|This is a Golden Tail Woodpecker which we were thrilled to spot yesterday afternoon.|
Thursday afternoon Louise sent me an email explaining that they had rented the house on short notice and if we went back to the little house for two days, we could return to the African Reunion House.
|Yesterday, this adorable bushbuck hung around the yard for quite a while. Very skittish, we stayed still and quiet in our seats on the veranda, taking these photos from afar.|
Immediately, I started running around picking up our stuff to begin packing. Staying in these two lovely homes, Khaya Umdani and African Reunion House required packing comparable to one going on what may be a two week trip. It was certainly more than an overnight bag.
|The wide furry tail swishing wildly every few minutes to ward off the flies. This yard has tall grass, many trees, and lush vegetation that appeals to the herbivore wildlife.|
We’d hauled along all of our groceries from the refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets. It was quite a load. Fortunately, the packing and unpacking only required an hour at the most, at each location.
|Bushbuck wander alone unless mating or with their young which makes us feel bad for them. But, they seem content munching away on the greenery. Notice the open mouth, caught while he was grabbing leaves.|
Spending a few hours packing and unpacking is insignificant compared to the pleasure we’ve had in these two gorgeous homes. Besides, what else do we have to do other than write here, look for photo ops, buy groceries, cook dinner, and now the African Reunion House, do our own dishes five nights out of seven? (Zeff cleans two times a week at this location as opposed to every day at Khaya Umdani. And, with Jabula closed until the 18th, we’ve been cooking more frequently).
|Finally, he’d had enough of the yard and wander off into new territory. The water in the foreground is the infinity edge of the pool.|
After running around gathering our belongings for the next morning’s move, I took a break from the heat to sit at the table on the veranda to check my laptop. Alas, there was a message from Louise saying the guests had canceled after all. She insisted that we stay. We happily stayed, unpacking everything I’d already packed.
|A family of Helmeted Guinea Fowls (Tom calls them guinea hens) is living in a group of scrubs a short distance from the veranda. Yesterday, an eagle swooped down and must have taken one of their eggs or new chicks which happened so quickly we had no time to grab the camera. Collectively, they made their “kek, kek, kek” sound for no less than 15 minutes.|
In a funny way, we miss the little house, mostly due to the familiar wildlife that visited. Here, at the African Reunion House, we’ve had to make new “friends” to warrant daily visits. Day by day, we’ve noticed the number of visits gradually increasing. Certainly, the animals have learned to visit homes where pellets may be offered.
|This mom has three babies, as evidence by her three utilized nipples. Each baby uses the same nipple each time it suckles. Later, when the mom with four babies arrived, she has four obvious nipples. Warthogs have a total of four nipples, rarely having more than four offspring accordingly. If by a fluke she has a fifth piglet, one may die.|
Each morning and late afternoon, we’ve had two Mrs. Warthogs, one with three piglets and another with four. They stop by with the moms staring at me until I get the cup of pellets. Both moms already responded to my voice. When we see them at a distance, I call them and they come. We laugh every time.
|It was difficult to get close enough to get a better shot of this Black Headed Oriole.|
A few days ago, a giraffe stopped by to check us out and more days ago, a group of four giraffes made a visit on the road in front of the house. Yesterday, a sweet little duiker stopped over photos of which we’ve included today.
Over and over I ask myself how I will stop looking for wildlife in the hustle and bustle city of Marrakesh, Morocco, known for its many cats that wander the narrow streets living off of the rodents and food from the vendors. We’ll travel to the desert where we’ll see Camels. Bird watching can be interesting in both the city and outlying areas.
|The colorful birds are amazing in Africa, including this Red-Headed Weaver.|
With the cancellation of the game drive and bush braai for Valentine’s Day due to rain which has been moved to tonight, last night we were content to dine in, rather than try to get a last-minute reservation in a restaurant. We watched a movie, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” while munching on nuts. It was a fine evening.
For dinner, we had one of our favorites, the Unwich (my version of a copycat from Jimmy John’s sandwich shop, the sandwich we make without the use of bread, wrapping it in lettuce and parchment paper). Here’s the link with instructions and photos for making the breadless sandwich. On a hot, humid evening such as it was, a cold meal was ideal.
Today at 3:45 pm, a game vehicle will pick us up to ride along with other guests to drop us off at the Crocodile Bridge entrance gate to Kruger National Park for a three to four-hour game drive, followed by a delicious and romantic meal thoughtfully hosted and prepared by Louise and Danie.
Tomorrow, we’ll be back with photos of our safari experience, which will be our final into Kruger National Park. As yet, we haven’t seen any lions in South Africa. But, after the daily sightings while on safari in the Maasai Mara last October and the glorious daily sightings of a wide variety of wildlife in Marloth Park, who’s to complain? Certainly, not us!
|A repeated photo was taken in October 2013 in the Masai Mara. The fact that we were able to see many lions at that time has prevented any disappointment from not seeing any in Kruger National Park. Who knows? Maybe “safari luck” will kick in later today!|