|There he was, looking at us through the glass and wood sliding door in the master bedroom at Khaya Umdani. What a sight!|
One might think that sitting on a veranda, most days in the heat and humidity would become dull and meaningless. Tom said that in a funny way it’s almost like fishing. The constant anticipation is worth every quiet moment. The joy of discovery makes it all worth it.
|He stepped back as we opened the door after the noise from the door opening.|
After a week at Khaya Umdani, we made the foolish assessment that perhaps the only visitors here would be warthogs, an occasional impala from afar, an elusive duiker in the dense bush,, or Vervet Monkeys, none of which were ever a disappointment.
|He inched closer as Tom dashed to get the cup of pellets while I was taking the photos while practically squealing with delight.|
Yesterday, Danie stopped by and straightened out our thinking, saying that patience prevails and “they” would come, “they” being the larger animals. Of course, Danie knows better than we do. So, we reframed our thinking and retained our hope.
|Moments later, Tom returned with the pellets while Mr. Kudu patiently waited. When we realized the female kudus were in the garden, we quietly moved back outside to gasp at the amazing sight of an additional nine female kudus munching in the yard.|
Alas, yesterday afternoon when we wandered indoors to shower and dress for dinner at Ngwenya, we were enthralled by the above sight of Mr. Kudu at the sliding door to the bedroom. From there it was an hour of pure pleasure as Tom scrambled to get the pellets and I snapped away. The shower would have to wait.
|The female kudus were scattered about the yard with a few Warthog families hanging around as well, hoping a tasty morsel would come their way.|
Last night out to dinner with Okee Dokee joining us as our guest (we adore her), we mutually agreed upon a fact that holds so much truth: Being in the presence of animals, wild and not so wild, makes one feel peaceful and happy, a feeling often lasting hours later.
|Female kudus don’t have antlers. Their big pink ears add to their beauty.|
Take us, already happy travelers, and place wildlife in front of us and we become wildly happy with smiles on our faces that we can’t erase for hours. It’s no wonder that medical science has proven that animal interactions may be instrumental in helping patients heal from ill-health. Click here for one of many medical studies supporting this concept.
|Ms. Kudu getting ready to munch on a tree. So pretty.|
It wouldn’t be surprising if scientists studied residents of Marloth Park to discover that they lived longer and healthier lives with constant exposure to wildlife. It’s no wonder, I have angst about leaving, three weeks from today. I’m hooked on a feeling!
|Graceful, gentle, and quiet.|
What we felt when we saw this Mr. Kudu at the bedroom door and moments later his entourage of nine gorgeous females can only compare to the joy we felt when 12 giraffes stood in the driveway of the little house, almost two months ago. And then, more and more such sightings! The high continues on each day.
|This baby kudu was still a little unsure on her feet. Most likely she was born in the past 60 days. Moms keep babes out of sight for several weeks after giving birth to protect them from potential predators.|
Add the pleasure of our time at Khaya Umdani, the laughter from the warthog families that visit each day, and this, in itself has been a blissful experience. On Sunday morning, we’ll move out to make way for an upcoming prior reservation.
|The handsome male explored this side of the pool…|
Do we go back to the little house or do Louise and Danie have something new up their sleeves planned for us? Soon, we shall see. And of course, we’ll promptly share the details with all of you.
|Then, he wandered over to the opposite side of the pool, all the while making eye contact with us. He was the only male in the group, commanding reverence from the females and the Warthogs. Ha!|
With newly made local friends returning to Marloth Park today and more a week later, we look forward to our social life firing up once again.
|Another baby caught our eye. Mom was always nearby, keeping a watchful eye. It was time for us to go. It was hard to leave them, but they had begun to wander away for the next lush vegetation in the area. When we returned after dinner in the dark, we saw the herd in a nearby yard.|
Plus, we want to say thank you to all of our readers for staying with us on our journey, soon to make a 180-degree switch from wildlife to culture. In a mere 21 days, we’ll be leaving South Africa to travel to Morocco, where we’ll live in the colorful hustle and bustle city of Marrakesh for 75 days, where we won’t be cooking any of our own meals. Wow! That should be interesting.