Plunge, twist and release…To vaccinate or not to vaccinate…A visit to a local river view restaurant…

Yesterday afternoon, the view from the restaurant, aptly named, Amazing River View located in Marloth Park.  They appear to have good food at decent prices along with free WiFi.  Guess we’ll be heading that way again one day or evening soon.
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
Beautiful sunset two evenings ago on our return drive from Komatipoort.

It was on March 28, 2012, that I started a series of many vaccinations as we prepared to travel the world.  The first dose I received is documented here on that long ago date.  Tom started his injections a few months later, work schedule permitting.

Many travelers come to Africa only receiving the required-for-entry Yellow Fever vaccine, preferring to take their chances on many other potentially communicable diseases. 

While seated at Amazing River View restaurant, we zoomed in for a few croc photos while they basked in the warm afternoon sun.

Many residents we’ve asked from South Africa, USA and other parts of the world, have stated they do not get any vaccines or take any malarial prophylactics.  None seem to have contracted any major disease during their time in South Africa.

We took a course of Malarone over the past few weeks (which goes by many different names in many countries) in preparation for our trip to Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. The final, one pill a day course ends today. 

Cattle egrets love to hang around with large mammals, eating their scrap and insects.

At that point, we’ll be winging it for malaria instead diligently applying repellent with DEET three times a day on all exposed skin. I know, many people object to the use of DEET and suggest we try many other non-chemical repellents.  Unfortunately, after trying many “natural” repellents, we still got mosquitos bites.

Are mosquitoes rampant here in Marloth Park?  Not so much.  Having been here since February which was still summer when we arrived, (summer ends on March 21st in this part of the world), the mozzies weren’t too bad. 

This croc was lounging in the tall grass along the river.

Wearing repellent day and night and by using a variety of candle-lit insect repellents near our feet at night, we seldom are bitten.  Overall in the three and a half months, we’ve been here, I’ve received no more than a dozen bites.  Zero bites would be ideal but not necessarily do-able in this type of climate.

Once we arrived in Africa we knew it was time for booster vaccinations although many, such as Yellow Fever, are only needed once every 10 years or according to Dr. Theo Stonkhorst, is good for life. On Thursday, we headed to Dr. Theo’s office for our vaccinations. 

Serene view from the restaurant often includes wildlife sightings.

When I asked Dr. Theo if any of the vaccines contained the preservative Thimerosol to which I have an allergy, he read the accompanying literature but didn’t feel comfortable giving me the vaccines until he verified the ingredients with the drug company that Thimerosol wasn’t included in any of the shots I needed. 

He checked on Friday, leaving me a text message suggesting I return on Monday for my shots when he discovered none of the vaccines contained Thimerosol.

We could hear hippos from this location but they were hidden behind the vegetation.

We’ve decided not to list which vaccines we received other than the typhoid booster.  We feel that decision if best left to your doctor and/or travel clinic.  Age, potential exposure, the location of travels and health conditions play a role in determining which vaccines, if any, other than the required Yellow Fever are appropriate for you.

Tom went ahead and had his vaccines on Thursday. We left the doctor’s office waiting to determine my fate based on the Thimerosol allergy and if, in fact, it is a preservative used in the vaccines. As it turned out, it was not. On Monday at noon, we’ll return to Dr. Theo’s office when I’ll have the balance of my injections.

This fast moving bird made it difficult to get a good photo.  Thanks to our friend Louise in Kauai Hawaii for identifying this bird as an African jacana.

Tom had two injections (each containing a few different vaccines), one in each arm, with no ill effects.  Much to our shock, the bill for the office visit and the vaccines was only ZAR 1700 (US $136.01).  In the US, this cost could have been eight or nine times this amount.

A tiny island of blooming vegetation in the Crocodile River.

As mentioned in several of today’s captions, yesterday we had a great afternoon visiting the restaurant referred to as “Amazing River View” aka Serene Oasis, located on the Crocodile River only five minutes away. 

An Egyptian goose standing on a mossy rock in the river.

We’d intended to do our usual drive in Marloth Park, on which we embark every other day. But, when we drove into the beautiful park where the restaurant is located, looking for a working ATM (both machines at the two shopping centers were “out of service,” most likely out of cash on a Friday) and we saw the restaurant had an ATM, we decided to get cash and enjoy a beverage while overlooking the river.

Once we entered Marloth Park, we spotted a few giraffes close to the paved road.

It was a wise decision.  We had an excellent experience sitting in the outdoor bar where we had perfect views of the river.  By 4:00 pm we were back “home” to finish a few items for our dinner planned for 7:00 pm on the veranda.  It was a great day and evening.

Tonight, Louise, Danie and Louise’s parents are coming for dinner.  We were up early making preparations for the big evening meal, again on the veranda, enjoying the arrival of a wide array of visitors and of course, each other’s company.

Giraffes in the bush shortly before sunset.

To those in the US, have a safe and sound Memorial Day weekend and for everyone elsewhere, you do the same.


Photo from one year ago today, May 26, 2017:

A year ago today, we arrived in Minnesota for a six-week family visit and rented this SUV.  As a former owner of this model, Tom was thrilled with this new Ford Explorer.  We couldn’t believe all the technology in this rental car, more than any we’ve seen throughout the world. As it turned out we rented this car for the full six weeks for only $50 more than a tiny economy car from this site:  For more photos including the hotel where we stayed, please click here.

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