On the road again…

Female kudu resting in our garden.

Note; Due to the time required to add photos to our post. We’ll be back tomorrow with more.

We’re not “on the move” again, but we are “on the road again” as we make our way to Nelspruit today to return the rental car, pick up another vehicle and do some shopping in the “big” (more significant) city. With Nelspruit’s population of over 110,000, it’s undoubtedly the most large city near us, approximately 75 minutes from Marloth Park.

I still experience a little angst going to Nelspruit since it’s the small town where I had open-heart surgery 26 months ago. Although it is also where the tiny airport is located, we’ve been many times over the past eight years since we began visiting Marloth Park in 2013.

At the moment, as I hurriedly write here (we’re leaving in an hour), Tom is at the car wash at the Marlothi Shopping Center, getting the rental car a thorough cleaning. I am seated at the big table on the veranda with three warthogs in the garden; Fred and Ethel, and surprisingly, Little, not Tiny, who seldom visits with so many other pigs as permanent fixtures here in the garden.

Little never liked the competition of other warthogs around him and can make quite a fuss. On the other hand, Tiny is gentle and relatively tolerant of sharing pellets with the other regulars. We’re often in awe of the unique personality traits and demeanor of the various wildlife that visit us frequently. It’s easy for us to detect who is who when we spend most days observing their behavior.

Not only does each animal have its physical characteristics, but its unique behavior also alerts us to those we see frequently, even when there are ten or more animals in the garden simultaneously. Frank and The Misses, three couples, easily determine which of the trio is eating the seeds. The main Frank is a messy eater, and the seeds fly everywhere when he stops to eat and drink several times a day.

All of the females are shy, and if I stand, they run off for a moment to return once I sit back down. But, the main Frank, who must be the dominant male in this territory of our garden, never moves when I put down the seeds and the little container of water which most of them drink from. Also, he will stand right next to me when the others are shy and prefer to stay back at least a meter from where I’m seated on the veranda.

We thought the Francolins would drink from the birdbath, and yet it has never happened when we’re outdoors. They either drink from the short-sided container I put on the ground with fresh water daily or sip from the outdoor drainage hose from the air conditioner in our bedroom, getting only a few drops a day. The main Frank loves the little cup of water and the other cup of seeds, chirping happily when he drinks and eats.

When the seed or water containers are empty, he makes his loud squawk while standing at the screen door to the veranda to alert us more is needed. This occurs frequently. It’s not unusual for us to see him standing at the screen door when we get up in the morning or at other times when we’re busy indoors.

Yesterday afternoon, while we were in the bedroom for a short rest, my favorite kudu, Bossy, came up to the bedroom window peering inside, wondering why we weren’t outdoors offering pellets. Of course, we jumped up to comply. We laugh so hard over all of these scenarios. Tom says they have us trained. So true.

Well, it’s time for me to wrap this up. We’ll be back tomorrow with more, including details of our little road trip to Nelspruit, and we probably won’t be returning late afternoon, and I am seldom motivated to do a post close to dinner time.

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, April 12, 2020:

This morning, this adorable Easter display was at our regular table at the hotel in Mumbai. A short time later, the restaurant closed. For more photos, please click here.

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