Rita and Gerhard’s friends from the US, Karyn, and Dan, arrived on Sunday after they’d moved into the bigger house on Ratel St., which Danie and Louise own and recently remodeled. Louise has mentioned this house to us many times. They lived in that house for several years, and we’d seen in 2018, before the remodeling, on several occasions.
Once they finished the recent remodeling, Louise suggested we see the house to consider it a possibility for us when we return next December. Somehow time slipped away, and we didn’t get over there until last night when Rita and Gerhard invited us for dinner with Louise and Danie, joining them and their houseguests for steaks on the braai and side dishes. I brought a huge salad, and Tom cooked everyone’s steaks, as usual.
It was fun to meet Karyn and Dan, Americans who’d never been to Africa. Of course, as we sat there enjoying our sundowners amid lively conversation, the animals came to call at an unbelievable pace; we were shocked. Karyn, who’d gone nuts over them, feeding them what she called “kibble,” actually pellets, did so with such enthusiasm we all couldn’t stop laughing and reveling in her sheer joy! Dan was less vocal but couldn’t put down his phone when he was constantly taking videos and photos.
It’s such fun to see a first-time visitor to the bush, like Karyn, become so enthralled with the wildlife that she literally could not sit still for five minutes. We couldn’t stop laughing and encouraging her. Like me, she also uses a high-pitched ‘animal-talk” voice. She reminded me of myself eight years ago when I couldn’t believe what I saw when we first arrived. I eventually settled down in time, but even today, eight years later, I’ve never become tired of seeing them.
Last night was truly a feast, not only with the delicious food but also a “feast-for-the-eyes” when not only did we see an endless stream of kudus, bushbucks, and warthogs but later in the evening, the very elusive steenbok, which is rarely seen in the bush or even in Kruger National Park. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me and could not get good photos with my phone.
However, when we return in December, a mere nine months from now, we will stay in the Ratel house as shown in today’s photos, which Louise sent me this morning. We told her to block it off for us for about six months since we plan to make a visa run after the first 90 days.
It will be fun to stay in a house with a more oversized veranda, enabling us to entertain more easily. The place looks fantastic, and there’s a master ensuite bedroom on the main floor, which we like with another ensuite bedroom upstairs for guests. We’re hoping by then our friends, Karen and Rich, will come to visit and we’d have plenty of room in that house when we don’t have room in the house that we’re in now.
It’s a beautiful thought to know we will move into the Ratel house when we return in December. We’ve certainly enjoyed this house, but mainly for the wildlife in the garden and the seclusion, so far from other bush houses. Although the Ratel house is closer to other properties, none that we can see from the grounds. It appears to have even more wildlife than we have here.
Besides, the open garden will certainly bring giraffes and zebras, which we seldom get here other than in the driveway. The bush is too dense for them to maneuver their way to the garden. But, how will we feel about not returning to be with the animals we know and love now?
We have no doubt thatLittle will find us eventually. Some of the others may also find us there. Surely, we’ll have to come up with new names for many of the wildlife we’ll meet while living there. For now, we are OK with this.
Yesterday, Karyn and Dan shared an exciting story. They saw and heard one of the lions loose in Marloth Park run through the side yard. How exciting was that? Of course, that’s not to say we will see the lions when we move there but, no doubt, we’ll enjoy all the wildlife and this house.
Here are Louise’s recent photos of the house after the remodeling was completed. Tomorrow, we’ll share the exterior photos, including the spacious veranda.
Have a lovely day!
Photo from one year ago today, March 1, 2021: