A morning from hell…OMG…OMG…

An older man was walking his cow down the road.

Last night when we went to bed, we assumed we had a solid plan in place. By noon, we’d have our bags packed, have paid our hotel bill, and be ready to head to the Espresso Hotel, which had booked us a room for a month, according to the Sun-N-Sand staff.

At 8:00 am, having slept later than we’d expected after awakening several times during the night, the phone rang. The front desk informed us that our checkout had been moved to 10:00 am, not noon.

We bolted out of bed to begin to take turns showering, dressing, and packing. By 8:45, we headed to the restaurant for our final breakfast at the Sun-n-Sand Hotel. It appeared we were the only remaining guests in the hotel.

At the reception desk, we asked why we were rushing for a 10:00 am checkout. They didn’t say much other than, “We’re closing earlier than we’d planned.”

A Marwari horse with curly ears at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Service was slow at the restaurant, although we were the only patrons. By 9:30, Tom went back to our room to finalize the packing while I approached the front desk to pay our bill. He told me to go back and wait in the room until they were ready for us.

I refused to go back to the room. I insisted on waiting for Tom in the lobby after the bellman had been ordered to pick up our bags. The man at the desk seemed nervous and confused, telling me to “go wait in the room until they were ready for us.” Again, I refused.

This worried me. I insisted on paying the bill. Moments later, Tom came off the elevator wheeling our bags. The bellman hadn’t arrived in time to help him. He joined me at the desk to assist in sorting out the bill.

As it turned out, we had a credit when we paid for an entire week last Friday and still had three nights remaining. The only charges we’d incurred were for dinners and one batch of laundry. They paid us several thousand rupees in cash rather than put it on our credit card. 

An Indian Roller.

After completing the transaction, the man handed us a piece of paper with the name of a different hotel, The Orchid, explaining that’s where we were going. A reservation for one month had been arranged for us, and we were to leave right away. They’d managed to find a driver to move us to the new location instead of using a police vehicle as mentioned yesterday.

We checked out The Orchid, a hotel online, and it looked very nice. We were satisfied it would work for us. Tom was disgruntled about this last-minute change from one hotel to another without notifying us, but based on our situation, we had little choice but to move along. Hotels all over Mumbai were rapidly closing, one after another.

With the roads empty of vehicles, we arrived at the beautiful Orchid, feeling relieved as soon as we drove up. Although all bars, most restaurants, pools, and facilities in hotels had to be closed, we’d be content with a room with air-con, WiFi, a comfortable bed, and a place to eat breakfast and dinner.

Our bags were unloaded from the van, we paid the driver, went through security, had our temperature checked, and approached the desk to sign in for our one-month reservation.

Statues made from stone and granite are offered for sale to locals and tourists.

They had no record, whatsoever, of any reservation in our name, not for one night, let alone one month. Nor were they able to book us a room when they are closing tomorrow. Sun-n-Sand had pulled the wool over our eyes to get us out the door so that they could complete.

There we were, hotels closing like dominoes falling, all over Mumbai, along with owners of holiday homes not responding to our inquiries and nowhere to go. My heart was pounding in my chest. Tom kept reminding me to stay calm while we figured something out.

As much as the staff at The Orchid wanted to help us, there was little they could do. The fantastic hotel manager/concierge, Mr. Wesley Fernandes, immediately worked with the utmost effort to find a solution for us.

I had visions of us standing outside the US Embassy in Mumbai with all of our baggage, pounding on the door, trying to get help. 

Gorgeous leis of flowers offered for sale for offerings.

Partway through Mr. Fernandes’ diligent calling, he approached us and said he’d located a hotel the government had required to stay open… For suspected cases of Covid-19 required quarantine. 

Tom and I had agreed that, no matter what, we would not stay in one of those toxic situations. Mr. Fernandes didn’t think we’d willingly remain in such a facility. Subsequently, he continued the search. After a highly stressful hour, he found us a hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott, close to the airport.

He suggested we book it online right away, which we did, after which he spoke to a reception staff member who confirmed the reservation had come through and we were good to go.

Not only did Mr. Fernandes make these arrangements for us, but he also arranged a complimentary ride using a vehicle owned by The Orchid. Finally, we breathed a sigh of relief. Moments later, we were on our way to the most beautiful Courtyard by Marriott we’d ever seen.

Women were weeding the peanut fields.

During this entire stressful period, we both wore face masks. With lobbies of most hotels in Mumbai not air-conditioned and the high heat and humidity, we were both sweating profusely.

The kindly reception staff member at The Orchid Deeptka, provided us with both will bottled water, and we were on our way. The staff at the Courtyard by Marriott were welcoming, but here again, they made no assurances as to how long they’d stay open. Also, they explained there is no laundry service now or soon.

Today, we’ll begin contacting more owners of holiday homes to see if they’ll take us last minute, next time we have to move, which we expect will happen within the next week or so.  

Whew! Now, we’re comfortably situated in a beautiful hotel with all services suspended indefinitely except for an open coffee shop that will serve us breakfast and lunch. We’ll stay in our room unless we’re dining.

A termite mound in Kanha National Park.

If this hotel stays open, we could be here a month or two or longer, depending upon when South Africa opens its borders and when international flights are available in Mumbai. None of us know our fate at this point, and indeed every one of us feels cooped up and uncertain about the future.

If and when you visit Mumbai, we’d highly recommend staying at The Orchid. Nowhere in the world have we seen this caliber of customer service at a hotel, let alone the fact we weren’t staying with them.

Temporarily, we dodged a bullet, for how long? We have no idea. Stay safe. Stay indoors. We continue.  

                        Photo from one year ago today, March 24, 2019:
Fourth Baby, who’d been separated from his family, often sits in this goofy pose when eating pellets. This was how we knew it was him. The others kneel but don’t set their butt down while eating. He was never reunited with his family, from what we could determine. For more photos, please click here.

Americans stranded overseas pleas for help to get back to the USA…

This morning, the pool was emptied.

Note: At this point, we’ve lost interest in taking new photos when we’re stuck in a hotel room. Tomorrow, we’ll continue to post photos from our tours in India, although some may be repeats since we didn’t keep track of what we’ve already posted with a lack of time while touring.

Many news stories online about Americans stranded overseas desperate to return to their homes elicits compassion and empathy when they cannot afford to continue to pay for accommodations and are fast running out of medications.

As we’ve read, the US has been chartering flights to get some of these US travelers back to their homes. There are countless news stories about citizens trapped abroad when their vacations ended and airports closed, preventing them from leaving.

Last night when we sat outside, we noticed the pool emptied, indicating the hotel may be closing soon.

That has been our case, but we aren’t running out of medications, nor are we worried about getting back to the US. As long as we have a place to stay and a source of food and basic supplies, we can “wait it out in Mumbai.”

Tonight India’s Prime Minister Modi will announce the next necessary measures to reduce the risks of the spread of Covid-19, which may or may not include closing hotels. 

As of this writing, all signs indicate our hotel will be closing soon. Last night, they emptied the pool and shut off the outdoor area where we’ve been watching the sunset every evening. Today and tonight, we’ll be stuck in our room. 
Another incredible sunset from the hotel pool area.

I’ve never been one to enjoy spending time in a hotel room, although Tom, with his penchant for staying busy online, doesn’t mind quite as much. I guess I’ll have to adapt, as I am, with no complaints, making the best of our situation.

Our spirits are good, and we aren’t complaining at all. Our only concern is that we have a place to stay, preferably a hotel, where we don’t have to find a way to get groceries delivered to us if we were in a holiday home.

Several online grocers are booming in light of the fears of being around other shoppers in local markets. How long they will continue to supply their customers remains to be seen.

What beautiful sunsets over the Arabian Sea.

In reviewing the online grocer’s inventory, there appears to be plenty of foodstuffs we both eat, such as chicken, vegetables, eggs, cheese, coffee/tea, and spices. We can easily exist on these items alone if need be.

Tonight will provide us with a clearer picture of what will transpire going forward. A few minutes ago, when speaking with one of the hotel managers, he seemed to think they’d stay open until March 31st. They still have five out of 120 rooms occupied. All of them have been unable to leave the country, like us. 

A guest, next door to us, checked out, thinking he’d get out of the country, and is now checking back into his same room. We weren’t in our original room when the manager moved us to a room “with a view.”
The beach is barren, with no walkers, no joggers, and even no stray dogs.

But, with the air-con seeming to be running poorly (most likely to keep costs down), we have to keep the drapes closed to keep the room cooler. We sit on the bed all day, searching online for any helpful information. For now, we are OK.

We pray you are all safe, “social-distancing,” and taking all necessary precautions to avoid becoming infected. We’ve been streaming and binge-watching Season 40 of the TV series “Survivor” to keep us entertained. Once we wrap that up, surely will find something else.

Be well. Stay safe and stay tuned as to what transpires here in Mumbai.

Photo from one year ago today, March 22, 2019:

This is Basket, the Bully.  He lost his right ear in a confrontation a few months ago. For more photos, please click here.

Reminds me of a movie I once watched with guests trapped in a hotel…Hotels closing in Mumbai…Are we next?

Last night’s sunset over the Arabian Sea from the hotel pool area.

It was a bad sign this morning when we went to breakfast that there was no buffet. Only five rooms in this 120 room hotel are occupied, and it made no sense for them to continue to offer a buffet. Besides, buffets are breeding grounds for germs. 

Is this the beginning stages of this hotel closing in the next several days?

The hotel is no longer allowed to accept new reservations. In a matter of days, we could be the only guests here. That’s freaky. It won’t be the first time we were the only guests in a hotel. On Christmas Eve and Christmas day in 2017, we were the only guests in a boutique hotel in Palermo, Buenos Aires. We ended up having a great time after all. See this link here.
But, those circumstances were entirely different. It was a fluke. There were no guests in the small hotel. In this case, as you all so well know, the circumstances are entirely different. The Covid-19 is the cause of many businesses, now including hotels worldwide, closing their doors.
Each night, to get out of our hotel room and enjoy the sunset.

Of course, I searched for holiday homes that may be available in Mumbai when this hotel closes. And, although we’d have been willing to wait here for as long as necessary, we are confident it will be closing in the next week.

If that is the case, they will assist us in relocating, hoping that at least one hotel will be allowed to stay open in Mumbai to facilitate others like us, who can’t leave the city with a population of 18,400,000.

But, we have to be realistic and prepare ourselves for the worst that no hotels will be open and we’ll have nowhere to go. It’s a frightening thought. Many of our readers still write to us asking us why we didn’t return to the US a week ago.

We sat comfortably at a table with an umbrella by the pool, sipping on a cold beer, attempting to make the best of the situation.

As we mentioned in an earlier post, for several reasons, one, we don’t have adequate health insurance in the US (but excellent coverage outside the US), and two, I am in the high-risk group: my age, cardiovascular disease, and asthma. 

Based on the number of fast-growing cases in the US. As of today’s news, there are 19,522 cases, most of which result from travel or being in contact with someone who has traveled internationally. Why would we want to go to any US airport?

As of today, there are a reported 271 cases in India. Sure, there may be many unreported cases here and in the US. But even if India’s situation is ten times, even 100 times worse, that’s still considerably less than in the US, relative to the US population of 331 million compared to India’s 1.3 billion.

The hotel pools are inviting, but the government has forbidden swimming in any public pools.

Our goal for our time here, regardless of how long this period lasts, is to stay in self-isolation in a hotel with as little contact with people as possible. The only people we contact are the restaurant servers and cleaning staff, and we stay as distant as possible. 

We’ve chatted with a few other hotel guests, at a distance, and it seems most of them are getting out today, mainly on the last few flights out of Mumbai before the Mumbai airport closes tomorrow, to fly back to the UK, which has almost 4,000 cases as of this morning. 

For this small of an area, that’s a lot of cases. A few weeks ago, we’d canceled a holiday home in England for this very reason. 

The pretty view of the evening sky.

As residents of South Africa, our friends Linda and Ken managed to make their flight from Australia to South Africa. Linda and I communicated via text messages in the middle of the night (I was wide awake) when they were about to board their flight. I’m sure we’ll hear from them later today.

What will we do when this is over, whenever that might be possible? Our goal is to get into South Africa. Moments ago, Tom read a new article to me that states no foreign nationals will be allowed into South Africa until after May 31st. Hmm, it looks as if we’ll be here in Mumbai for quite a while, after all.

Well, folks, we hope all of you are staying safe. Thanks for hanging in there with us as we work our way through this challenging time, with the same hopefulness and spirit that we strive to possess as each day passes.

Photo from one year ago today, March 21, 2019:

Such an adorable face. For more photos, please click here.

A historic church comes to an end…

Memorial to Taranaki Troopers who fell in the South African War located at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Fortunately, we heard about the closing of the Taranaki Cathedral Church of St. Mary from our new friend June whom we met at Pak n Save last Wednesday. If we hadn’t heard about it, we would have missed an opportunity to see inside the church when Sunday was its last day open to the public. It was safari luck! Tomorrow, we’ll be visiting June’s registered historical home in New Plymouth with many photos to share soon.

The edge of the cemetery at the church.

Sunday was the last day the historic church’s doors would be open for public viewing. See detail below on the reasons for closing the beloved church:

The church’s paths and walkways are beautiful.

“Taranaki Daily News

NZ’s oldest stone church shutting its doors to the public                           

New Plymouth’s St Mary’s Cathedral is an earthquake-prone building and will be closing its doors to the public from Monday From left, St Mary’s Dean Jamie Allen and Bishop of Taranaki Archbishop Philip Richardson. New Zealand’s oldest standing stone church will be closed for earthquake strengthening from early next year.  

Sculptures on the grounds.

Following a decision from the Taranaki Anglican Trust Board this week, the Taranaki Cathedral Church of St Mary will be gradually closed by January 2016.  The church would be closed to the public and parishioners for several years. However, Trustees could not yet determine quite how many years it would be shut. St Mary’s Cathedral was first opened in September 1846 and is now the oldest standing stone church in New Zealand. The church meets only 15 percent of the current New Building Standard (NBS). A building is considered earthquake-prone if it does not meet 34 percent of the NBS.  Archbishop Philip Richardson, Bishop of Taranaki, said the news was expected, but it still brought a sense of sadness. 

Many residents and tourists visited the church on its last day.

Richardson presided of the Anglican Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki and said while the repair process would be lengthy and expensive, it was a better outcome than some parishes which have had to be closed completely. There are 15 buildings within the Diocese that have to be looked for seismic strengthening, he said.  Engineering reports were still being completed and until that information was available the Trustees could not work out the total cost or time it would take until the church doors could be opened again, Richardson said. 

The church had ample room for many parishioners.

The Trustees have agreed to a gradual closure, with the cathedral being closed to the general public from next Monday, and specified services being phased out by the end of January 2016.  Church dean Jamie Allen said it was hoped a final farewell service would be organized to allow the church community to give the space a proper send-off. 

The church was appointed with many artifacts.

Only the cathedral would be closed, so the church’s foyer and upstairs area would still be in use, he said. The church’s work in the community would continue but they would have to be more creative about how and where it would get done, he said.   There are 39 Anglican communities in Taranaki and other denominations in the region had also been forthcoming with offers for St Mary’s parishioners to use their space for larger events, like weddings and funerals, Allen said.”

It appears that each country we visit has a particular style of churches.

After our visit to the Farmers Market Taranaki, we headed to the church, hoping we’d be able to enter and take photos on its final day. As it turned out, the first of two final services were ending with another service commencing shortly afterward. 

A side alter.

Luckily, we were able to enter the church between the two services to see the interior and take a few photos.  As the oldest stone church in all of New Zealand, we were thrilled it worked out the way it did enable us to see the beautiful interior.

The priests/pastors were preparing for the second service.

The church was packed with sad parishioners many of whose families had worshipped in this historic building for generations. Mainly, senior citizens, we could easily detect the sorrow in their faces for the end of an era. 

Unique organ pipes.

Another building across the street will provide services for the displaced parishioners while multiple churches have offered to provide their facilities for funerals and weddings.

We always pay special attention to stained glass windows.

As we wandered the grounds, it was easy to sense the presence of its rich history, especially as we wandered about the cemetery. Although the church wasn’t of our faith, we didn’t stay for the next service but had ample time between services to see everything we wanted to see.

Massive oak tree on the church’s grounds.

A variety of interesting and unusual trees caught our attention inspiring us to share photos. Curious as to the variety of trees, with our pricey wifi at the moment, we can’t spend time searching for their names.

Support posts used to hold up the branches of the protected tree.

After we left the church, we drove to a new area of the countryside for a while, knowing we had to return home with the fresh fish in our insulated bag. New Zealand never disappoints. By following any road, we discover breathtaking scenery and treasures abundant in this land of plenty.

A giant knothole in the trunk of the protected tree.

Interesting tidbit for those in the northern hemisphere: Yesterday, kids went back to school after their summer break.

Street view of Taranaki Cathedral Church of St. Mary’s.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, February 2, 2015:

Even in beautiful known-for-sunny-days Hawaii, we experienced plenty of cloudy days, especially living on the Garden Island of Kauai, known for its almost daily rain. This didn’t keep us from continuing to explore the beaches.  For more details, please click here.

Part 1…Another amazing day…Wonders awaiting determined investigation…Pahoa Marketplace closing for lava…

Part 2 is cancelled for tomorrow due to another story about the lava flow fast approaching Pahoa.

Sandy beach spots for enjoying the tide pools filled with fish and turtles at the Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo.
More sandy areas at the Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo.

Yesterday, we took off with a plan in mind; haircuts for the boys at the soon-to be-closed-due-to-lava, Supercuts at the Pahoa Marketplace, a visit to the Lyman Museum, and later to dine at the popular, highly rated Hilo Burger Joint about a mile from the museum. Leaving the house at 1:00 pm, we had plenty of time to leisurely make our way to each location. 

Sarah and Nik, walking along a high ledge at the Onekahakaha Beach Park.

With no GPS in our possession without the availability of SIM cards in the US without a contract, I always find directions online and take photos of them to store on my phone. 

White sand at Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo.

Unfortunately, with many roads poorly marked in Hawaii and the propensity for bad directions from online maps, it’s easy to end up in the wrong spot, not necessarily lost (with Tom’s good sense of direction) but unable to find an exact location.

Easy to maneuver steps into the crystal clear water of the tide pools.

So was the case yesterday in finding the Lyman Museum, which we’d chosen to visit more as a result of it being our namesake than anything else. Although, when looking up its particular, this place could definitely pique the interest of all of us. Finding it, on the other hand, was a challenge.

One of many tide pools at the Onekahakaha Beach Park, perfect for snorkeling.

After driving the general area of the museum, so we thought, we “accidentally” ended up on a dead-end road leading to the ocean. Oh my, were we in luck! 

Lovely views of the beach.

We found ourselves at the most amazing family park, Onekahakaha Beach Park, the most kid and family-friendly park we’ve seen in Hawaii since we arrived almost two and a half months ago. 

Covered picnic areas at Onekahakaha Beach Park.

We all oohed and aahed over the prospect of spending plenty of great family time at this park with had every possible amenity of a beach park, clear waters, great snorkeling, ideal swimming conditions, shallow waters for the young swimmers, sandy beaches at several points, playgrounds, grills, well-maintained restrooms, and many covered picnic table pavilions. 

Gorgeous views of a few tide pools at Onekahakaha Beach Park.

Seeing this perfect location put our minds in overdrive, putting a plan in place. Our plan is for the 14 of us to spend Christmas Day at the park, bringing meat to cook, salads, and beverages in the coolers. What an unusual Christmas Day outdoors for our cold weather Minnesota family members, used to snow, ice, and cold weather during the holiday season!

Sign at the entrance to the park.

After spending almost an hour perusing the park, spotting a giant sea turtle in the shallow pools, and numerous colorful fish, we were content that we had a perfect plan in place which only escalated as the day wore on.

Jayden in the “lava” chair at the Lyman Museum.

Back on the road, after taking numerous photos of the park, we were on our way to the Lyman Museum finding from a friendly local passerby that we were quite a distance away. 

Naturally occurring granite in Hawai’i.

Heeding his directions, we were on our way but only after we “accidentally” spotted a sign pointing in the direction of the museum, we were all thrilled to have found it. Of course, the online directions were wrong once again. That’s not to say that GPS is always right either, as we all know from experience.

Fossils on display at the Lyman Museum.

With only a $21 family rate fee for the six of us to enter, we had plenty of time to wander the two floors in the time remaining until they closed at 4:30 pm. Then, we’d head to the restaurant dinner less than a mile down the road.

More fossils on display.

Much to our delight, everyone loved the museum. Snap happy me, shot, photo after photo. But, I won’t bore our readers with too many photos of the museum pieces and spread the photos from our outing over the next few days.

Colorful coral from the coral reefs in Hawai’i.

Before we left the museum, I asked the receptionist if she’d confirm our directions to the restaurant. Good thing I asked. She explained they’d moved over a year ago. Funny, the old location showed on all of the maps. We’d have been driving around for days.

Amethyst on display.

Luckily, the kindly attendant gave us directions to the new location, and once again, we were back on the road, confident we’d find the restaurant which we’d done so easily.

Hawaiian built structure at the museum.

The Hilo Burger Joint is rated #28 of 206 on TripAdvisor. With this information, we were confident that we’d have a passable if not spectacular meal. Spectacular it was, some of us claiming it was the best burger, they’d ever had, myself included. I ordered a burger in a bowl with my preferred toppings of avocado, bacon, and tomatoes on a bed of lettuce. Fabulous!

This beautiful Hawaiian lava photo caught our eye.

Discovering that the beef was local and grass-fed, I was in heaven knowing we’d all enjoy at least a chemical-free burger.

Exquisite works of art lined the walls in the Lyman Museum.

When we received the bill, including tip for $152.00, averaging at $25 per person including beverages, we decided to have Tom’s birthday at the Hilo Burger Joint (our treat), making our reservation for 14 at 6:00 pm on December 23rd, next Tuesday.

Interesting works of art.

Considering we’d already spent over $2000 on food since arriving on the Big Island on December 1st, with a few more shopping trips ahead, we realized it would probably cost no more to go out to dinner at this establishment than it would purchase all of the food for a meal for 14. 

An Asian mural on a wall in the museum.

Tom’s primary reason for choosing this option for his birthday is the fact that it’s one less meal for me to cook. Dining out on Tom’s birthday on the 23rd and Christmas Day at the park, bringing food to cook and salads, I’d only make dinner for Christmas Eve. This is a breeze, leaving me more time to spend with the family as opposed to stuck in the kitchen over three busy days in a row.

Tom, after his haircut, covering part of this sign so it reads, “Grandfather’s House.” Now, Grandfather doesn’t have a house but certainly rented two for this family gathering.

After dinner, we drove to the Liliuokalani Park and Gardens, which Tom and I had visited when our ship docked in Hilo in October. A kindly cab driver drove us to see the park when we’d boarded the wrong bus at the pier, ending up at Walmart.

More items with the Lyman name.  They all loved it.

With no interest in Walmart, we hailed his cab for a ride back to the pier and the cab driver, who happened to live on Lyman St. (What?) agreed to take us on a little sightseeing tour for $10 plus a tip. We loved the Liliuokalani Park and Gardens and of course, the friendly cab driver.

After we left the museum, I walked across the street to take this photo.

Last night, we parked at the Liliuokalani Park when the family was anxious to see the ship, Norwegian’s Pride of America, leave the pier to head out to sea. With sunset fast approaching, we were able to see the ship’s bright lights as it pulled away from the dock.

The partial menu at the Hilo Burger Joint.

Returning home around 7:00 pm, we all hunkered down for some WiFi time on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. We’d had a great day.

Nik and TJ waiting for their food to be served.

Today, Tom and I will stay put except for my quick trip to the Pahoa Marketplace to take more photos as the entire mall prepares to evacuate by Thursday night as the lava quickly approaches the mall. This mall and gas station may be completely covered in lava by Christmas Day, sad for the employees and store owners in its path.

Tom sat across from me at the restaurant.

Yesterday, before we took off for the Lyman Museum, the three generations of Lyman boys; Tom, TJ, and Jayden each had haircuts together at the soon to be closed for lava. The staff and the owner of the Supercuts salon in the Pahoa marketplace worked fast and furiously to accommodate their customers in its last few days in business at this location. 

Sarah, Jayden, and Nik at the restaurant while we waited to be served. 

The shop is moving to two locations, Hilo and Keaau, and can be reached at 808-982-5707 or 808 965-5577 with questions. Tomorrow, we’ll share haircut photos of three generations, having cuts simultaneously. How fun was that!

Last night at dusk at Liliuokalani Park.

Have a wonderful “hump day” with the holiday season in full bloom.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, December 17, 2013:

Although the Hornbill house in Marloth Park had a few nuances, we found it the most wildlife-friendly location of the three houses we experienced in our three-month stay in the park. The friendly warthogs were daily visitors as shown in this visitor hanging out by the braaii, hoping for a leftover morsel. For photos of the house, please click here.