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 stopping by for a little 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.  In order 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 the 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 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 which he tackled without me.  I’m not quite as surefooted as he is.  It was slipperythe 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.  For four stunning videos of him swimming in the Chobe River, please click here and scroll down to the videos.

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 huge 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 the airport in Nelspruit.  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 may simply be too tired to do so.

Riding the ferry is free for people but not for vehicles between Zambia and Botswana but, to disembark it 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 some type of WiFi signal issue this morning, the line and paragraph spacing is “off” preventing me from correcting the situation.

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

An elephant taking a drink from the river.  For more photos…Please click here.

Part 3…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…They’re back!!!…Six years ago today…Itinerary re-post from one year ago.

We so excited to see the kudus and other wildlife returning to our garden as the holiday crowds dissipate.  

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

One of our two favorite frogs took up residence in this cute little decorative basket near the pool on the veranda.

This morning, two bushbucks, one duiker,  five zebras, and three warthogs stopped by at the same time.  Last night before the pelting rain began, 12 kudus and three warthogs stopped by for a snack.  We couldn’t toss the pellets quickly enough.  

Notice the pellet crumbs on her nose.  Often, there are lots of crumbs in the huge bags of pellets.  Most of the wildlife are happy to lap up the crumbs if we place them on the tile steps.  See more here at this link.

We’re so excited the animals have begun to return to our garden.  After all, that’s why we’re here…the wildlife and the people.  They’re all wonderful and have made this past year fly by in a flurry of activity.

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we spotted this elephant digging a hole to access water in the ground below.  Please take a moment to watch our video at the top of the page.  See this link here for more.

The now working aircon in our main floor bedroom provided us with a good night’s sleep along with the fact the power stayed on for the past 36 hours.  Add the fact that today, for the first time in days, the temperature is cool and comfortable at 21C, (70F) and surprisingly doesn’t feel as humid as it had over the past several days.  What a welcomed relief!

Louise and Danie joined us for dinner that night at Kambaku, the popular restaurant at the golf course in Komatipoort, as we celebrated their belated birthdays.  We couldn’t be more grateful for all they’ve done for us.  See this link here for more.

Today, we’ll complete this three-part series of 2018, “Year in Review” and return tomorrow with our regular posts and all new photos as we see more and more wildlife each day as the holidaymakers have begun to drift away.

Our photo of the blood moon taken on July 27, 2018.  See this link here for more.

Holiday times are different in South Africa than many other countries. In the US, kids return to school the first day after the end of New Year’s Day.  But here, the return to school varies from public schools to private schools but may be as late as the middle of January.  This fact determines when many of the holidaymakers leave Marloth Park.

Not a night passes without an opportunity to watch these adorable bushbabies enjoy the yogurt we place on their little stand.  See this link here for more.
However, as we’ve seen from the gradual return of the wildlife to our garden, many may have left right after New Year’s Day.  At this point, we’ll see how it transpires over the next week or two.
What an animal!  We feel fortunate to have been able to get lion photos.  See this link for more.

This morning when Tom was reviewing past posts, he mentioned it was exactly six years ago today that we boarded our first cruise.  See here for the link. (At that time, we didn’t post many photos and didn’t do a post daily). In 80 days, we’ll be boarding our 24th cruise in Santiago Chile, ending in San Diego California.  

Mom and baby love.  See this link here for more.

It’s even hard for us to believe how many cruises we’ve experienced in this short period of time and other than a four-day back to back cruise in 2013, in the Mediterranean, we’ve loved every one of them.  

Every piece of art at WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery was representative of Zambian culture.  See this link here for more.

The four-day cruise was during spring break and was crowed with highly inebriated, loud, demanding and pushing and shoving passengers.  It couldn’t have ended quickly enough for us.  

We were excited to get a view of the leopard’s face after waiting for a considerable period while Samson, our guide in Chobe National Paek in Botswana kept moving the vehicle for better shots.  Upon careful inspection of this photo, you can see the pads of the feet of her kill in the tree near her head.  See this link here for more.

Below included in our “one year ago today” feature we posted the itinerary which we’d included on today’s date in 2018.  Certain aspects of our itinerary have changed, including the first year that has since passed.  In the next few months, as we add more bookings, we’ll be updating the itinerary and post it here.  

Based on our position in the line-up of vehicles in Kruger our photo taking advantage was limited.  See this link here for more.

As the years have passed, we don’t feel the sense of urgency to fill in the blanks and extend the itinerary beyond two years.  Its less about being lazy and more about feeling comfortable that all of it will work out as we go along.

Stunning female lion – as a part of the Ridiculous Nine we spotted in a game drive in Marloth Park with friends Lois and Tom who visited for three weeks.  See this link here for more.

Tonight, we’ll be visiting Rita and Gerhard at their second condo at Ngwenya where they’re staying until tomorrow.  Then, much to their delight, they’re moving back to the Hornbill house where they lived the first month they were here and will stay until sometime in March when they’ll be leaving Marloth Park.

Tom, Lois, Kerry (our guide) me and Tom after a highly successful game drive in Kruger.  See this link here for more.

We’re hoping to see them in this New Year when they’ll come to visit us in Ireland during our three-month stay beginning in May.  We’re also looking forward to Kathy and Don visiting us in Ireland as well.  How fortunate we are to have made such fine friends.

We encountered this stunning scene of zebras and wildebeest from the fence at Marloth Park. One reason zebras and wildebeest hang out together is that zebras love to eat the taller grass and wildebeest the shorter grass – it’s a type of symbiosis. There is no competition regarding food.  Also, wildebeests have a better sense of hearing, while zebras can see very well. It’s always great to have an ally to warn of any impending danger.  Another reason is zebras and wildebeest prefer to be in the open savannahs…the concept of safety in numbers comes into play.  See this link here for more.

Then upcoming on January 14, friend Linda and Ken will stay here with us for a week.  They arrive from Johannesburg on the day that we’re having a birthday dinner party for Rita. Such good times with friends…we are so grateful.

We’ve so enjoyed spending time with new friends Rita and Gerhard who came to Marloth Park after reading our posts years ago.  Through our site, they found the holiday home they’ve rented and also found Louise to help them get situated.  They’ll be here in Marloth until March.  We look forward to many more exciting times together.  See this link here for more.

That’s it for today, folks.  We’ll be back with more tomorrow. 

May you find your day to be fulfilling and meaningful!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 3, 2018:

One year ago today, we posted the upcoming itinerary that included a total of 852 days, which is now down to 486 days since the first year of this itinerary has passed. Since that date, we’ve had a few modifications which we’ll include next time we update and post the itinerary. For details, please click here.


 Location 
Days
 Dates 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
20
 1/2/2018 -1/23/2018 
 Ushuaia, AR – Ushuaia, AR – Antarctica Cruise 
16
 1/23/2018 – 2/8/2018 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
2
 2/8/2018 – 2/10/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Bush home selected
89
2/11/2018 – 5/11/2018
  Zambezi River Cruise – Victoria Falls 
8
5/11/2018 – 5/19/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
5/19/2018 – 8/16/2018
 Uganda – See gorillas and the “Cradle of Mankind” 
7
8/16/2018 – 8/23/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
 8/23/2018 -11/20/2018 
 Mozambique, Africa (get visa stamped) 
1
 11/20/2018 -11/21/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
 11/21/2019 – 2/17/2019 
 Valparaiso, Chile – Rent vacation home or hotel
36
 2/17/2019 – 3/24/2019 
 Cruise – San Antonio, Chile – San Diego 
14
 3/24/2019 – 4/8/2019 
 San Diego, CA – Fly to Minneapolis, MN – Family visit
13
 4/8/2019 – 4/21/2019 
 Cruise – Fort Lauderdale, FL- Dublin, Ire (1-day hotel stay) 
15
 4/21/2019 – 5/6/2019 
 Ireland – Rent country house – Research Tom’s ancestry 
90
 5/6/2019 – 8/1/2019 
 Amsterdam, NLD – Hotel stay 
11
 8/1/2019 – 8/11/2019 
 Cruise, Baltic – Amsterdam, NLD – Amsterdam, NLD 
12
 8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
 England – Rent country home
62
 8/23/2019 – 10/24/2019 
 Southampton, UK – Fort Lauderdale, FL
15
  10/24/2019 – 11/8/2019 
 Henderson/Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA -Scottsdale, AZ 
25
 11/8/2019 – 12/3/2019 
 Ecuador – Galapagos – Rent vacation homes on islands
89
 12/3/2019 – 3/1/2020 
 Peru – Machu Picchu – Rent vacation homes, visit site 
30
 3/1/2020 –  3/31/2020 
 The Pantanal/Amazon River Cruise – Brazil (2 cruises)
30
 3/31/2020 – 4/30/2020 
 Number of days  
852

Part 2…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…An important decision has been made…

Two female rhinos on the trail of a nearby male.  See this link here for more.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

We were hopeful on Monday when we had 13 kudus in the garden, thinking perhaps the traffic in Marloth Park was thinning out.  Today, we’ve had several kudus, bushbucks and the warthog mom and four babies.

Yesterday was another hot and humid day, leaving us soaked in sweat throughout the day.  Today, it continues.  Luckily, the power didn’t go out and we slept in one of the upstairs bedrooms with working aircon.

Linda, me and Kathy.  It was these two thoughtful friends that took me to lunch on my birthday, four years ago.  Now, we’ll all be together again to celebrate my 70th.  Wow!  See this link here for more.

We’re hopeful, the repair guy will come today and repair the aircon in our main floor bedroom where we have a dust-mite-free mattress, pillows, and covers.  The bed upstairs is a double and although we’ve slept in double beds throughout the world, a queen-sized bed is much more comfortable, especially when we both have a tendency to hog the center of the mattress.

Ken, Tom and Don making big faces for the camera!  See this link here for more.

We’re looking forward to aircon comfort in our main floor bedroom, hopefully, available by this evening.  From there, we hope the power stays on as it has for the past 24 hours.

We’ll always remember this birthday as a special event for both of us; celebrated life, health, our experiences and the fine friends we’ve made along the way.  See this link here for more.

This morning, it’ rained, a nice soaking rain needed in the bush at this point.  We were discussing the frustration many holidaymakers must be feeling after they came to the bush with lots of expectations, only to be sorely disappointed by some events that transpired.

While in Kruger, we spotted a rhino mom and her baby, born this season and still closely attached to the mother. See this link here for more.

It’s been outrageously hot, humid and there have been more power outages than we can count.  Kruger National Park has been difficult to enter with the crowds going as far as making reservations for a fee, to enter.  Once inside, they’ve had to deal with all the vehicles blocking the roads during a sighting.

This was a “tower” or “journey” of the eight giraffes who made their way to the only paved road in Marloth.  Note the eighth giraffe is to the far right in this photo.  See this link here for more.

On top of that, there has been less wildlife visiting the properties over the past several weeks due to the added number of people and vehicles in Marloth Park, certainly adding to the frustrations.

When “capturing” the Black Mamba it is imperative to immobilize the head close to the ground and raise the tail.  Tom managed to do this while it was desperately attempting to escape during his snake handling experience at Snake School.  The Black Mamba is the fastest snake on the planet.  See this link here for more.

As we often drive around Marloth Park for two hour periods, almost every day, we see few animals in the gardens of holiday homes, other than an occasional kudu or warthog.  

At a distance, they saw Dad coming their way.  The chick’s pace picked up the moment she spotted him.  Look at the far end of the dirt road to see him coming!  His feathers are dark.  See this link here for more.

We can only imagine the frustration of the holidaymakers dealing with these issues, as well as property owners and managers, dealing with the renter’s demands as a result of their frustrations.  It hasn’t been an easy situation. Some tourists have left earlier than they’d planned.

 I awoke Tom when this thing was walking on me.  With the light from my phone, I saw it and must admit, a little scream escaped my lips as I shooed it off my shoulder.  Yucky!  Look at those spiky legs!  Tom captured it in this plastic container and released it outside.  See this link here for more.

Today, we continue on with Part 2…2018, “Year in Review.”  In yesterday’s post, found here, we covered our cruise to Antarctica and the many stunning photos we captured along the way.  It was exciting for us, once again, reviewing each post for favorite photos to share in the post.

This was a common sight in Marloth Park a holiday weekend in April.  It’s packed with tourists sitting in the back of a “bakkie” which is Afrikaans for “pickup truck.”  Very dangerous.  See this link here for more.

Today, we’re including photos and links from the first half of the year up to and including June 2018.  Tomorrow, we’ll add a Part 3 which with so many photos, we found to be necessary.

Adorable baby Danie with his loving and attentive mom, Okey Dokey, our friend and driver from 2013 when she and her husband and baby came to visit.  He never stopped smiling and laughing the entire time they were visiting.  See this link here for more.

Of course, we want to “save” some favorite photos to share on the last few days of our one year stay in Marloth Park, including all the year’s expenses which we’ll include on the last day, February 14, 2019.  On that date, we’ll depart the park to spend the night in a hotel in Nelspruit, close to the airport for our early morning flight to Kenya.

This gorgeous feta, onion and lettuce salad served by dear friends Louise and Danie when they invited us for dinner was enhanced with edible flowers indicative of the attention to detail and creativity these two fine hosts possess. See this link here for more.

We made a very important decision in the past few days…we will return to Capetown, South Africa via a cruise on December 2, 2020.  However, we’ll fly to Namibia from there where we’ll spend three months and then return to Marloth Park.  

Alas, we arrived in Zambia to see the magical splendor of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  Later that day we also went to Zimbabwe to see the falls from that country.  See this link here for more.

By then, the holiday season in Marloth will have passed and we can avoid or at least diminish some of our own frustrations during the holiday season.  No doubt, Namibia will have some challenges but we’ll have an entirely different set of expectations of our own.

None of the six of us or our guide Alfred could believe our eyes as we watched this male elephant build his mud pool in Chobe National Park.  We’ve seen a lot of elephants in Africa but this was a rare sighting for us.  See this link here for more.

As for yesterday and today’s photos, many of our long-term readers certainly have seen them in past posts.  However, we always have a new influx of readers and encourage them to click on the links we’ve provided along the way.

Check out those teeth on a croc we spotted while on the Zambezi River cruise. Crocs are able to replace each of their 80 teeth, up to 50 times in their 35 to 75-year lifespan.  See this link here for more.

It’s been a fantastic year, as we mentioned in yesterday’s post and we continued to smile when we reviewed the year’s posts and see all that we’ve accomplished and experienced along the way.

The harsh realities of the bush – This is a Bovine Tuberculosis infected kudu we spotted only the day after we were educated on this dreadful disease impacting mainly kudus in Marloth Park.  See this link here for more.

And, there’s so much more yet to come in the New Year.  Please stay with us as we continue on our exciting world journey.


 This video will remain as one of our favorites in years to come clearly illustrating the intelligence of elephants during a human intervention in “their world.”  Watch and you’ll see why.  See this link here for more.


Have a spectacular second day of the New Year!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 2, 2018:

We set up the tripod to take this photo of us in Costa Rica on October 31, 2017, the five year anniversary of our world travels which was posted in Part 2, our 2017 “Year in Review.”  For more, please click here.

Part 1…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…

It was fun to hold up our US flag on the ice floe in Antarctica. See the link here for more.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Perhaps the holidaymaker’s are beginning to leave the park when yesterday we had no less than 20 kudus stop by throughout the day, including this adorable young male.

This has been one of the best years of my life.  The adventures were many the challenges endless, and the opportunity to see parts of the world we only dreamt of.

A one or two-year-old Rock Hopper Penguin on New Island in the Falkland Islands yet to grow his full plumage.  See this link for more.

Tom always says, “The best year of my life is yet to come.”  OK, I’ll go along with that premise as well.  

  Closer view of King Penguin with a chick.  See this link here for more.

But, how in the world can we possibly top this past year visiting Argentina, Antarctica, spending a year in Marloth Park, and twice traveling to Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe…Chobe River, Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls and cruising on the Zambezi River?  (More photos will follow in Part 2 tomorrow).

Tom certainly got it right when he captured this Black Browed Albatross chick with what appears
to be a smile. See this link here for more.

Today, included in our photos is a focus on our Antarctica cruise, surely one of the highlights of both of our lives.  We left Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 23, 2018, to head to Ushuaia, Argentina, the most southerly city in the world, to board the ship, the Ponant Le Soleal.

It was stunning to see all these Albatross atop these pods in their massive nesting grounds.

When the cruise ended on February 8, 2019, we returned to Palermo for two more days before we flew to Marloth Park on February 11, 2018, to begin this year-long stay, ending on February 14, 2019, in a mere 44 days.

This elephant seal on Steeple Jason Island didn’t care for our photo taking antics.  See the link here for more.

Going from the cold and ice of Antarctica to the heat and dust of Africa was quite an experience in itself.  But, in no time at all, we adapted to our new life for the year to come.  And, its been a grand year we’ll always treasure.

This is unreal…the Black Browed Albatross on Steeple Jason Island, remove tall grass from these massive “pod-like” structures, adding mud and vegetation to make it a free-standing pod on which they can nest. Here’s a young chick making a little noise while atop her/his elevated nest.  That’s amazing!  See the link here for more..

By far, that cruise was the most expensive cruise or venue we’ve experienced in our six-plus years of world travel.  We doubt we’ll embark on such a costly expedition in years to come.  It proved to be well worth the expense and we have no regrets.

Standing among the King Penguins was an experience we’ll always remember.  See this link here for more.

Last night we brought in the New Year at Royal Kruger Lodge, a four-star safari resort and spa here in Marloth Park.  Our host, Flo, and JJ did an exceptional job at making us feel welcomed. We been to several social events with Flo and JJ over the past year and found them to be a very special couple, with three children, teenage daughter, and a son and, a college-age daughter, all of whom attended the party.

This has got to be one of our favorite Antarctic photos, a Chinstrap Penguin lying on the rocks for a short rest with what looks like a winsome smile on his face.  See this link here for more.

Louise and Danie, longtime close friends of theirs ensured we had an invitation, along with Rita and Gerhard.  We couldn’t have had a more enjoyable New Year’s Eve.

We had to keep our distance from this delicate structure which would be a disaster for us in the small boat, where it to collapse near us.  See this link here for more.

Also, we knew a number of other guests in attendance of the party of 30 to 40 guests, staged poolside, at their stunning property, surely one of the most beautiful resorts/game lodges in Marloth Park.

There we were, sitting on a Zodiac boat in Pleneau Bay sipping on French champagne.  Was that ever fun!  See this link here for more.

We returned to the house at 1:00 am but didn’t fall asleep until after 2:00 am.  Fortunately, we both managed to get some sleep even without working aircon which hopefully will be repaired in days to come.  Also, we were thrilled to find we had power and could at least use the portable fan.

Both of us raising a glass in celebration of this special occasion.  The ships staff created an ice bar on a small ice floe.  We used the Zodiac boat to arrive at the floe, all set for French champagne.  See the link here for more.

Today, we’ll lay low and have a nice dinner on the veranda, hoping we’ll see as many visitors as we did yesterday before we left for the party close to 1900 hours, (7:00 pm).  

Both of us holding the “I crossed the Polar Circle” sign.  See this link here for more.

We had no less than 20 kudus stop by; Little and his best friend; warthog friends Mike and Joe;  numerous bushbucks, and both female and male duikers.  Even Frank and the Mrs. made an appearance.  We hadn’t seen either of them in over a week.  I suppose holiday traffic has an impact on francolins (birds).

A face only a mother could love.  See this link here for more of our favorite photos from the  Antarctica cruise.

We’re wishing every one of our worldwide readers has an exceptional New Year, filled with the riches of life that even money can’t buy…the joys of nature and our surroundings, free for the taking, fulfilling in many ways.

Happy New Year to each of YOU!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 1, 2018:

Us, one year ago at the boutique hotel in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina where we awaited the Antarctica cruise beginning on January 23, 2018.  For more details, please click here.


We’re back!! And they’re back, too!…Final expenses for Zambia and Botswana…Playful Chobe kudu video…

Our most recent bag of pellets contained a lot of dust.  As Tom began to sweep the dust from the pellets off the veranda’s edge these four kudus took a spot to begin licking off the dust

“Sighting of the Day on the Veranda”

This young male’s horns have started to sprout.  He was mature and experienced enough to know that looking into our eyes would reap some rewards.  How right, he is!

We’d intended to post more Zambia and Chobe National Park (Botswana) photos today but have decided to do so over these next several days instead.  We wanted to focus on the expenses today but something magical occurred this morning…we had a record-breaking 19 kudus come to call including moms and their offspring of varying ages.

There were more out of view of the camera for a total of 19 in our garden this morning, more than our prior record of 17.

There aren’t words in the English language that can describe the elation we felt as one-by-one they approached the veranda making direct eye contact with us.  Our hearts were pounding with sheer delight.  We couldn’t toss the pellets quickly enough.

Sixteen kudus in this photo with more on the sidelines.

It was great to be back at the bush house in Marloth Park.  Louise had arranged a deep “spring” cleaning as she’d done last time we were gone and the house was dust free and spotless.  They’d even rearranged and tidied the kitchen drawers I have a tendency to make messy from time to time.  We couldn’t have appreciated it more.

Kudus are smart.  They sure know how to grab our heartstrings.

No more than seconds after we pulled into the driveway, we had visitors waiting for us…Mr. Bushbuck and Ms. Bushbuck, Baby Bushbuck and Friend, who must have been waiting for our return.  Imagine their curiosity as to where we were for seven days and nights.  As I write this now, the three bushbucks are here, content to see we’re still here.

Shortly after their visit, Josiah came to thoroughly wash the veranda floor, preventing the spread of disease among the kudus.

We’d planned to go out for dinner after our arrival but neither of us felt like eating out again.  Instead, we stopped at the Spar Supermarket in Melalane while Tom stayed in the car with our luggage while I shopped, buying enough to last until well into next week.  This way we wouldn’t have to leave right away.

They each picked a spot, licking to their heart’s content.

By 1900 hours, 7:00 pm, we were pulling the steaks off the braai, the salad and vegetables were prepared and we were both completely unpacked, sorting piles of laundry to get done today.  (As it’s turned out, it’s a cloudy drizzly day and we’ve had to hang all the wet clothes on hangers throughout the house, after we had to bring them inside when it started raining).

Last night, as always, we set up the veranda for the evening and set the table for dinner.  We weren’t disappointed when several warthogs, a few kudus, our usual male duiker and the usual bushbuck family hung around while we dined.  (We never feed them any of the animals our leftover food.  They get pellets, fresh raw vegetables, and apples at this location), all fit for their consumption.

A few determined kudus, anxious for some greenery, began chomping on the “house” plants of the veranda.

As for the immigration situation, we’ll share the details in tomorrow’s post after we’d had an opportunity to do some research today.  The news is both good and not-so-good.  Somehow, we’ll figure it all out.

I’m back to feeling like myself again since the side effects of the malaria pills have finally worn off after stopping them two days ago.  After reading about the possibility of long-term side effects after stopping the pills, I’m relieved to feel great once again.

This kudu particularly liked the lemongrass plant.

I was a little queasy and dizzy on the return flight especially when it became turbulent for a while but once we landed, I felt better.  South African Airways is a good airline and we feel safe and comfortable flying with them overall.  

They offered a complimentary lunch but we both declined.  We’d have our last (included) breakfast at the hotel and had no problem waiting to eat again until dinner.

A determined oxpecker held on tight while this kudu participated in dining on the pellets.

We’re looking forward to seeing Louise and Danie later today when they mentioned they’ll be stopping by to say hello. Tomorrow night, we’re meeting up with Kathy and Don and friends for dinner at Jabula.  As usual, it will be another social weekend with both humans and animals.

We couldn’t be happier, nor could we be more grateful for this wonderful life we live.  Sure, it has its ups and downs as you’ve read as they occur and, in tomorrow’s post we’ll share a realistic down we must face going forward.  

This happened so quickly we barely had time to set the camera to video. It was fun to see this Big Daddy having a good time.

But, there’s always the joy of living in the moment, remembering the joys of what transpired in the past and the excitement of the treasures the future holds.

Here are the expenses we incurred for the seven-night trip to Zambia and Botswana as we continue to strive to extend our time in South Africa:

 Expense   US Dollar   South African Rand (ZAR) 
 Hotel & Flights (rt) 7 nights   $                  2,730.22  $                 39,073.66      
 Tours   $                     968.35  $                13,858,58        
 Taxi   $                       78.90  $                   1,129.18       
 Dining Out   $                     235.07  $                   3,364.21     
 Tip  $                       69.04  $                       988.07
 Visa (Zambia Immigration)   $                     160.00  $                    2,289.85
 Pharmacy & Misc.   $                       41.90  $                        599.65
 Total   $                 4,283.48  $                   61,303.20
 Avg Daily Cost    $                    611.93  $                      8,757.66

If you’d like to review our expenses for our last seven-night stay in Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, please click here.  These visa extension trips are pricey as shown.

May your day bring you joy!

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Photo from one year ago today, August 24, 2017:

We had the opportunity for numerous iguana sightings at the rescue center in Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

A Royal Wedding watching party in the bush…Close encounters of the elephant kind…

Albert our guide in Chobe National Park and on the Chobe River had pulled the safari vehicle close to the river so we could check out some crocs near the end of this post regarding this story).

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Impalas are very skittish around humans making it difficult to take photos of them when they rarely visit.  This male was moderately interested in a few pellets.  But, when he heard a noise in the bush he took off.  When fighting for dominance during mating season, they bark like a  crazed dog, the weirdest sound we’ve heard in the bush.

Today, we’re sharing two stories, one an unreal elephant encounter in Chobe National Park and another, yesterday’s Royal Wedding viewing party I attended on Saturday at Jabula Lodge.

I sat at this table with Gail, Leslie, Pat, and Jeanine.

I’d hesitated to commit to attending the party when the invitation was posted on Facebook several days ago.  My concern was we’d be preparing to leave South Africa if and when our passports didn’t get stamped for another 90 days and the last thing on my mind would have been the Royal Wedding.

As it turned out, for those of you who may not have seen yesterday’s post (please click here), we were able to have our passports stamped for another glorious 90 days we’re able to stay in South Africa…in Marloth Park.  We couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Also, included in our viewing group Gail, Danelle and Rhona.

Thus, I kept my RSVP intact and joined the lovely women after I’d completed and uploaded yesterday’s post.  I was exhausted from lack of sleep the prior night, our first night back in Marloth since I kept awakening wanting to see if any visitors were stopping by. 

Dawn, Felix and Lynn (behind the bar).  

“Settle down,” I reminded myself, “They’ll be plenty of time for visitors.” But, sleep alluded me and I was awake from 3:00 am on.  Last night, I did better after a great homemade meal on the braai and managed to sleep a full eight hours, only awakening from time to time.  It’s amazing how a good night’s sleep makes us feel the next day.

Dawn, the owner of Jabula, had arranged a beautiful spread for the ladies.  She’d offered to make something for me but I wasn’t hungry.

The party was fun.  I knew a few of the women in attendance and had the opportunity to meet several others.  The food, the champagne, the decorations and the festivities were totally delightful. 

Three baby elephants were off at a distance and the moms were angry they’d wandered off.  They started calling for them and they came running.  This happened so quickly we had no time to react and take a video.  When the babies returned it appeared the moms were scolding them as they kicked up sand while bellowing.

Although there wasn’t food suitable for my way of eating, Dawn offered to have the kitchen prepare a few items for me but I politely declined.  I wasn’t hungry and eating was the last thing on my mind.

They were so close to us we didn’t need to use any zoom on the camera.

I didn’t have much interest in the Royal Wedding but it was fun to see her dress and the hats and clothing worn by the guests…such a wide array of colors,, styles and personalities. 

The huge matriarch came from a short distance and ran toward the herd to see what was going on.

The chatter around the table was entertaining and interesting and I was never bored for a moment.  With my short attention span, a true personality flaw, I always make every effort to stay engaged and connected whether in a group or one-on-one.  It was no problem yesterday with the playfulness and banter between the women.

A few stragglers who’d been grazing followed suit.

By 2:00 pm, Tom stopped in to pick me up, taking a few minutes to meet everyone and then we were on our way back “home.”  I hesitate to use the word “home” when we truly are homeless nomads but here in the bush, it feels like a home not so much due to the house, but as to our comfort in living in this environment.


As for the second part of today’s story, we are still reeling from last week’s exceptional elephant encounter in Chobe National Park.  I don’t need to write much about it here today.  

 One baby insisted on suckling after all of the action.

By following the photos and the captions, the story will be clearly told.  All I can add is that it was unlike any elephant encounter we’ve had in the past, one we’ll always remember.  What a spectacular week we had!

Things started to settle down.

Today, we’ll embark upon our usual drive through Marloth Park to see what we can find.  However, after yesterday’s rainy day and predictions for more rain today, we may have to postpone for another day.

Finally, they decided to wander off.

We’ve only had a handful of visitors today; one guinea fowl, one female bushbuck and one male impala as shown in the above photo.  

Weekends tend to be quieter in the bush when there are more tourists and subsequently more cars in the park.  We always look forward to Mondays for that very reason.

The worry exhibited by the moms was heartwarming to witness.  We were grateful to have witnessed such an event.
And, another calf began suckling.
Have a peaceful and meaningful Sunday, wherever you may be.
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Photo from one year ago today, May 20,2017:

In each of the ports of call in Alaska, we’ve noticed several fur shops including this shop in Juneau.  For more details, please click here.