The holiday season has begun in Marloth Park….Warnings for holidaymakers with children…

Island life for this cape buffalo with a friend on the river’s edge.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Our resident frog which we mistakenly assumed was a male, in fact, is a female.  In frogs, the male is much smaller than the female.  The male took up residence with her overnight last night. We’ll continue to observe to see what transpires for this mating pair.  She’s been sitting there for months although she took off during the rain last week, returning three nights later.  When we turn on this light fixture at night, the insects are prolific and she sits there darting out her tongue for tasty treats.  We’ll see how it goes tonight with two of them sharing the nighttime opportunities.

We were both up at the crack of dawn, hoping to reach grandson Vincent to wish him a happy birthday. The time difference is 12 hours.  He and his family are in Maui, Hawaii for the holiday season snorkeling, boogie boarding, and scuba diving.


As holidaymakers and activities have ramped up this weekend in Marloth Park, we are seeing a distinct reduction in the number of wildlife visitors and more and more vehicles on the roads.  

The only elephant we spotted on the river this morning with a cattle egret in flight near its trunk.

So far today, we’ve fed a few bushbuck moms and babies.  Perhaps by early evening when the garden is usually filled with a wide array of wildlife, we’ll have more visitors.  But, for now, we’re on our own.


We took off in the red car around 8:00 am to drive around the park.  We encountered many vehicles but few animals other than those we’ve shown here today with fewer sightings on the Crocodile River than usual.

A pair of male ostriches wandering through the bush this morning.

On Facebook, this morning and we noticed this warning about children in the park written by a conscientious and dedicated ranger:


Good morning everyone.
Please warn all your guests to not leave small children to explore the bush without an adult. We do have a lot of snakes out and about at the moment. 


There was also an incident this morning with 2 small children going right up to Kudu bulls to feed them without an adult nearby, we luckily had an owner stop them. (Kudu bulls have massive horns and although not necessarily aggressive animals could easily and unintentionally impale a child or adult).

All animals are wild, before we have serious injuries, please let us educate those who think we are a petting zoo. Thank you.
CPF/SECTORS/RANGERS AND SECURITY.” 

For the first time, we noticed ostrich’s ears which may usually be hidden under layers of plumage. Unlike humans, birds’ ears are holes on either side of their head, with no cartilage. Contrary to what most humans believe, ostriches do not stick their heads in the sand.

We see this type of behavior all the time, especially during holidays when the park is filled with tourists.  Once again, we’re driving past cars with children, young children, sitting on the parent’s lap driving the vehicle, often a large SUV or truck.


Recently, we encounter two girls alone in the front seat of an SUV, with one driving, neither of whom could have been over 12 years old.  Who are these parents that allow this dangerous activity?  

During the mating season (June- November) the male ostrich’s beak and legs turn red/pink to attract the female for mating.

Sure, there are many periods of time where there are no police in Marloth Park for long stretches although, in the past few days, we have seen a few police vehicles. We hope they stay through the holiday season.


Does this fact give people the right to ignore laws, endangering not only their own children’s lives but the lives of others including the wildlife?  Last holiday season, spring break, 12 animals were killed from speeding and careless driving in the park.  This was devastating news to all of us who love this place and it’s wildlife occupants.

A peculiar looking bird isn’t it?  Ostriches are remnants of the prehistoric era.

Besides the risk to humans, wildlife and property there is also a lack of consideration by some holidaymakers over noise (and trash) restrictions as part of the regulations in Marloth Park.  


This is supposed to be a peaceful and quiet place where wildlife and humans alike can co-exist in a stressfree environment.  Sadly, that’s not always the case during holiday periods and, at other times as well.

From this angle, it’s difficult to determine the species, other than due to the long neck.

We’re hoping after posting this on several Marloth Park pages in Facebook some holidaymakers may have an opportunity to realize the value of an opportunity to experience this magical place.


The rules and regulations for Marloth Park may be found here at this link.  Although many of these rules are applicable to construction and building, in reading through the list, toward the end, each regulation has a deep and genuine purpose of maintaining the integrity and value of this special community and safety for all blessed to be here.

A saddle-billed stork on the Crocodile River this morning.

Sure, we are only visitors ourselves here (for almost one year, leaving in February ) and who are we to tell others how to behave?  But, our motives are not entirely altruistic.  



We plan to return to Marloth Park 21 months after we leave and we can only hope we’ll find it to be as meaningful and magical as it’s been for us for this full year we’ve spent living here.  



Perhaps this is selfish but if everyone shared a similar selfishness to keep Marloth Park as wonderful as it is, we’d each commit to a personal role in appreciating our time here and dedicating our efforts for the benefits of the wildlife and the surroundings.  



Ultimately in doing so, the humans will continue to relish in the beauty and wonder of one of the most special places on earth.



Be well.  Be happy, during this holiday season and always.
                    ___________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, December 16, 2017:

Views of Cape Horn, known as the bottom of the world, from the ship’s bow.  For more photos please click here.

Christmas season upon us?..A good trip into Kruger National Park…The suffocating heat continues…

A tired old elephant resting his trunk on his tusk.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

The four little piglets keep returning (with mom, of course) for more fun in the garden.

It’s a little after 11:00 am and I’m finally wrapping up today’s post.  As mentioned in prior posts, I don’t always get it done first thing in the morning as I’d done in years past.

Elephant family on their way back up the hill from the Sabie River.  “The Sabie River is a river in South Africa that forms part of the Komati River System. The catchment area of the Sabie-Sand system is 6,320 km2 in extent. The Sabie is one of the most biologically diverse rivers in South Africa, with generally good water quality.”

Oftentimes, I’ll prep for dinner, wash clothes or work on other tasks lined up for the day in order to get them all behind me so my mind is free when I sit down to begin the day’s story.

Waterbuck on the Sabie River.
This morning, I began working on purchasing some of the six grandchildren’s Christmas gifts with more to do in a few weeks.  Some want specific items we order from Amazon and others prefer Visa gift cards in order to choose their own items.  Either way is fine for us.



This morning I ordered the gifts for my son Greg’s three children each of whom had specific items in mind.  With the big holiday rush in the US and often special items becoming sold out, I decided to get a handle on it today.

Enormous cape buffalo on the shore of the Sabie River.

Our other three grandchildren prefer the Visa gift cards so we order those from Amazon about two weeks in advance of Christmas with no worries about them arriving on time.

A face only a mother could love, seem at the Sunset Dam in Kruger.

Tom and I don’t buy gifts for one another, nor do we exchange gifts with our adult children (wouldn’t that be a fiasco with South Africa’s mail service with a backlog of 7.5 million undelivered packages)?  This made sense a long time ago when we left the US – no gifts, please.

We often wait for that big mouth open photo but it didn’t happen.

It’s hard to believe that the Christmas season is upon us once again.  We’ve already noticed Christmas decor (which isn’t an issue here in SA) on display in the shops we frequent. 

Another adorable hippo face at the Sunset Dam.

Over these years we’ve become less and less interested in the hoopla surrounding the holiday season.  It doesn’t fit into this life of world travel.  This doesn’t mean we don’t observe and respect the spiritual significance of Christmas.  It simply means it makes no sense to purchase gifts for one another (no room in our luggage), Christmas trees or decorations.


Nor, do I bake cookies and the confections I’d done in years past.  We both continue to monitor our low carb, keto-based diet, attempting to maintain good health during the holiday season as well as throughout the year.

A tower of giraffes crossing the paved road in Kruger.

In reality, it certainly is easier this way.  And, considering the awful heat lately which will continue through the summer, I can’t imagine standing in the kitchen baking and cooking for the holidays.  

A parade of elephants traveling along the river’s edge.

The recent pie-baking-day-from-hell confirmed this fact when it was 40C, (104F) while I made eight pumpkin pies.  However, we loved serving our Thanksgiving dinner table for 12 and all the food and pies ultimately came out well, sending everyone home with leftovers and a full-sized individual pie.

Handsome…

Social plans become the highlight of the holiday season in Marloth Park.  We already have plans set for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
Now I’ll get to work on deciding what to do for Tom’s upcoming birthday on December 23rd, not the most convenient time of the year to celebrate a birthday.  But, celebrate we will, in one way or another, as we always do.

Hot temperature reading in red car…40C equals 104F.  It will be hotter today, perhaps 42C, (107.6F).  We spend the days and evenings in the heat but use aircon in the bedroom at night.

Today’s photos are a few of many we captured in Kruger National Park yesterday when the power was out.  We’ll have more to share in tomorrow’s post.  As for today, most likely, we’ll make our usual drive through Marloth Park and to the fence at the Crocodile River to see what we can find.  Doing so is a great respite from the heat of the afternoon when temps are at their highest and the cooling air in the red car is a huge relief.

An oxpecker working on a giraffe’s leg.

The rest of this week is socially active with plans for tomorrow night, Thursday night and Saturday night.  We’ll report details as they occur.

May your midweek bring you many wonderful surprises!

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Photo from one year ago today, November 27, 2017:
On Saturday, one year ago, we had lunch at Morgan’s Seafood Restaurant in Cayman Island with new friends Susan and Blair. For more photos, please click here.

Winding down time with friends…Two days until their departure…The activities will continue to the last minute…

A cattle egret standing in shallow water in the Crocodile River.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

The monitor lizard in our garden came out from her burrow for a refreshing drink of water from the cement pond.

As Tom and Lois’s time here comes to a close on Thursday when they depart to return to the US, we’re packing in every moment with quality time, not only together as friends but also in taking advantage of every opportunity for them to experience more wildlife.

The monitor lizard took off back into the bush.
This afternoon at 1515 hours (3:15 pm) a safari vehicle will arrive to pick us up for an evening at Kruger National Park which includes an afternoon game drive, a bush braai (dinner out in the open in the park in the dark), followed by another game drive in the dark.

Elephant we spotted close to the fence between Marloth and Kruger Parks.

With a spotlight to help us see, we’ll have an opportunity to see those special nocturnal animals that are elusive during daylight hours including many of which are never seen during daylight.

The sausage tree at the hippo pool and bird blind is bursting with these giant pods which will eventually bloom into bright red flowers.  From this site: “The sausage tree of sub-Saharan Africa is beautiful in flower. The blood-red to maroon flowers hang in long panicles. The fragrance of the flower is not pleasing to humans but attracts the Dwarf Epauletted Fruitbat (Micropteropus pusillus), its pollinator. As the flowers drop from the tree, animals come to feed on the nectar-rich blooms. Impala, duiker, baboons, bush pigs, and lovebirds all feed on the flowers of the Sausage tree. Grey fruits grow out of these flowers. These grey fruits resemble sausages and can grow for months to become over a foot long and weigh over 10 pounds.”

We may have safari luck or we may not but in either case, it will be fun to dine in the bush, an experience we had a few times when we were here five years ago. 

Both Toms splurging on strawberry milkshakes at Aamazing (spelling is correct) River View restaurant when we took a break from our usual drive in Marloth to stop for cool drinks.

Those five-year-ago exceptional occasions were hosted by Louise and Danie, an experience we cannot expect to match in elegance tonight although based on very positive reviews we’re anticipating a wonderful experience. For details and amazing photos for our former Valentine’s Day bush braai may be found here at this link.

Lois, the two Toms and I had a great break in the action.

Of course, tomorrow, we’ll post photos of tonight’s bush braai and game drives, hoping to share some unique wildlife sightings.  Tonight’s event is hosted by another company, Royal Safari Bush Braai dinner since Louise and Danie no longer conduct these events in Kruger.  

A warthog stops for a sip.

The ease in booking with Royal Safari Bush Braai makes us feel confident this will be an excellent experience for the four of us and any other participants who will also be included.  

A female bushbuck standing in the water on the Crocodile River in Kruger.

Last night we returned to Ngwenya Lodge and Restaurant for Crocodile River viewing and dinner.  Ordering off the menu wasn’t nearly as good as Thursday night’s buffet dinner. There’s wasn’t much in the way of wildlife viewing but we took many photos of a stunning sunset (photos to follow soon).

Cape buffalo aren’t the most handsome of wildlife but we’re always thrilled to see them.  They are one of the Big Five.

Back at the house early, we prepared the veranda for our usual nighttime viewing but had missed the primetime viewing which is usually before and after dusk.

Two male cape buffalos on the river’s edge.

This morning was quite a treat when 15 kudus stopped by including one “Big Daddy,” four warthogs including “Little and the Girls”, a plethora of helmeted guineafowl and of course, Frank and the Mrs. who’ve yet to produce any chicks.

As I write here now, Vusi and Zef are here cleaning the house and the veranda.  Its been fantastic to have the two of them coming in each day and eliminating the massive amounts of dust that enters the house from the action in the dirt garden when the animals come to call.

Lois feeding a large number of kudus who stopped by.  She puts the pellets on the veranda’s edge to keep the helmeted guineafowl from taking them all.

For the next few hours, we’ll relax on the veranda until it’s time to head out for our exciting upcoming afternoon and evening.

Be well.  Be happy.  

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

On Saturday night, after dinner, in Managua, Nicaragua, we wandered through the pool area of our hotel.  For food photos from the dinner, please click here.

Part 9…Cape Buffalo Day!…If you think the Big Five is something…How about the “Ridiculous Nine!!!…Day spent in Kruger with friends!

A group of cape buffalo may be called an “obstinacy.”

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

This is an African Hawk-Eagle.

What an amazing day we had yesterday!  We spent the better part of the day in Kruger National Park, had lunch at the Mugg & Bean and continued on to the Sunset Dam for more spectacular sightings.  

“Buffalo herds can have a significant ecological impact on the veld. Being a bulk grazer, they are responsible for converting long grasslands into short grassy environments conducive to other browsers with more selective feeding habits.”

With finishing the day’s post utmost on my mind in the afternoon, we headed back to Marloth Park by 1400 hours (2:00 pm) arriving about an hour later.  We planned to arrive at Lisa’s house in time for “sundowners” (happy hour) and to see her adorable rescued bushbabies. 

In the next week, we’ll be posting photos from our visit to both Wild & Free locations, at the main facility in Hectorspruit with Deidre and Marloth Park at Lisa’s house.  Both experiences were such a delight to share with Tom & Lois. 

“An inhabitant of woodland savannas, large herds of African Buffalo are encountered in the Kruger National Park, with smaller herds in Zululand and the Eastern Cape.”

By 1900 hours (7:00 pm) were returned to the house, hustled around preparing great leftovers for dinner and did the usual “night on the veranda” thing with many visitors arriving throughout the remainder of the evening.

“A large and powerful bovine, the African Buffalo reaches shoulder heights of up to 1.5 m and a mass of 750 kg. Both sexes have horns, those of the bulls are characterized by a heavy boss and upward curved horns.”

We’ve spent this morning on the veranda, with fewer visitors than usual due to weekend holidaymakers and the drizzling rain.  Once we upload today’s post, we’ll be heading out for a drive along the Crocodile River to see what we can find.


This morning Tom and I went to Daisy’s Den to pick up more handmade placemats and linen napkins for tomorrow night’s exciting dinner party with Louise and Danie coming and a special couple we’ll tell you more about after the party.  It’s quite an amazing story we look forward to sharing next week with considerable enthusiasm.

“Buffalo are inherent carriers of viruses fatal to domestic stock, and for this reason, disease-free Buffalo are being specifically bred in areas such as the Eastern Cape in South Africa and fetch very high prices.” 

After I was typing the above paragraph, Tom had noticed a posting in Marloth Park Sighting Page on Facebook that a pride of lions had been sighted at the Crocodile River.



We all drop what we were doing and took off for the river within minutes.  Following where all the cars were driving and eventually parked near the “Two Trees” location it didn’t take more than a few minutes to spot the lions.

“Mainly preyed upon by lions. When a herd member is attacked, others will rush to its defense. Collectively a number of buffalo are more than capable to stave off an attack by an entire pride of lions. A wounded buffalo bull is regarded as most dangerous by hunters and is one of the reasons why this animal is included in the so-called ‘big five’. This trait is the origin of many hunting adventures, myths, and legends.”

We were all enthralled by the sighting, taking as many photos as possible.  Our one camera doesn’t have the capability to zoom to the distant locations of the sightings but as always we did the best we could.


We’ve decided to wrap up the “Ridiculous Nine” sightings from last Friday with today’s post.  We haven’t included elephants but after many stories and information on elephants over these past many months, we’ll surely bring up elephants in the near future.  

“Mating occurs between March and May. The gestation period is 330 days. Single calves are born between January and April, with a distinct peak in February. African Buffalo are strongly gregarious. Stable herds of up to several hundred are often observed, but which fragment into smaller herds in times of drought.”

Tomorrow, we’ll be sharing today’s photos of the stunning sightings on the Crocodile River including a lion cub that took our breath away. Please check back then.


Enjoy your day and evening!

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Photo from one year ago today, October 20, 2017:

This pair of Inca Doves returned for another visit at the villa in Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

Cape buffalo day!…Difficult day for wildlife in Kruger…

There’s no expression on this cape buffalo’s face that can more clearly illustrate his disdain over the hot weather and lack of water nearby.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

I took this photo of Tom at the Mugg & Bean in Lower Sabie on the hottest day we’ve experienced since our arrival in South Africa last February.  It was 42C (108F).  Moments later we moved to a table in the shade so Tom wouldn’t get sunburned.

Actually, it made sense to be in Kruger on the hottest day of the year.  It gave us an opportunity to see how the wildlife manages to stay as cool as possible under such stressful conditions.

Three cape buffalos crossing the road in Kruger.
In one single outing, we saw so much wildlife, we were stunned.  For us, it isn’t always about spotting the Big Five:  lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and cape buffalo.  We’ve accomplished this on several occasions during our extended periods in Africa.

Thirsty, hot and exhausted cape buffalo by the almost completely dry Verhami Dam.

We tend to focus on the wildlife we encounter along the way, never specifically searching for any particular species.  Sure it’s exciting to see “cats” and rhinos and appreciate every sighting.  

Cape buffalo stay close to any water they can find.

But, we also get wrapped up in many other species especially when there’s a story to tell such as in yesterday’s thrilling newborn elephant sighting as shown in this post.

A lonely looking cape buffalo.  

In the case of today’s cape buffalos, we didn’t glean a specific story over our many sightings but we did extract a common theme on the hot-weather day…cape buffalos, along with many other wildlife species, need close proximity to water to find any degree of comfort during the hottest days of the season as described here at this website:

“The African buffalo or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large African bovine. Syncerus caffer caffer, the Cape buffalo, is the typical subspecies, and the largest one, found in Southern and East Africa. S. c. nanus (African forest buffalo) is the smallest subspecies, common in forest areas of Central and West Africa, while S. c. brachyceros is in West Africa and S. c. aequinoctialis is in the savannas of East Africa. The adult buffalo’s horns are its characteristic feature; they have fused bases, forming a continuous bone shield across the top of the head referred to as a “boss”. They are widely regarded as very dangerous animals, as according to some estimates they gore and kill over 200 people every year.

Only very dry bush for sustenance.

The African buffalo is not an ancestor of domestic cattle and is only distantly related to other larger bovines. Owing to its unpredictable nature, which makes it highly dangerous to humans, the African buffalo has never been domesticated, unlike its Asian counterpart, the water buffalo. Other than humans, African Cape buffaloes have few predators aside from lions and large crocodiles and are capable of defending themselves. Being a member of the big five game, the Cape buffalo is a sought-after trophy in hunting.”

When male cape buffalo don’t “win” the right to mate they are ostracized from the herd and left to wander in combination with other males in a similar situation.  Our last guide in Kenya, Anderson, called them “retired generals.”

One of the “big five” African game, it is known as “the Black Death” or “widowmaker”, and is widely regarded as a very dangerous animal. According to some estimates, it gores and kills over 200 people every year. Buffaloes are sometimes reported to kill more people in Africa than any other animal, although the same claim is also made of hippos and crocodiles. These numbers may be somewhat overestimated, for example in the country of Mozambique, attacks, especially fatal ones, were much less than frequent on humans than those by hippopotamuses and, especially, Nile crocodiles. In Uganda, on the other hand, large herbivores were found to attack more people on average than lions or leopards and have a higher rate of inflicting fatalities during attacks than the predators (the buffalo, in particular, killing humans in 49.5% of attacks on them), but hippos and even elephants may still kill more people per annum here than buffaloes. Buffaloes are notorious among big-game hunters as very dangerous animals, with wounded animals reported to ambush and attack pursuers.”

These cape buffalos were hanging out with hippos at the Sunset Dam, a short distance from Lower Sabie.

A few months ago we posted our video of two cape buffalos who’s horns had become entangled which ultimately was posted on Kruger’s website per their request.  Click here to see our video and here to see it again on Kruger’s own site.

Having access to water surely made life easier for these cape buffalos on the outrageously hot day.

We’re often able to spot cape buffalos on the Crocodile River as shown below in one of today’s photos taken from the fence at Marloth Park overlooking into Kruger.  We took this photo only two days ago.  With all the zebras in the photo with the buffalos, we were pleased with the sighting.

Cape buffalo and zebras on the Crocodile River.

Today, the holidaymakers return for the upcoming two week school holiday officially beginning on Monday.  We can already tell the influence the rush of visitors is impacting the peace and harmony of Marloth Park with many vehicles on the roads and less wildlife visiting us.  

An unbearably hot day in the bush.

With all the commotion many animals head to the parklands where they’ll stay until quiet is returned to the bush.  This morning we had quite a few visitors including 15 kudu, a half dozen warthogs, and our usual bushbucks whom we expect will continue to visit several times a day even during the busy time.

A cape buffalo hanging out with a yellow-billed stork.

The construction next door has ended which at least has provided us with the quiet we so much treasure. We’ll see how these next few weeks pan out with all the tourists here.  We’ll continue our daily drives to the Crocodile River, where once the wildlife is in Kruger National Park, they pay no attention to what’s transpiring in this little piece of paradise in Marloth Park.

Water and vegetation surely made this cape buffalo content.

May your day bring you peace and comfort.

_______________________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, September 21, 2017:

A beautiful scene in the yard at Iglesia de Catholica Zarcero in Costa Rica.  For more photos of the church please click here.

Day three…Safari…Beyond our wildest dreams…The Big Five…Accomplished in our first 10 hours on safari!

 

Up close and personal! We were in a Toyota Land Cruiser with open sides, 25 feet from this lion. Much to our surprise we never felt frightened or at risk at close-range to any of these big animals, including this massive male lion who gave us a great show.  Many more lion photos including a graphic kill and mating shots will follow in posts to come.

Anderson, our guide at the Olonana at the Sanctuary Retreat has far surpassed our hopes and expectations in ensuring that we have a memorable safari experience in our short three days at the camp. 

Had the expense, not been $5000 including air, all-inclusive, we surely would have stayed longer.  Maybe someday we’ll return to the Masai Mara and Olonana.

At this point, we don’t flinch over the cost. There is no amount of money that could have provided us with a more life-changing and valuable experience that which we’ve had thus far; 19 hours on safari in the 49 hours since we arrived on Saturday.

Encountering these creatures from close proximity was Anderson’s goal. In most cases, we were within 25 feet of any of the animals in our photo.  Notice, this older elephant resting his trunk on his tusk. Anderson expected this one to be around 60 years old, close to his life expectancy.

With one more safari remaining tonight, we’ll begin to wind down, pack to return to Diani Beach on the tiny plane, with plans to continue to relive this experience over and over for years to come.  Now we know that safaris will be an integral part of our ongoing travels.

The Big Five…we had few expectations.  Now wanting to be the typical traveler, we made no requirements to Anderson that we accomplish this treasured undertaking that most safari attendees get stuck in their heads.

The Big Five may vary by certain standards.  In Africa, it’s listed as follows:

1.  Elephant
2.  Black Rhino
3.  Cape Buffalo
4.  Leopard
5.  Lion (particularly the male lion)

 

Leopards are nocturnal and seldom seen during daylight hours. We were so excited to see this leopard to round out the Big Five sightings in the first 10 hours we were on safari. 

There’s so much to tell, I almost don’t know where to begin. With limited time and connectivity, we’ll continue as we have over the past few days, as many photos as we can with less dialogue.

But, there’s a story here from beginning to end that we’re anxious to tell, the rich experience of the gift of nature, the local people who regard it with reverence and, our own discovery of that which has remained inside us that is finally let free.  We’ll never be the same, neither of us.

At this point in time, there are only 30 remaining rhinos in Kenya with 10 in the Masai Mara. So far we’ve seen 5 of these elusive and endangered animals.  Lots more photos of rhinos and babies to follow.

When returning to Diani Beach, we’ll begin that story with many more photos as well as our own personal journey of a life-changing adventure we’ll never forget.

We took these photos posted today of The Big Five in our first 10 hours on safari.  That story is but a small portion of the treasures we beheld day by day as we bounced around over winding rocky uneven road without concern or thought to any discomfort.

This old cape buffalo was covered with flies and mud, huddled close in the hot sun with other family members and friends. Most likely he was what Anderson referred to as the Retired Generals, male buffaloes who was been banned from the herd for life, having lost for dominance in battle with other males. The males hang out together in small groups for safety reasons.

We will highlight many additional photos of The Big Five and the many other amazing animals that we discovered each day on safari. 

By the way, as we write this, we’re sitting in the outdoor restaurant at the lodge, soon to go on our second safari of the day. Across the river, we see giraffes and impalas (photos coming soon) and in the river, playful baby hippos. Ah, this is living!

Please come back as this story continues to unfold. Thanks to all of our readers for their comments and email messages and of course, for following along with us.