Stunning wildlife from five years ago today…Another entertaining dinner in the bush..

Five years ago today, a Big Daddy came to call at the Hornbill house.  

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

The family of nine warthogs stopped by almost every day.  The other mom and one more baby were off to the side when taking this photo.  The babies love looking at us almost as much as the moms.  Each time they arrived, we take a head count ensuring all nine are still there.

Five years ago on December 30, 2013, we posted all of the photos included here today.  The story we wrote, which may be found here, revolved around some of the hardships one may experience living in the bush while reveling in the extraordinary experience of living among wild animals.

In reviewing this old post we realized how much we’ve changed over the years and how much more tolerant we’ve become, not only in Marloth Park but throughout the world as we continue in our travels.
I took this up close male kudu photo while standing behind the railing of the veranda at Hornbill.

We never give gecko poop a single thought; we now love the rain (for the sake of the wildlife’s source of nutrition); we don’t mind cloudy days based on the prospect of rain; the insects don’t bother us so much anymore; we pay no attention to the bumpy roads other than to navigate them without damaging the rental car; and, we’ve learned enough about the wildlife and precautions we must take to ensure ours and their safety.

However, we still experience frustration over power outages especially during periods of extreme heat.  That situation results in losing sleep and feeling awful during the heat wave.

This is the mineral lick we’d purchased at the time for visitors that was recommended by the Rangers as an excellent adjunct to the visitor’s natural diet of greenery.  The kudus were the only visitors that seemed to like it.  The others sniffed and walked away.  We’d hoped this would attract wildebeests, which at that time had yet to come to the garden, only running through on one occasion.

Today, the third comfortable day in a row, the temps are staying well below the previous 40C, (104F) and higher and the cooling breeze provides a considerable amount of comfort.  The expected high for today is 35C, (95F) which we can handle easily without using aircon until bedtime.

Speaking of aircon, Louise texted me this morning to ask if it was working.  She’d contacted the aircon repair guy, Louis, but wasn’t certain if he’d been here or not.  Much to our surprise, it worked when we tried it.  Whether it reset on its own or Louis fixed it, we don’t know at the moment.  At least it’s working as long as we have power.  We’ll see how that goes as it heats up again.

This same warthog from five years ago may still be in the park.  Warthogs have a lifespan of up to 15 years.

So far today, we’ve had a few more visitors than we’ve seen in the past 10 days, making us think that perhaps some of the holidaymaker crowd may be thinning out.  So far, we’ve had two bushbucks, nine kudus and two warthogs, one of which was “Little” of course, all of whom we fed with enthusiasm.

Last night, while driving on Oliphant, the paved road, while returning from another excellent dinner for nine of us at Jabula Lodge & Restaurant, Rita and Gerhard turned on their flashers to alert us to something on the road, a magnificent highly venomous puff adder snake, as shown in our photo below from when we attended “snake school.”
Puff adders are commonly seen in Marloth Park. This photo was taken while we were at snake school in March.  Click here for the link.

We’d love to have been able to take a photo but it moved so quickly there was no time to turn on the camera and get the shot from the car.  None the less, we were quite excited as we’re sure Rita and Gerhard were as well.

As for the evening at Jabula Lodge & Restaurant, it couldn’t have been more enjoyable.  Three of Don’s cousins; Lorraine, Mike, and Hugh, joined the six of us (Kathy, Don, Rita, Gerhard and Tom and I) and the conversation was outstanding.  

The nine of us were seated at a long table on the veranda, the same table where we’d had my 70th birthday party last February 20th.  It’s hard to believe that was so long ago; 313 days or 10 months and 10 days ago.

Hanging out upstairs in the loft with aircon from a much-needed break from the awful heat, we took kudu photos from the second-floor veranda as he looked up at us. “How about some pellets?” he asked. Kudus can weigh as much as 317.5 kg, (700 pounds) or more.

Now as we look to the future, we’re equally surprised by the fact that we’ll be leaving Marloth Park in a mere 46 days.  How the time has flown!  And now, with only about one week until the park crowds thin out, we’re looking forward to the immediate future and the return of our wildlife friends.

May your day be filled with sunshine!


Photo from one year ago today, December 30, 2017:

Tom’s burger with ham, eggs, cheese and beef with fried potatoes on this date, one year ago.  For more photos of Palermo, Buenos Aires, please click here.

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