Visiting the bushbaby rehab centre here in Marloth Park…The cutest little creatures in the world…

What a face!  Lisa and Doc, the tiniest of the rescue bushbabies.

 “Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Sweet Ms. Bushbuck stops by every day for a warm welcome and pellets eaten from my hand.  Its a treat for her and a bigger treat for us.

This morning awakening by 4:30 am, we were determined to get up and out the door early to head to Kruger National Park where we’d purchase an annual pass, called a “Wild Card” allowing us access at any time for a one-time annual fee.

Although we’d been to Kruger many times in the past, each occasion presented us with a wide array of new and unique experiences we’ve both longed to see once again; elephants on the road, crocs in the river; rhinos grazing in the savanna, giraffes lumbering through the trees, herds of cape buffalo and of course, the much sought after lion or leopard sighting and so much more.

Lisa makes little plates of food for the bushbabies which they nibble on for hours.  One of the less-well babies must be fed every three hours including during the night which Lisa doesn’t hesitate to do with unselfish love and concern.

A sighting of any one of the above and any others would provide for a highly successful day and we don’t hesitate in our desire to see these majestic animals in the wild.  But, after getting up and dressed and throwing open the massive wooden doors to the veranda, we found ourselves in a quandary…there were countless wild animals in our yard.  Should we stay or go?

Bushbabies like worms as well as soft foods.

Quickly, we loaded the yellow plastic container with pellets and grabbed a camera, finding ourselves entrenched in the scene before our eyes, we decided to wait until another day to visit Kruger National Park.

After taking countless photos and tossing and hand-feeding pellets to the many visitors that gradually wandered off to their next stop, we grabbed our coffee and tea sitting down at the big table on the veranda, ready to begin telling the story of last night’s visit to Lisa’s home a few kilometers from here.

The four bushbabies spend their quiet time together (they are nocturnal) inside this flannel bags in Lisa’s closet.  When we arrived, all four were awake and ready to see who’d arrived for a visit.

We’d heard so much about the tiny bushbabies Lisa’s been nursing to health as a part of hers and Deidre’s non-profit organization, Wild & Free Rehabilitation Centre based in Marloth Park and Hoedspruit.  We were anxious to see Lisa’s rescued bushbabies that she handles with the ultimate of love and care until they’re ready to be released into the wild.

This up close and personal experience was a treat!

Well, wouldn’t you know, no more than 10 minutes after we finally sat down to begin today’s post, the Internet went down.  After waiting 15 minutes, the message was clear, this would be a perfect time to head to Kruger, sign up for the Wild Card and spend a few hours driving through the park. 

Tomorrow, we’ll share our totally unexpected “safari luck” experience with some amazing photos we can hardly wait to post.  Who knew that late morning and midday self-drive photo safari would prove to be so exciting?  Perhaps, this purported morning window of opportunity doesn’t hold much water after all.

They are shy and yet curious little animals.

Anyway, back to the heartwarming visit to see the bushbabies and spend time with Lisa who graciously welcomed us into their home, serving snacks and wine. (Wow!  We’re always impressed with the hospitality of South Africans!!!)

They love for Lisa to massage and tickle them, moving around to accommodate her gentle touch.

As soon as we arrived at Lisa’s home (the same site where the bush movie and fundraiser for Wild & Free was held on Saturday night) she escorted us to her bedroom where she cares for four bushbabies who happen to reside in her bedroom closet, which by the way, was meticulously clean and tidy.

We simply could not believe our eyes!  We’ve seen bushbabies in both Kenya and South Africa, usually adults but never quite so close up.  With their big eyes, adorable faces and fluffy hair, they are quite a sight to behold.

The tiniest of the four needs a special tonic several times a day.

Watching Lisa interact with them while caring for their needs with special foods and medicines was indeed precious.  The dedication she has to this four little creatures is beyond reproach. 

Unfortunately, one of the bushbabies, aptly named, Special Needs,” suffers from a brain injury he received when negligently kept as a “pet” and later rescued by Lisa.  Sadly, he isn’t expected to survive much longer but Lisa is making his quality of life meaningful and loving in the interim.

Lisa shared a photo of this baby when he was the size of the end of her finger which may be found here on their Facebook page.

But, the remaining three are thriving and growing and, when fully prepared they will gradually be returned to the wild. There are few people who could so lovingly care for these tiny and magical creatures and Lisa, undoubtedly fits the bill.

They enjoy maneuvering around the various clothes in the closet.

After I fed Doc, the smallest of the three remaining (along with Apple and Bubba) I felt a unique affinity for these little creatures and plan to buy some bananas and yogurt for those that live in the trees near our veranda.

I had the opportunity to feed tiny Doc who slowly nibbled on the teaspoon.

Deidre, from Wild & Free whom we also met on Saturday night, stopped by last night while we all sipped on wine and snacked on biltong and chips while savoring the steady stream of visitors that freely come to their yard.  It was indeed magical.  Thanks to both Lisa and Deidre for making these past few evenings extra special for both of us.

We look forward to seeing them again in the near future and hearing when those precious bushbabies are able to fulfill their innate goals of living free in the wild in fabulous Marloth Park.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll all see them again peeking out from their den in a tree on a warm and balmy night.

What a special experience!

Please stop back tomorrow for more breathtaking photos and our visit to Kruger National Park!


Photo from one year ago today, February 27, 2017:

Could it be more beautiful in Tasmania?  For more favorite photos of Tasmania as we wound down to our last day, please click here.