free ketchup while Tom adds bacon to his burger (without the bun).

Vegetation on the shore of the opposite side of the river from our vantage point.

We’ve been eating more than usual with our friends here but will quickly readjust after they leave in eight days.  After all, they are on holiday/vacation, and food often becomes an essential part of the experience for travelers.  

We’ve been dining out three or more times each week since their arrival, having had great meals at all but two local establishments. As a result, we’re doing several repeats of their (and our) favorites.

When the rains come, this area will be covered in water.

We promise to do the same! Have a fantastic day and evening! Everyone’s anxious to get going, so I’m wrapping this up now.

Photo from one year ago today, October 24, 2017:

Insulators for telegraph of electric wires at the Railway Museum in Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

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