It’s great to have our human, and animal friends back in the bush…

Kudus stopped by for pellets at sundowner time.

Who’s in the garden this morning?

  • 1 wildebeest
  • 16 warthogs
  • 17 helmeted guinea-fowl
  • 12 bushbuck
  • 2  kudus
  • 1  duiker
  • Frank & The Misses (francolins)
      A hornbill was pecking at the seed container while on the veranda side railing.

A few minutes ago, there were eight bushbucks in the garden. Unfortunately, Mom & Babies (2), the only warthogs that annoy us, heard Tom toss pellets, and they chased all the bushbucks away. This particular mom has a nasty personality, and she scares off Tiny and Little and other warthogs, large and small, when they see her.

The pecking order is easily evident in the bush. Bushbucks, gentle and non-combative antelopes, compete for pellets with the larger animals. At times, kudus and impalas will share with bushbucks but not wildebeest and warthogs. We’re always trying to figure out ways to feed the bushbucks without problems from the other animals.

Two young hornbills on the ground by the veranda.

Some locals use a raised trough to feed the various animals, to avoid the pigs from scaring them off. But, as mentioned in past posts, using a trough is dangerous for the animals, a breeding group of diseases, including tuberculosis, which seems less prevalent in the bush right now than when we were here in 2018.

With the busy weekend over and tourists leaving the park, we’re seeing many more animals this morning. It’s a great start to the week. Speaking of “great starts to the week,” our dear friends Rita and Gerhard arrived as planned yesterday, and the four of us met at 5:00 pm, 1700 hrs, at Jabula for dinner. It couldn’t have been more fun to see them. The conversation ran smoothly as if we had been together recently.

A hornbill at the bushbaby house.

In the coming months, our dear friends Kathy and Don will also return after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. It has been over two years since they left Marloth Park earlier than planned to return to the US when a close friend had passed away. We were so used to socializing with them, it was sad to see them go away, but we understood. Having them here, maybe for the next few months, is such a joy.de

As the winter progresses here (the opposite season in the northern hemisphere), more and more of our mutual friends, most of whom we met through Kathy and Don, will also return to the park, providing that new lockdown measures don’t impact flights coming to South Africa.

Walter, William, and Willard in the garden.

The news reports the third wave of Covid-19, which could easily impact travel to and from the country. Of course, we do not wish for more Covid in South Africa, with very few vaccinations yet. Of course, we don’t want to see more cases of COVID-19 in South Africa, with very few having ever been vaccinated. We can only wait and see.

Last night, we all enjoyed our dinners, with lively conversation. We had been in contact through WhatsApp for a few years, so it was as if we hadn’t been separated at all. Rita and I have a special sister-like kinship, and we couldn’t have been happier to be together once again. Of course, Tom and Gerhard had no lulls in the conversation either when the four of us sat at the bar before dinner.

Other locals joined in on some of our conversations, making the evening all the more memorable. We are so blessed and grateful to be in Marloth Park among our human and animal friends. No complaints here.

Have a fantastic Monday!

Photo from one year ago today, May 17, 2021:

A Belted Galloway cow. From this site: “Belted Galloway cattle originated from western Scotland, a region whose weather is strikingly similar to Ireland’s damp climate! This makes Belted Galloways perfectly suitable for the wet, cold winters and the soft boggy terrain of Irish farms. Their long, curly outer coat is ideal for rainy weather, as its coarseness deflects moisture from the animal’s skin. They also have a soft undercoat to keep them warm in colder temperatures. The head of the Belted Galloway has long hair around its ears, preventing frostbite in a case of an extreme Irish freeze. Common nicknames for these cattle are ‘Belties’ or even ‘Oreo Cows’ due to their peculiar resemblance to the popular treat!” For more photos from the year-ago post, please click here.

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