Last of the photos from our recent trip…Great evening at Jabula, as always…

I zoomed in for a closer look at the spray from Victoria Falls.

When I reviewed the photos from our recent trip that we had yet to post, I decided to post this last batch today. With the drones overhead all week, we had few wildlife visitors in the garden. Now, it’s the weekend, and again the animals stay away when holidaymakers fill the rentals in the park.

Speaking of weekends and holidays, this is Labor Day weekend in the US. We hope all of our family and friends in the US enjoy a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend. In the US, many workers have Monday off, making this long weekend a time for travel, family visits, parties, picnics, and celebrations. Please be safe in all of your activities!

The scene from the veranda at the Royal Livingstone Hotel shows the spray from Victoria Falls, a short distance away.

Of course, we no longer celebrate US holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. With no family around and many friends who spend time in Marloth Park, back in their home countries, due to the heat here during the summer season (the opposite of summer in the northern hemisphere).

With air conditioning only in bedrooms here, daylight hours are often challenging when temps reach over 104F and 40 C. Does one stay inside where it’s usually hot, or sit outdoors in the dust and heat? After spending five summers in Marloth Park, which starts on December 21st. On September 21, spring starts here, but the heat has already begun, if not intermittently.

It’s a little hard to see, but this was an elephant in the trees, munching on leaves while we sat on the veranda at the Royal Livingstone Hotel in Zambia.

Today is another hot day with temps expected to top 93F and 34C, but much to our surprise, at almost 1:00 pm, 1300 hrs., it’s pretty tolerable. We are outside and not uncomfortable at all. Of course, raise the temperature to 40C, and we’ll feel it. But, it always cools down in the evening although air con is usually necessary for sleeping.

Sunset over the Zambezi River from the hotel veranda.

Last night, we were surprised to see the bar at Jabula packed. Every seat at the bar was taken. Luckily, a kindly local offered me his seat while Tom stood next to Lee, who’d arrived, until another barstool opened up a few minutes later. As a result, Tom and I sat apart for a few hours before our dinner was ready, and we, along with Lee, sat at a table to eat our dinner. Our food was predictably excellent as ever. We love the consistency at Jabula.

It was fun talking to the locals, looking over at Tom often to see him enjoying himself. We’d smile at one another with that knowing look on our faces, how lucky we are to be together and how much we enjoy life in the bush. Aside from frequently looking at our visa options, life is uncomplicated and blissfully simple. We always remain grateful.

Live music set the tone at the hotel.

We didn’t return to our house until after 9:00 pm, 2100 hrs. It was too late to start streaming a show, so we hunkered down for the night after completing a few tasks around the house. My new facial and head pain medication typically results in sound sleep. I fell asleep by about 10:30 pm, 2230 hrs., but awoke at 1:30 am and never went back to sleep until 4:30 am, awakening at 7:30 am.

Birds are highlighting the sunset scene.

My Fitbit reading states that I slept for over 7 hours, but I’d argue that isn’t accurate. But, the devices can record more sleep when one’s breathing and pulse rate are low. In any case, I don’t feel exhausted today. I busied myself in the kitchen making mozzarella stuffed meatballs and Italian red sauce for Tom’s dinner, enough to last for several days. I cooked chicken breasts for myself, which I’ll top with sauce and a big salad and vegetables.

A short time ago, seven giraffes appeared in our garden. We couldn’t have been more thrilled to see them. We took several photos and a video which we’re excited to share in tomorrow’s post.

Wow! What a sunset!

We hope all of our readers in the US have a fantastic holiday weekend, and to everyone else worldwide, may your weekend be great as well.

Photo from one year ago today, September 3, 2021:

Detailed map of voyage route
The cruise itinerary, beginning in Leith, Scotland, in August 2023, will end in Amsterdam 16 days later. For more, please click here.

Results on medical issue…Immigration concerns at the border…

The baby baboon is getting a ride on mom’s back.

Note: Once again, we are having problems with the auto email posts arriving in your inbox. This is frustrating since we aren’t doing anything to cause this. I have notified our hosting company to resolve this issue once and for all. I appreciate your patience. In the interim, if you type our web address once a day, a new post will pop up:

Tom, at dinner at the restaurant up the hill at Chobe Safari Lodge.

We feel so fortunate to have Doc Theo as our family physician. His knowledge, compassion, and commitment to getting results are mind-boggling, nothing like any other doctor we’ve seen over the years. He not only hugs me warmly each time I see him, but he instantly makes me feel at ease when I’ve always felt uncomfortable going to a doctor.

Dinner with my hubby at Chobe Safari Lodge.

In addition, he doesn’t rush through the appointment, giving me plenty of time to express my concerns. It didn’t take long, after a thorough exam, to determine I have” long haul” Covid-19, particularly Omicron, which left me with inflammation that has caused me to have an awful headache, face pain, and ultra high blood pressure, a big concern with my cardiovascular problems.

Another boat passed up while we were on the Zambezi River in Zambia.

It was Doc Theo in 2019 who diagnosed my serious heart condition when I only mentioned pain in my jaw. A whirlwind of medical tests resulting in my having open heart surgery (as most of you know) in February 2019 leaves me grateful for his accurate diagnosis and ultimately saving my life.  Without a doubt, I’d travel back to South Africa for his medical care, even if we didn’t love it here so much. The fact that we love it here makes it all the easier.

Egyptian geese on the Chobe River.

So here’s the scoop. I have what is referred to as TN, or trigeminal neuralgia, precipitated by Covid-19 when the virus resulted in an intense inflammatory response. The headache, face pain, and high blood pressure started during Covid-19 when previously I had no headache or face pain, and my blood pressure was totally under control with low-dose medication.

A croc, sunning himself on the island in the Chobe River.

This inflammatory response has also caused an itchy skin condition, eczema, that often keeps me awake at night.  I never had this until I became ill with Omicron. Nothing can stop the itching. I’ve tried at least a dozen creams and lotions and often find myself awake at night. It’s hard not to scratch, but I try to avoid doing so.

Hippos on an island in the Chobe River.

Doc Theo prescribed medication to reduce the pain, itching, and discomfort…non-narcotic options, and also doubled my dose of blood pressure medication to get me through this crisis. He ordered several tests, which were done yesterday at the lab across the road in Koomatipoort. I have another appointment next Monday to review the test results and progress. We’ll see how it goes. I am hopeful.

Tom, lounging with me at Chobe Safari Lodge before dinner.

As for our ongoing immigration concerns while attempting to spend more time in South Africa, when we encountered the immigration officer at the Nelspruit airport, I breezed right through without an issue, but when Tom tried to go through, the same officer who detained us a few years ago, detained him, stating we weren’t entitled to another 90 days. She gave us 90 days but insisted we must return to the US before entering again.

The pool at Chobe Safari Lodge.

At this time, we are trying to figure out what to do. We plan to be in the US at the end of August 2023, but we’re planning to leave South Africa in early June for our cruise from Edinborough, Scotland, to Amsterdam, Netherlands. We will post what we plan to do going forward. It’s always a dilemma. Our upcoming cruise to Seychelles is not going to satisfy this requirement.

We walked the grounds at Chobe Safari Lodge and discovered this old boat converted to a spa.

Oh, dear, continuing to travel as we please certainly presents some pandemic-related issues and others not the case. But, as determined as we are, we continue to research our options and hope for the most practical, cost-effective, and suitable solution possible.

A fish eagle we spotted on a game drive in Chobe National Park.

Last night we had a fantastic evening at Marylin and Gray’s holiday bush house, managed by Louise. It was fun to see the enormous house and have dinner with them once again. We’re so grateful to have made more wonderful friends from our website. They had more wildebeests in their garden than we’d seen collectively in a long time. We sure got a kick out of them. I’ll post some photos of them tomorrow, but today I am finishing the photos from our recent trip.

View from Chobe to the river. Lovely!

An oddity: Yesterday was a sweltering 97F, 36C, and today it’s only 65F, 18C. Go figure. Tomorrow, the temps will start creeping up again.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, August 30, 2021:

Three kudus near the braai area at Frikkee’s Dam in Lionspruit. For more photos, please click here.

The trip ended…Final expenses…Back in Marloth Park…

My dinner at Chobe Safari Lodge in the fine dining restaurant was grilled prawns and chicken. Delicious.
Our expenses were done a little differently this time. When we first arrived, we understood that we’d need about 20000 kwacha (Zambia currency) to pay for transportation and tours. When one ATM was out of cash and another only dispensed 18000 kwacha, we decided we could figure out the rest later.
When we arrived in Botswana, the rep there required either pula (Botswana currency) or the use of a credit card. We used a credit card to pay for the tours we’d booked in Botswana. Well, it got confusing, so that I won’t go into it. But, we managed to use most of our kwacha before we left Zambia and have a remaining 2900 kwacha (ZAR, US $178), which we’ll exchange for rand at the bank when we go to Komatipoort tomorrow. There’s no point in carrying 2900 kwacha with us around the world.
After some confusing figuring, we came up with the following for our expenses for these seven nights away. They are as close to accurate as possible.
                                     USD                                    Kwacha

Hotel Botswana          $1736.92                              28292.37

Hotel Zambia              $236.18                                  3833.49

Meals/Tours Zambia    $1109                                   14800.00

Tours in Botswana       $280                                      4544.75

Airfare                         $1302.78                              21145.74

Includes all tips

Total                           $4664.88                               72616.35

Total daily expense  $   666.41                               10373.76

Breakfast of two fried eggs, grilled mackerel, and sauteed mushrooms at Chobe Safari Lodge.

Our primary reason for this trip was to acquire a new 90-day visa. As it turned out, we encountered some difficulties at immigration which we’ll share in tomorrow’s post.

If we had filed for an extension, using the law firm in Johannesburg, which we can only do once per year in South Africa, we would have paid approximately US $2500, kwacha 40578.50. Thus, we ask ourselves, was this trip worth the difference? We thoroughly enjoyed this trip and felt the experiences were worth it.

Now, as we returned to South Africa to our bush house in Marloth Park with a new 90-day visa in hand (providing nothing went wrong at immigration), we won’t have to leave again until our upcoming cruise in Seychelles in November. This means we can relax during the next three months with only the flights and transportation to book and a two-night stay in a hotel in Mahe, Seychelles.

Mixed salad with artichoke hearts and green beans.If we were feeling up to it, we decided we would go to dinner tonight at Jabula, which we did shortly after we arrived back in Marloth Park around 5:30 pm, 1730 hrs. Even though the flight was only a few hours long, the trip began at 11:30 am when Chris picked us up to take us to the Livingstone Airport and ended when we arrived at our bush house, as mentioned above. It still is a long day.

I’m still not feeling 100% with this headache and face pain, and I have an appointment with Doc Theo on Monday at 10:00 am. We will grocery shop after the appointment. Monday night, we are headed to Marylin and Gary’s holiday home for a braai and final get-together (seven of us) before they leave a few days later. It’s been wonderful spending time with readers/friends who have now become great friends we’ve met due to our site. We feel so fortunate.

Soup with a slice of grilled bread.

Today, we’re sharing food photos from our one-week trip, but we still have many photos to share from game drives and boat tours. It will be fun to share those with all of you here and to see our animal friends (and taking photos) again in Marloth Park in our garden. It will be wonderful to see Norman and his family again. I can’t wait to see him, Lollie, and the others.

Note: This morning, Norman, Noah, Nina, Gordy, Tulip, and Lilac were waiting for us in the garden. No sign of Lollie yet. More tomorrow. Norman and Nina are here for the second time in two hours.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, August 28, 2021:

Bossy is always thrilled to see us, hoping for morsels of pellets. For more photos, please click here.

Sunset cruise on the Chobe River…A huge hit with animals and people…

Our favorite mom and baby elephant photo was taken while cruising on the Chobe River.

When a driver picked us up yesterday to take us to a resort down the road, we were a little surprised we’d be boarding a boat on the Chobe River from Chobe Marina Lodge, not Chobe Safari Lodge, where we were staying. The three-minute drive down the road and the 30-minute wait to board the boat were no big deal.

Male Cape buffalos heading to the water from an island in the Chobe River.

We were seated at a table for four on the pontoon-style boat in no time, ready to embark and begin the sunset cruise lasting three hours. As soon as we sat down, we were seated across the table with a lovely couple, younger than our adult children from Milan, Italy. Andrea and Jenny spoke good English, and we chatted endlessly, later meeting up for dinner at the restaurant up the hill from our resort.

Two fishermen on a small boat on the river.

Unfortunately, the photo I took of the two of them ended up being obstructed by a person walking by, and I could not post it, much to my disappointment. I should have checked the camera, but I caught up in the lively conversation with this adorable and intelligent Italian couple and failed to see if the photo came out. It was an oddity that this happened.

Waterbucks and a few Egyptian geese were foraging on the island.

We enjoyed the time spent on the boat with them and later for dinner up the hill. While on the boat, we met another couple, who were friends, and the man, Dwight, lives in the suburbs in Minnesota, leaving us with endless stories to share, especially with Tom, a native of Minnesota. Christie was from Denver. It was also fun talking to Americans whom we seldom meet in this part of the world.

Seeing the elephants on the island in the Chobe River was such a joy.

The three hours passed quickly, and before we knew it, we returned to our resort to meet up with Andrea and Jenny later. We shared a delightful day and evening while taking many beautiful photos, some of which we’re sharing here today. Many more will follow in days to come. We haven’t put a dent in the pictures worthy of posting but have plenty of time to do so in the days and weeks to follow.

Two young male elephants were practicing sparing.

This morning, we had a nice breakfast in the resort’s restaurant buffet. We never had dinner at the buffet since there were few foods suitable for my way of eating. In our last post for this trip, we’ll share food photos and final expenses for our one week away from Marloth Park.

A blue heron…

As always, we’re a little tentative about getting another 90-day visa stamp when we return to South Africa in two days and go through immigration. If we are turned down, we’ll have to devise a plan which, of course, if that happens, we’ll share here. Each time we get another 90 days, we sigh with relief. The law is vague in this regard…are we required to return to our home country each time? The answer isn’t clear. We’ll see how it goes one more time.

An ibis…

In a little over an hour, our trusty Chris from Chris Tours will arrive at this resort, who will drive us back to the border between Botswana and Zambia, and then take us to the Protea Hotel by Marriott we’ve stayed many times in the past. It’s a pleasant hotel, with good breakfast included,  lovely rooms with comfy beds, and free WiFi.

A crocodile lounged on the grass on an island in the Chobe River.

We will check into our ground floor room, unpack a little, and within a few hours, be heading out to the Zambezi River for another sunset cruise, this time on the Lion King boat with live entertainment. This will be our second time on this boat. We enjoyed the scenery, the included drinks and snacks, and the African music last time and looked forward to this repeated event.

Elephants are excellent swimmers, using their trunks as a snorkel. Cool, eh?

When the boat ride has ended, Chris or his staff will pick up up to take us to the Royal Livingstone Hotel, where we will dine tonight and again tomorrow night, overlooking the Zambezi River. We’ve embarked on quite a few adventures this time, more than in the past, and have had nothing but great experiences.

We couldn’t take our eyes off the swimming elephants.

Saturday afternoon, after a late checkout, Chris will transport us to the Harry Mwanga Nkumbula Livingstone Airport for our short flight (less than two hours) back to Nelspruit. At that point, we’ll go through immigration and see how it rolls out again. After getting a great rate at the US $15, ZAR 253 a day, we’ll collect the rental car at Budget and make the hour-plus drive back to Marloth Park.

The water was shallow in this spot, and he could stand up and walk the rest of the way.

By 5:30 pm, 1730 hrs., we should be back at our holiday home in Marloth Park to decide if we’ll dine in on frozen leftovers or head to Jabula for dinner. We’ll play that by ear, providing all goes well with our return.

Playful elephants.

Yesterday, I attempted to process the ZAR 196, US $11.64 customs fees due on our UPS package from the US. For some odd reason, UPS’s system wouldn’t accept an international credit card, like all of ours. Only South African credit cards can be used. Louise was so kind to help, using her card, which we’ll reimburse when we see her next. All went through Ok, and we should receive the package sometime next week.

Sunset on the Chobe River.

We are packed and ready to leave in about 40 minutes, so I’d better wrap this up and get it uploaded so I won’t have to rush later this afternoon when we have plans.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, August 25, 2021:

This is my new toy, a JBL Bluetooth speaker that works with voice activation from our phones or laptops. The sound is fantastic! We use this every day! For more details, please click here.

Elephant Day in Chobe National Park, Botswana….

Families enjoy time on the bank of the Chobe River.

“African elephants are the largest land animals, adult males weighing between 1,800 and 6,300 kg (2 and 7 tons/ 4,000 and 14,000 lb.). Females are smaller, weighing between 2,700 and 3,600 kg (3 and 4 tons/ 6,000 and 8,000 lb.).”We never tire of seeing elephants in the wild, which is entirely different than seeing them in captivity in a zoo or, as we experienced in India, used for religious and income-producing purposes. That was heartbreaking to witness. But, here in Africa, we’ve only visited national parks where they are meant to roam…at will, in the wild. And what a joy it is to see!

We realize we’ve written many stories about elephants and elephant facts we’ve gleaned from other websites. For those who may have missed those past posts, we can’t resist sharing more of those today as we’ve posted several photos we took while on safari in Chobe National Park on Tuesday. It was a fine day with many sightings. But no game drive would be complete without elephant sightings which we’re sharing here today.

An Egyptian goose has joined the family.

You may be bored with our endless elephant sightings or may find them fascinating. For those that don’t care to read more, we will move on to other wildlife in tomorrow’s post with some fun and quirky photos. This afternoon at 3:00 pm, 1500 hours, we will embark on a boat cruise ending after sunset from the docks here at our resort, Chobe Safari Lodge, in Kasane, Botswana.

Tomorrow at 11:30, Chris from Chris Tours, our excellent, reliable, and friendly tour organizer and transport handler, whose site may be found here. We highly recommend their services if you plan to come to Zambia, Zimbabwe, or Botswana. Recently, our readers/friends Marylin and Gary, who are now in Marloth Park, whom we hope to see one more time before they leave the first week in September, also used Chris’s services when they visited Zambia and Botswana. They, too, had an excellent experience with Chris and his associates. Contact Chris at his site here.

This tiny elephant may be only a few months old and is learning to use her trunk by following the guidance of the other, more senior family members.

On another note. Enjoy these new elephant facts from this site located here:

“13 Fascinating Facts About Elephants

1. Elephants Never Forget

The memory of elephants is legendary, and for good reason. Of all land mammals, elephants possess the largest brains.2 They have the ability to recall distant watering holes, other elephants, and humans they have encountered, even after the passage of many years. Elephants transmit their wealth of knowledge from generation to generation through the matriarchs, and this sharing of information has been beneficial to the creatures’ survival. They are also able to recall the path to sources of food and water across great distances, and how to reach alternative areas should the need arise. Even more impressive, they adjust their schedule to arrive just in time for the fruit they are seeking to be ripe.

Cattle egrets are often found near elephants.

2. They Can Distinguish Languages

Elephants exhibit a deep understanding of human communication. Researchers at Amboseli National Park in Kenya played back the voices of speakers from two different groups—one that preys on the elephants, and another that does not. When the elephants heard the voices of the group they feared, they were more likely to act defensively by grouping tightly together and smelling the air to investigate. What’s more, the researchers found the elephants also responded with less intensity to female and younger male voices, becoming most agitated at the voices of adult males. Elephant language skills go beyond understanding. One Asian elephant learned to mimic words in Korean. Researchers theorize that because his primary social contact while growing up was with humans, he learned to mimic words as a form of social bonding.

3. They Can Hear Through Their Feet

Elephants have a great sense of hearing and the ability to send vocalizations over long distances. They make a variety of sounds, including snorts, roars, cries, and barks. But they also specialize in low frequency rumbles and are able to pick up sounds in an unusual way. Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell, a biologist at Stanford University, found that the lower frequency vocalizations and foot stomping of elephants resonate at a frequency other elephants can detect through the ground. Enlarged ear bones and sensitive nerve endings in their feet and trunks allow elephants to pick up these infrasonic messages. The ability to detect such seismic vibrations also helps elephants survive. When an agitated elephant stomps, they’re not just warning those in the immediate area, they may also be warning other elephants miles away. And when an elephant rumbles a call, it could be intended for family members far out of sight.

Moms and babies.

4. Elephants Are Excellent Swimmers

It may not come as a shock that elephants enjoy playing in the water. They are famous for splashing and showering themselves and others with sprays from their trunks. But it might be a surprise to learn that these huge animals are also quite good at swimming. Elephants have enough buoyancy to stay at the surface and use their powerful legs to paddle. They also use their trunk as a snorkel when crossing deep water so they are able to breathe normally even when submerged. Swimming is a necessary skill for elephants as they cross rivers and lakes when searching for food.

5. They Support Those in Need

Elephants are highly social and intelligent creatures, and they demonstrate behaviors we humans recognize as compassion, kindness, and altruism. In a study of elephant behavior, researchers found that when an elephant became distressed, other nearby elephants responded with calls and touches intended to console the individual.7 In addition to humans, this behavior was previously only witnessed in apes, canids, and corvids. Elephants also demonstrate empathetic behavior and “targeted helping” where they coordinate with each other to help a sick or injured individual.

Two young ones, perhaps a few months apart. On average, newborn calves stand about 1 m (3 ft.) high and weigh 120 kg (264 lb.) at birth. Newborn male African elephants may weigh up to 165 kg (364 lbs.).

6. They Can Suffer From PTSD

We know that elephants are sensitive souls, with strong bonds to their family members, a need for comfort, and a long memory. So it should come as no surprise that elephants who experience tragedy, like witnessing a family member being killed by poachers, have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Calves orphaned by poachers will show PTSD-like symptoms even decades later. Elephants released from abusive situations show symptoms of PTSD long after they’ve found safety in a sanctuary. These traumatic experiences also negatively impact learning.8 When selective individuals are killed in a cull or by poachers, young elephants lose vital social information that would have been passed down by adults.

This larger female may be the matriarch who leads the herd.

7. Elephants Need Their Elders

All of the information necessary to elephants’ survival is passed down by their elders. It’s crucial for young elephants to spend time with older family members, particularly the matriarchs, so they can learn all that they’ll need to know as adults. The matriarch of the herd carries the knowledge of the elders and shares essential information with the young including how to respond to a variety of dangers and where to find food and water. While African elephants live in a matriarchal society, research has shown that Asian elephants are less hierarchical than their African counterparts and show little dominance based on age or gender.9 This difference in social organization could be attributed to habitat. In Africa, conditions are more harsh, so the elders’ wisdom is more valuable; in parts of Asia where predators are few and resources are plentiful, there’s not as much need for strong leadership

8. They Can’t Live Without Their Trunks

Filled with over 40,000 muscles, an elephant’s trunk is powerful and extremely sensitive. Elephants use their prehensile trunks to smell, eat, breathe underwater, make sounds, clean themselves, and defend themselves. Elephants have “fingers” at the tips of their trunks—African elephants have two and Asian elephants have one—that allow them to pick up tiny objects. Extremely dexterous, elephants can form a joint with their trunk to pile up small materials like grains. An elephant will reach out its trunk and use its sense of smell to determine which foods to eat. In a 2019 study, Asian elephants were able to determine which of two sealed buckets contained more food based on smell alone.11 Another study found that African elephants could differentiate between a variety of plants and choose their favorite, guided only by scent. Elephants also use their trunks to hug, caress, and comfort other elephants—and baby elephants suck their trunks like human babies suck their thumbs. Apparently this helps them to learn how to use their trunks more effectively. With over 50,000 muscles in the trunk, this helps a young elephant figure out “how to control and manipulate the muscles in the trunk so that it can fine-tune its use.”

This photo showing the safari vehicle illustrates how close we were to the majestic beasts.

9. They Are Related to the Rock Hyrax

Based on sheer size alone, it’s surprising to discover that the elephant’s closest living relative is the rock hyrax, a small, furry herbivore native to Africa and the Middle East that looks similar to a rodent. Other animals closely related to elephants include manatees and dugongs (a marine mammal that looks like a manatee). Despite its appearance, the hyrax still has a few physical traits in common with elephants. These include tusks that grow from their incisor teeth (versus most mammals, which develop tusks from their canine teeth), flattened nails on the tips of their digits, and several similarities among their reproductive organs. The manatee, the rock hyrax, and the elephant share a common ancestor, Tethytheria, which died out more than 50 million years ago. That’s been long enough for the animals to travel down very different evolutionary paths. Though they look and behave differently, they remain closely related.

10. Elephants Honor Their Dead

The abundant sensitivity of elephants is well documented, but their sentient nature is particularly notable in the interest they express toward the dead. Even among unrelated animals, elephants show interest, examining, touching, and smelling the deceased animal. Researchers have observed elephants making repeated visits, attempting to assist expired animals, and calling out for help. Long after an animal has died, elephants will return and touch the remaining bones with their feet and trunks.14 The Washington Post described a young 10-year-old elephant visiting her mother’s corpse in Kenya and leaving with “the temporal glands on each side of her head… streaming liquid: a reaction linked to stress, fear and aggression.” A form of tears, perhaps?

One elephant stood apart from the herd. It may be a male who is soon to leave the herd. Adult male elephants are solitary in nature but may associate with other bulls (adult males) in small, unstable groups. Males will leave the family unit (natal unit) between 12 and 15 years of age.

11. They Use Dirt as Sunscreen

There’s a good reason that elephants like to play in the dirt. Although their hide looks tough, elephants have sensitive skin that can get sunburned. To counteract the damaging rays of the sun, elephants throw sand on themselves. Adult elephants will also douse youngsters with dust. When coming out of a bath in a river, elephants will often throw mud or clay on themselves as a layer of protection.15

The younger elephant on the right is digging in the dirt on the bank of the river in an attempt to get to the mud. Mud baths are enjoyed by elephants, rhinos, warthogs, and hippos.

12. They Have Math Skills

Asian elephants may just be one of the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom when it comes to math. Researchers in Japan attempted to train Asian elephants to use a computer touch screen panel. One of the three elephants, when presented with different quantities, was able to choose the panel that displayed more fruit. It should be noted that only Asian elephants have been shown to possess this ability. Researchers posit that the split of African and Asian elephant species 7.6 million years ago may have resulted in differing cognitive abilities. Some research shows that the average EQ is 2.14 for Asian elephants, and 1.67 for African.

13. Elephants Are at Risk

All elephants are at risk. The Asian elephant is endangered and the African elephant is vulnerable.1718 The primary threats to elephants are habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation. Elephants also face human threats. As farmers encroach on elephant habitats to plant crops, conflicts between the animals and humans have led to the retaliatory killing of elephants. Asian elephants in particular, which inhabit one of the planet’s most densely populated areas, are unable to coexist with the expanding human population. There are some innovative efforts to deter elephants away from human settlements and farms, reducing friction between the two species. One example is Project Orange Elephant in Sri Lanka, which incentivizes farmers to plant orange trees around their homes and garden plots; elephants dislike citrus, and the farmers gain an additional crop to sale for profit. In spite of the 1989 international trade ban on ivory sales, the illegal and legal hunting and poaching of elephants for their tusks, hide, meat, and fur have been a large contributor to the decline of elephants, especially in Africa. Asian elephants are also poached, and since only males have tusks, this also leads to a shortage of males in the breeding population and a lack of genetic diversity.

The youngster was determined to make a big mud hole.

Save the Elephants

Thanks to the publishers of this good article and its 13 points. We appreciate these interesting facts to share with our readers along with today’s photos.

Hopefully, today on our Chobe River cruise we’ll have an opportunity to see more stunning wildlife along the banks of the river and in the water. We will be back with more tomorrow, our final day at Chobe Safari Lodge. At 11:30 am, Christ will pick us up, and we’ll head back through the border into Zambia, where we’ll spend the next two nights staying at the Marriott Protea Hotel, which we’ve visited several times.

Both nights, we’ll be going to the Royal Livingstone Hotel’s much-sought-after restaurant, The Old Drift. We would have liked to stay at that hotel, but the room cost was about 60% higher than the Marriott. After all, we’ll have spent on this trip, staying at a more expensive hotel wasn’t necessary for either of us. We’ll head back to South Africa on Saturday.

We still have one more boat cruise tomorrow night, which will be on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River on the famous Lion King with live African music. That will be another fun outing.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more photos.

Have a great day and evening!

Photo from one year ago today, August 24, 2021:

The Imposter was trying to get comfortable to take a nap with his tusks in the way. For more photos, please click here.

Lion Day in Chobe National Park…More activities on the horizon…

Adult females and cubs are resting in the shade.

In a perfect world, when we spot lions or any other species, they’d all face us for the best photo ops. Unfortunately, the wildlife, such as these lions shown today, were facing away from us, limiting the quality of the photos.

From a distance, Tom got this forward-facing shot of a female lion keeping an eye out for the pride while they rest.

However, as seldom as we see lions, we were thrilled to get these photos and won’t complain. Also, another factor in getting great shots is who is driving the safari vehicle. When on a game drive with a guide and other tour participants, we have no control over how long we’d wait for better shots or the angles from which we can take the pictures. The other people are often in the way, and the driver/guide wants to move along.

Another of Tom’s photos was taken with his phone,

When it’s just the two of us driving in Kruger National Park, generally, we can wait to gain a better vantage point. But, even then, other vehicles edge in attempting to see what we’re seeing. Then, simple courtesy becomes a priority, and we often have to move along before getting the shots we would have liked.

Could this be a young male whose mane has yet to be fully grown?

Sometimes, circumstances are perfect, and we get shots we love, like the one we posted yesterday as our main photo, found in this link here in case you missed it, similar to another image we’re posting here today as shown below:

This adorable cub caught my eye when I struggled to get good photos of the pride of lions.

The three-hour game drive turned into almost four hours since it took time to drive to the entrance to Chobe National Park, register the safari vehicle with the entrance guards and finally reach the river where most of the wildlife is often found. We made this drive many times in the past, and the familiarity was comforting to us in a way that’s hard to explain. We remembered almost every turn on the bumpy ride.

I couldn’t take my eyes off this precious cub, snuggled up next to his mom.

The drive was so bumpy that my Fitbit registered it as if I had taken steps when my arms bounced around to almost 10,000 steps. Speaking of steps on my Fitbit, we just took a break from being in our room and walked around the Chobe Safari Lodge property to see new construction, campgrounds, and a remote bar at the edge of the Chobe River.

He opened his eyes for a few minutes, allowing me to get a few favorite shots.

We had no idea as to the size of this property and were a little surprised by what we saw. We took some photos we’ll share in days to come. It was good to get out walking when we’ve been sitting quite a bit the past few days. We will do this again each day in the future. Tom has agreed to walk with me outdoors when we return to Marloth Park. I need to walk regularly but find it tedious in the house. I don’t want to walk alone due to the lions in the park, and we’ll take a big stick with us when we do.

It was cool when we encountered the pride, but they tend to cuddle when sleeping, even in hot weather.

As for the rest of the day, there’s nothing special on the agenda until tomorrow afternoon’s boat tour on the Chobe River. That should be fun. We did the sunset river cruise during prior visits to Botswana. Once we return to Zambia in a few days, we’ve arranged a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, as mentioned earlier. There’s live entertainment on that cruise, and we enjoy African music.

I could have watched them for hours, but we had to be on our way.

Tonight, we’d dine in the main dining room for their buffet instead of the restaurant up the hill to shake it up a bit. We’re having a pleasant time with plenty of incredible wildlife sightings. I still suffer from headaches and face pain but have decided to make the best of our time here in Botswana and Zambia. Following Monday, I’ll see Doc Theo and see what he suggests.

The sun was in my eyes, and I missed getting a full face shot but kept this one.

That’s it for today, folks. We have countless photos to share and look forward to posting them here for you to see, including when three warthogs entered the bar last night…piggy sundowners, perhaps?

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, August 23, 2021:

Broken Horn is persistent about pellets, scaring off any intruders with his horns. For more photos, please click here.

Off on a game drive this morning…Hoping “safari luck” prevails….Teaser for tomorrow’s post…

A pride of lions was the highlight of our day in Chobe National Park. This cub made us feel like they were looking right at us. Heavenly. Lots more lion photos to share in tomorrow’s post.

Yesterday was a restful day for us. Still having sinus headaches and face pain, there was nothing I needed more than to rest. I couldn’t recall the last time we spent an entire day lounging. But it felt good. We had a lovely dinner again, up the hill to the restaurant (food photos yet to follow), making it back to our room by 9:00 pm, when I fell asleep in the first five minutes of streaming an episode of the last season of The Black List.

Their antics are adorable, providing several photo ops.

This morning I still have the headache but have taken a dose of Ibuprofen that will hopefully get me through the game drive that will last about four hours. When we return to the resort, we can have the rest of the day to relax, finish this post and work on the many photos we’ll have taken on the safari.

Elephant shots from across the Chobe River from the hotel’s veranda.

We ate a light breakfast this morning with little coffee, knowing the long time in the safari vehicle was ahead. Occasionally, such a vehicle will stop at a planned location with bathroom facilities. But often, behind a bush is the bathroom. That works too, but as a female, it’s not as easy to use a bush “toilet” while wearing long pants. Try figuring that one out, ladies. I only drank one small cup of coffee this morning, and Tom had none.

Their antics are adorable, providing several photo ops.

Dinner last night was delicious. I had the same main dish as the previous night, chicken and prawn skewers, and Tom had a filet on the bone. We’d never seen filet mignon on the bone. But Tom doesn’t do well getting to all the meat when a bone is involved, whereas I’m more like a mongoose…I eat every single morsel. He often hands his bones over to me as he did last night, and I also ate his vegetables. He’s a meat and potatoes (or rice) kind of guy.

We always love seeing elephants.

Knowing we had to get up early for breakfast and the safari, neither of us slept well. Again, we didn’t set the alarm, but by 5:30, I was awake, and Tom was shortly after that. We ate breakfast in plenty of time, giving us a little time back in our room for me to get a start on today’s post. I am wrapping it up but will be back later to post more photos and complete today’s entry. See you soon!


It’s 1:30 pm, 1330 hrs., and we are back from the safari. There was seating for nine passengers with graduated theatre-type seats, three per row. Since we were the last to get into the vehicle when the others were picked up from a different resort, we got the top tier which worked out well for us. We both had “window” seats, although the vehicle has a top and the sides are open.

As sunset ends, all the boats out on sunset cruises begin returning to their respective resorts.

From this good vantage point and the fact that there were only eight of us, the seat between the two of us was empty. We had plenty of room and could take plenty of great photos; Tom occasionally used the camera if the wildlife was problematic for me to shoot, and his phone regularly when I used the camera.

In Marloth Park, we avoid interacting with monkeys, but at this resort, we don’t have to worry about them getting inside the house and destroying things. So now, they are kind of cute.

Did we see anything spectacular? Did “safari luck” prevail once again? The answer is a resounding “YES,” as you’ll see from the above teaser photo of one special sighting, with plenty more to come tomorrow and in the following days. We don’t go on another game drive until Wednesday afternoon. No doubt, we’ll see lots more then.

It was fun to see so many tourists enjoying traveling once again. The activities were crowded.

Game drives can be tedious when there are few exciting sightings. But almost four hours flew by so quickly; we could hardly believe it. Our safari mates were mainly from France. One of the tourists was a kindly safari guide from Italy who does tours in Namibia chatted with me from time to time and was very friendly. He’s not only a safari guide but also a geologist and had lots of good stories to tell. Also, he lives in Tuscany, Italy, when not working for short periods, leaving us with a few morsels to share from our time in Tuscany in 2013.

Many vervet monkeys hang around the resort’s veranda throughout the day and evening.

So now we’re back with a few hours until it’s time for sundowners. It’s sunny here almost every day, so sunsets are exceptional. We’ll have plenty of those photos to share over the days to come. Please check back tomorrow for more. We love sharing all this new stuff with you!

Of course, we’d see a warthog on the grass in front of our veranda at Chobe Safari Lodge. Everywhere we go….

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 22, 2021:

With no water and unable to refill the birdbath with clean water, Benny (Benny, Henny, Lenny, and Penny) decided to drink from the pool. We’d never seen a warthog do this. For more photos, please click here.

Botswana…The African Quadripoint…Chobe Safari Lodge…An exquisite environment..

“The African Quadripoint. Are there any 4 way borders? Around the world, there are more than 150 different tripoints—borders where three nations meet—but only one international “quadripoint.” This is a spot in the middle of the Zambezi River, in southern Africa, where Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana all touch.”

This is the fourth time we’ve traveled to Zambia and then Botswana. Two Chris Tours drivers, Gordon and O’Brien, were waiting for us at the Harry Mwanga Nkumbula Airport in Livingstone. They loaded up our two bags and two carry-on bags and we were on our way for the one-hour drive to the Botswana border, where a tour representative and her driver would take us to Chobe Safari Lodge, another 30-minute drive.

Two drivers, Gordon on the left and O’Brien on the right, who works for Chris Tours.

The immigration process was entirely different than on the past three occasions when we crossed the border between Zambia and Bostwana, where four countries meet as described here as the African Quadripoint:

“THERE ARE A NUMBER OF instances where the borders of two or three nations touch, but the rare confluence of a total four nations coming together on one spot only exists in Africa where the corners of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia meet.

Unlike the touristy spots where states come together in America, which are usually decked out with monuments and bronze medallions, the African quadripoint sits in the middle of a river that cuts between the countries. It has been theorized that the point is not a true quadripoint but instead a pair of tri-points separated by thin strips of real estate. Regardless of the quibbling, the obvious jurisdictional headache of having four countries so close to one another has resulted in some conflict.”

What an interesting tidbit!

When we arrived at the border, it was very different than in the past, where cars and trucks were everywhere, as well as people, and there was chaos in getting onto a small boat with our luggage to cross the Zambezi River to Botswana. The bumpy ride in the rickety boat reminded us of many such boat rides during our world travels in various countries. Now, the new bridge is completed, as shown in our photo and described as follows:

Crossing the new Kazungula Bridge in Botswana.

“Kazungula Bridge is a road and rail bridge over the Zambezi river between the countries of Zambia and Botswana at Kazungula. The Kazungula Bridge under construction over the Zambezi, at the quasi-quadripoint between Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The bridge was opened for traffic on 10 May 2021.”

In the past, we crossed the river, where we were picked up by another driver and taken to the even more chaotic immigration office, where it took about 30 minutes while we stood in line in the heat. This time there is a slick new air-conditioned immigration building. Yesterday, we moved in and out of there in five or six minutes. There were no lines.

We had to walk onto a chemical pad to clean the bottom of the shoes before we were approved for entry. That wasn’t so odd since we’d done this in the past here in Botswana and Antarctica. But in this case, we were told to open our luggage and take out all of our shoes to do the same thing. We’d never been asked to do this before anywhere in the world.

Our lovely room is on the ground level with a river view. See the next photo for views from our private veranda.

Soon, we were on our way again, directly to Kasane to the Chobe Safari Lodge, and once again, we weren’t disappointed with our room and the surroundings. It was as pretty as ever.

There are two chairs on our private veranda and these views of the Chobe River.

In no time at all, we were checking into the hotel at 3:00 pm, 1500 hrs. Our day started when we left Marloth Park at 8:30 am and arrived at the hotel. By our standards, it took six and a half hours, an easy travel day.

By 5:15 pm; 1750 hrs., we were seated on the veranda for sundowners. I had trouble finding a wine I liked, so I ordered a full bottle of white wine that should last for three nights. There are roughly five glasses in 750 ml wine bottles. Since none of the wine here is low-alcohol, I will drink only two small glasses each night from the bottle they saved for me at the restaurant up the hill, at the A’la Carte,  which we loved last time we were, and we loved again last night.

Last night’s sunset. We were so busy talking, we were late in taking the sunset photos!

There’s a buffet here for breakfast and dinner, but we’ll likely eat at the A’la Carte since at least I can order more easily. I never know what I’m getting at buffets and the ingredients included therein. That’s a bit risky for me. Here are a few photos from last night’s dinner.

We’ll be back with much more. Tomorrow morning, we will go on a game drive, and the new post with photos will be uploaded a few hours later than usual.

We don’t usually take photos of monkeys since they are so pushy and destructive, but this one was kind of cute.

Have a fantastic Sunday!

Photo from one year ago today, August 21, 2021:

A young giraffe and a few zebras blocked the road on our way to Jabula on a Friday night. For more photos, please click here.

Day #271 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Where will we go for visa stamps while in South Africa?…

“Puerto Madryn (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpweɾto ˈmaðɾin]Welsh: Porth Madryn) is a city in the province of Chubut in Argentina, Patagonia. It is the capital of the Biedma Department and has about 93,995 inhabitants according to the last census in 2010.”

We toured the oceanfront village on foot on this date in 2017.

Today’s photos are from this date in 2017 while visiting the port of call, Puerto Madryn, while on a South America cruise nearing the end. For more details, please click here.

Unfortunately, as many of our long time readers are well aware, we can only stay in South Africa for 90 consecutive days. With our desire to stay in Marloth Park as long as possible over the next year, this will require that we leave the country and/or apply for an extension as often as three times.

Another abandoned seafaring boat on the beach in Puerto Madryn.

We have a cruise booked for next November, sailing out of Lisbon, Portugal, that sails along the western coast of Africa, ending in Cape Town, South Africa, enabling us to return to Marloth Park once again. Will this cruise be canceled? At this point, we have no idea.

If it is, we may want to stay in Africa longer, visiting other countries every three months for the visa stamp, allowing us to stay another 90-day segment at a time. Our three months on this upcoming trip for which we depart on January 12, 2021, arriving in Johannesburg before midnight, leaves us with the requirement of departing again by April 10, 2021, 89 days later. We leave a day earlier than the 90 days, in the event of a potential layover in Johannesburg that may take us into the 90th day.

This could have been a street in any beach town.

The tricky part about flying out of South Africa and avoiding the five to six-hour drive to the airport in Johannesburg, an area with a certain risk of carjackings and corrupt police, is to fly from Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger airport (an hour from Marloth Park), fly to Johannesburg and go anywhere in the world from there, often with multiple layovers.

Unfortunately, the tiny airport, which considers itself an “international” airport, actually only flies to two countries besides South Africa, including Zambia which we already visited twice in 2018 on two very enjoyable tours of Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia and also Mozambique (which borders SA and won’t provide us with a usable visa stamp). At this point, returning to Zambia to drive to other countries holds little appeal to either of us when we’ve already visited the sightseeing highlights of Chobe National Park, Chobe River, Victoria Falls from Zambia, and also the Zimbabwe sides, Zambezi River cruise, and more.

Statue at Puerto Madryn Beach.

No doubt, we enjoyed the two trips, but returning doesn’t make sense. We don’t look forward to flying to Johannesburg to go anywhere else. However, we have no choice but to do so. One of those three above-mentioned visa stamp requirements will most likely result in us applying for one extension during this period which we’d done once in 2018. It’s all tricky, costly, and time-consuming. Traveling to a country bordering South Africa doesn’t count as “leaving the country.”

But, for us, the monkey business (no pun intended) is worth it. With the low cost of living in Africa, compared to most other parts of the world, we can comfortably budget the added costs for these side trips. Plus, it gives us an opportunity to visit other countries and expand our horizons.

A whale carving at the beach.

In the past few days, being hopeful that we’ll be able to leave India in 24 days, we’ve been researching flights for possible countries in Africa we’d like to visit. A few considerations are Zanzibar, (Tanzania), Madagascar, Reunion Island, and more, all of which require flying out of Johannesburg, which we finally accept as the only way we make this work.

The island of Zanzibar in Tanzania is probably our first choice since we don’t want to embark on any 24-hour travel times. Now, we begin the process of searching as to what’s available in the way of hotels or holiday homes, depending on how long we may decide to stay, which is up in the air at this point. We’ve accumulated quite a few free hotel nights by using on our site which we can save for such a trip.

Typical apartment building in Puerto Madryn.

A few years ago, we were determined to see the gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda. However, after the diagnosis of severe cardiovascular disease, it doesn’t make sense for us to go to such a remote location, which requires a challenging mountain trek. Sure, my stamina has greatly improved walking so much for the past nine months, but it hasn’t reversed my condition and such an expedition might be foolhardy.

There’s still plenty of world left for us to see, traveling to locations that won’t be outrageously physically challenging. Walking, we can do. Steep mountain treks may be out of the question. We both accept this reality.

Protesters marching on the beach boulevard.

Once we get situated in South Africa, we’ll book our plans for April and be able to rest easy for the remaining days of our stay in Marloth Park, until again, we’ll hopefully be able to return.

There was a big party in the hotel last night with a DJ resulting in loud thumping music until 11:15 pm. It settled down shortly thereafter when finally, we were able to sleep barring the sounds of doors slamming next door to our room for several hours, Oh, well. Soon enough.

Stay healthy, safe, and content amid the madness that continues to rage throughout the world.

Photo from one year ago today, December 19, 2019:


Photo from this date in 2013 which was reposted one year ago today: Of the nine members of this warthog family, there were two moms; one with four babies and the other with three babies. From watching this family almost daily over a period of 18 days, we believe the mom shown above is the mom of the three babies, which if you look closely are all nursing. (It was hard to see the third piglet). Thus, the baby on which she is resting her chin belongs to the other mom who is nearby and seems comfortable with this situation. We couldn’t have laughed more when the fourth baby, whether hers or not, provided this neck resting spot. For more photos from this date, one year ago, please click here.

Two days and counting…Favorite photos from Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe…Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls,

Alas, we arrived at the magical splendor of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Kudus is stopping by for a bit of breakfast.

Gosh, it’s hard to believe it was a year ago that we left South Africa for Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe for sightseeing and a possible visa extension. To get a visa extension, travelers must depart to a country that isn’t bordering South Africa at any point.  

In the shallow area of Victoria Falls, we were gifted with a rainbow, but this was the first of many we saw throughout the day.
Zambia was a perfect choice, and from there, we visited Zimbabwe and Botswana. We had the opportunity to see Victoria Falls from both Zambia and Zimbabwe, which were two entirely different scenarios. We enjoyed every moment of finally being able to see the famous waterfalls.
I was happy to see Tom safely return from climbing to the top of the wet slippery bridge he tackled without me.  I’m not reasonably as surefooted as he is. It was slickthe visibility was poor, and I wouldn’t have been able to take photos in the heavy mist, so I stayed behind with Alec while we awaited his return. I was getting worried when he’d been gone a long time. Seeing him in his yellow poncho made me sigh with relief.
From this siteWhile it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is classified as the largest, based on its combined width of 1,708 meters (5,604 ft.) and height of 108 meters (354 ft.), resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water.”

Also, we’d heard so much about Chobe National Park and the Chobe River. For years, I’d longed to do a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, and as it turned it, we did it all, thrilled we had an opportunity to see so much.
The sights and sounds of Victoria Falls from both the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides were unlike anything we’ve seen in the past.

We spent a week on these trips, details and more of which may be found in the archives beginning on May 12, 2018, and continuing for several days. Please check out the links for more exciting photos and adventures during this fantastic trip.

After this elephant dug a decent-sized mud hole, he decided to try to lay on his side. Digging the hole must have been exhausting for this big fellow in the heat of the sun.  Please click here and scroll down to the videos for four stunning videos of him swimming in the Chobe River.

As it turned out, once again, we needed a visa extension, and we returned in August for more exciting tours.  More on this later. In any case, it was fun to see other African countries. To date, we’ve been to nine countries on the African continent, which is nothing compared to its total of 54.  

There are no less than a dozen countries in Africa it’s unlikely we’ll ever visit, which present enormous risks for tourists. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed being in Africa but don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.  

The best snorkeling apparatus on the planet…his trunk. His huge feet were no longer touching the river bottom, and he was buoyant.

We’re often asked if we’ll return to Africa, and that’s definitely on our itinerary, especially when we’ve booked a cruise to Cape Town in two years. However, what will transpire at immigration in Johannesburg will determine when we’ll be allowed to re-enter the country. We’ll see how that goes and report back during our upcoming lengthy travel day.

During our sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, we spotted these bee-eaters making nests and burrows into holes they made in the river bank.

As for posting on our upcoming long travel day, Saturday, May 11th, we will upload a post in the morning before we depart for Nelspruit airport. We’ll arrive in Connemara on Sunday afternoon, and if time allows, we’ll upload a short post indicating we’ve arrived.  

Sunset on the Zambezi River.

If you don’t see a post on Sunday, it will be due to an arrival later than we’d expected, and we’ll wait until the following day. At that point, we’ll have been traveling for 24 hours or more and maybe too tired to do so.

Riding the ferry is free for people but not for vehicles between Zambia and Botswana but, to disembark requires removing one’s shoes and walking in the water.

I’m going from recuperating in a mostly lying-down position to a 24-hour travel day. I have no idea how well I’ll feel when we arrive. But, please rest assured that after some rest and one night’s sleep, we’ll be right back here writing to all of you.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said I was totally at ease in anticipation of this long travel day. My number one objective will be to walk every hour on the various flights except when fully reclined in my business class seat in the middle of the night.

Albert, our guide, prepared “tea time” before we entered the Chobe National Park.

Ah, let’s hope it all goes smoothly. There’s only a 90-minute layover in Johannesburg, and that’s where we’ll have to deal with immigration. If the process is lengthy, we could miss the flight. My being in a wheelchair will hopefully speed up the waiting time in the lines at immigration.

That’s it for today, folks. We’re hoping you all have a peaceful and stress-free day!

Note:  Due to a WiFi signal issue this morning, the line and paragraph spacing are “off,” preventing me from correcting the situation.

Photo from one year ago today, May 9, 2018:

An elephant taking a drink from the river. For more photos, please click here.