Lions biting tires in Kruger National Park…Spotting lions near the Crocodile River…A day in the life…

The lions were very far from us and thus, these photos aren’t as clear as we’d have liked.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

This wildebeest wanted in on whatever was is this bowl.  But, when he smelled the eggs, he left the mongoose alone to enjoy their treat. Wildebeests are herbivores dining on vegetation whereas mongoose are carnivores, especially thriving on snakes, rodents, insects and eggs.

This morning Tom forwarded this news story to my email thinking it was definitely of interest to us and hopefully many of our readers. The article in its entirety may be found at this link.

Here is a quote from the article for those of you who prefer not to click links:

“Visitors to the Kruger National Park’s (KNP) are urged to be on the lookout for a pride of ‘tyre-biting’ lions on the prowl.
KNP management said it has received reports of a large pride of lions north of Satara, which are showing abnormal behaviour* around vehicles such as the biting of tyres.* 
Although we’re always excited to see lions from Marloth Park into Kruger, we’re always reminded of the limitations of our lightweight cameras.

Visitors who come across this pride are urged to keep their windows closed. Those traveling in open safari vehicles have been told to remain silent and keep all limbs within the structure of the vehicle

“We would like to appeal to the open safari vehicle operators specifically to be on the lookout as the behaviour of the pride is of concern and might pose danger to occupants,” KNP Managing Executive Glenn Phillips said in a statement.

Tom walking down the steps with the eggs for the mongoose, in a different spot than usual since he didn’t want to disturb the wildebeest in the garden.
Veterinary Wildlife Services will be collaring one of the lions to monitor its movements and will also mark all members of the pride to allow for identification.
According to park management, if this unlikely scenario should happen to you, don’t try and change the tyre yourself. Instead call the park administration to send a breakdown service. If you aren’t within cellphone range, get a passing vehicle to do so once it is in cellphone range.  
(*Many English words are spelled differently in South Africa and other parts of the world).
That could be interesting and certainly an opportunity for quite a story to tell, especially if the people in the vehicles were able to take videos of the occurrence. The above link does include a video for your viewing (not ours).
Coincidentally, yesterday, we saw lions under a little unusual circumstance. Here’s how it transpired: In the morning while on our way to shop in Komatipoort and Lebombo, we decided to stop at friend’s Kathy and Don’s bush house. Don and his brother Keith are there for a week while Kathy has gone to California and then Hawaii where Don will meet her soon.
We were certain this wasn’t Wildebeest Willie, although they all look alike.
We knew Don would be returning for a week and we thought is would be nice to invite him and his brother for dinner.  Kathy had explained that Don isn’t always easy to reach on his cellphone (like us) and stopping by was a better option.
His brother Keith greeted us at the door, inviting us in, explaining that Don was out for a run/walk along the river. Fortunately, Don had his phone with him and answered when Keith called and handed the phone over to us. We chatted momentarily, deciding Sunday night would be ideal for their visit to our bush house and a meal on the braai.
No more than a minute after we hung up, he called right back to let us know there were lions on the banks of the Crocodile River and if we’d drive down the road, we’d see him and he’d drive with us to the location where he spotted them. We were thrilled about this opportunity!
When we tossed pellets a few landed on the edge of the veranda.  This guy didn’t waste any time gobbling them up.
Driving on Seekoei as Don directed, we found him on the side of the road waiting for us. He jumped into the backseat of the little car and we were off further down the road, a kilometer or two.
We parked the car and walked down a narrow dirt wildlife path to the fence separating Marloth Park and Kruger National Park. The lions were far away, hard to see with the naked eye and difficult to pick up through the camera’s viewfinder.
I did my best to to get these few photos we’ve posted today of the lions. There were actually four of them but I couldn’t get the other two in my sight. We hung around the fence for awhile with others equally interested and drove Don home when we were done.
This morning’s visit of four zebras, all males and of course, there’s always a few helmeted guinea fowl.
With our dinner plans set for Sunday at 1730 hours (5:30 pm) we said our goodbyes and headed to Komatipoort to shop. As always Tom dropped me off at the shopping center while he doubled back to Obaro to buy more pellets and then headed to Lebombo for carrots and apples for the wildlife.
A few hours later we were back at the house, unloaded the groceries and supplies. We were hot and thirsty. It had been another brutally hot day with an equally hot dusty breeze. We’re living in the bush.  
Everyday is dusty and each new day brings more dust-covered tabletops, counters, and floors. Each day, Martha, Zef, or Vusi washes the floors. The bottom of our feet are always dirty and we wash them before going to bed.  
The zebras don’t hesitate to stare at us, in hopes we’ll provide some food.  We always do.
If just a dribble of water hits the tile floors and we walk through it, we’ll track muddy footprints across the floor.  Each day we have to clean our laptop screen that end up covered in dust since we spend most of each day and night outdoors.
Soon, as this heat continues and the rains begin, the insects will be rampant. I’m not as freaked out by insects as I was in our old lives. After all, at this point between our visit in 2013/2014 and now, we’ve lived in Africa for almost a year and a half. Mostly, its the upcoming mosquito season that’s most worrisome since we don’t take malaria pills anymore.  
Two to three times a day, we cover ourselves with repellent. DEET is the only repellent that works. We’ve tried all the holistic and “healthy” repellents and none, and I mean none, will keep them from biting me. We use a local brand with less than 35% DEET, the maximum one should use. Its the way it is. Malaria is scarier than DEET.
This friendly fellow hung around for quite some time.
Currently, I’m outside on the veranda. Tom is inside taking a short nap. He didn’t sleep well last night nor did I.  The wind is blowing so hard, I may have to go inside soon. My eyes are burning from the sand billowing around my head.
This is Africa and I wouldn’t change it for anything. All of our friends here are strong and sturdy, resilient and adaptive. They make it work. We have as well. When we’re all together we don’t discuss the sand in our eyes, the dust in our houses, the things we wish we could buy here, the insects, or even the often unbearable heat.
Instead we share the unbelievable sightings, the endless stream of visitors, the gorgeous sunsets and our hopes and dreams for today and into the future. It’s a good life. We’re grateful.
May your life bring you gratefulness.

Photo from one year ago today, September 7, 2017:
Due to a power outage in Atenas, Costa Rica one year ago, there was no post on this date.

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