Reasonable prices in South Africa…What are we spending here?…All new photos from yesterday’s drive…

The ostrich on the left, who may be the dad, says to the ostrich on the right, which may be his son, “Dad, I appreciate the good advice.”

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Baby elephant walking with mom, holding onto her tail for emotional security.

When we’d made a mistake in the date, we needed to leave South Africa for another visa stamp. This had an impact on our car rental by one day. Yesterday, we called the rental car company using the phone number on the documents to ask for a one-day extension.  

Although not visible in this photo, once again, we spotted the mom, dad, and seven chicks who were scattered in this home’s garden, close to the dad at a distance. Dad watched the chicks while mom stayed on the lookout for predators.
We were quoted only ZAR 225 (US $15.97) for the extra day, and we were pleasantly surprised. When we’d previously inquired about a one or two-day extension on a rental car contract in other countries, in most cases, the daily rate was an additional ZAR 705 (US $50) with little regard to the daily rate we were paying in the contract.  
Once again, we spotted ostriches on Vostruis Road (volstruis means ostrich in Afrikaans) next to this same vehicle where we’d seen them almost five years ago. Click this link here to see the post from December 7, 2013.  Funny, eh?

Although we’d never actually used an extension in this past almost six years, we didn’t hesitate to accept the above rate offered by Hertz (via their booking service Firefly).  

A casual stroll down Volstruis Road on a Saturday afternoon.

We’ve found many costs to be reasonable in South Africa, lower-priced than in many other countries, which were one of the many reasons we decided to spend a year in Marloth Park. We’ve been here six months with six months to go when we’re leaving as of yesterday.

The only area we found to be a little higher than in some countries is the cost of groceries, based on the types of foods we eat, high-quality meats and vegetables. Tom continues to eat some dairy while I gave it up a few months ago. Quality imported cheeses are expensive here.

Recently, we’ve seen elephants at the river every time we’ve gone for a drive as we carefully peruse the long span of the river from Marloth Park.

We’ve been shocked at the low prices on Tom’s brandy at ZAR 120 (US $8.52) per liter and my low-alcohol red wine priced at the grocery store at ZAR 49.99 (US $3.55) per bottle, the going rate for most bottles of wine. A similar wine in the US would easily be ZAR 169 (the US $12).  

This male elephant looks skinny and somewhat unhealthy.  Life is not easy for these majestic beasts when they are off their own, ostracized from the family structure. Male elephants spend their formative years with the herd leaving at around age 13 to 14 when puberty sets in. The male elephant will roam the savanna alone or team up with other males in a loose bachelor herd.

Dining out is inexpensive. We’ve paid the most at any local restaurant, ordering any main dish, drinks, and tips, ZAR 500 (US $35.49). Our dinner bill at Jabula is often around ZAR 450 (US $31.94), with drinks, tips, and taxes included.

This female was surrounded by her parade of perhaps 50 others.

So far, during these first six months, including holiday home rental, car rental, groceries, dining out, trips to Kruger, and miscellaneous shopping, our monthly living expenses are slightly under ZAR 56,340 (US $4,000), considerably less than in other countries.

Even with the requirement of us leaving every three months for visa purposes and the cost of flights, activities, tours, hotel, taxi, food, and tips, it adds an average additional monthly cost of ZAR 14,090 (US $1,000), still leaving us at an average of ZAR 70,450 (US $5,000) per month.

I am at a loss as to the black band around this elephant.  Any ideas out there?

We’ll be posting the actual expenses at the end of our 12-month stay in South Africa.  Daily, we keep track of every expense, making it relatively easy to compile the data to post here.

As I write today’s post, Tom is watching the Minnesota Vikings’ first pre-season football game using NFL Game Pass, which he signed up for yet another year.  

Another lone elephant.

After last year’s excitement when the Vikings made it to the playoffs, finally, after all these years, I’ve developed an interest in watching football. So I’m looking forward to the new season along with Tom.

Currently, he plugged the HDMI cord into the hi-def flat-screen TV, and we’re watching with the clearest picture possible. See, even living halfway around the world we can enjoy some familiar activities enjoyed by others in many parts of the world.

We always swoon when we see the youngsters.

Still, animal visits are at a minimum with construction next door and the added tourist traffic during this holiday weekend. We didn’t have one visitor all day yesterday until last night when Little Wart Face showed up with Mr. Duiker. We were thrilled to see them and promptly tossed large handfuls of pellets.

Today, a tasty Sunday dinner is on the menu and dining outdoors on the veranda, a must. Hopefully, as some tourists head back to their homes today, the traffic will thin out, and more wildlife visitors will arrive.

Yesterday, we heard that the Crocodile Gate to Kruger was closed to anyone that didn’t have a reservation. Only so many cars are allowed into the park at any time if that’s any indication of how busy it is here.

May your day be rich in experience and fulfilling in love.

Photo from one year ago today, August 12, 2017:

Sunset from the veranda in Costa Rica was always stunning. For more photos, please click here.

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