Yikes….Venomous snake at Jabula, as we walked up the steps!…Juan, snake handler to the rescue…

Twig snake, also known as vine snake was on the railing at Jabula Lodge and Restaurant as we walked up the steps to the restaurant.  See story below.

 “Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

A praying mantis stopped by for a visit this morning.  After it walked on the veranda table, it landed on Tom and then landed on me.  Friendly little fellow.

When Uschi and Evan suggested the four of us get together for dinner at Jabula Lodge and Restaurant last night we were thrilled to have the opportunity to spend another evening with this lovely couple.


They suggested we meet at 6:30 but in our usual style we planned to arrive by 1715 hours (5:15 pm) in order to have an opportunity to chat with owners Dawn, Leon and assistant Lyn at the comfortable bar.  
Juan, snake handler, captured the snake, placing it in this container and releasing it in Lionspruit where other captured venomous snakes are sent to live out their lives.

We parked the red car in our usual spot, fairly close to the stairway entrance to the restaurant.  Clumsy me, I’m always a little tentative on the “open” wood staircase up to the restaurant and carefully watch my step with Tom behind me.  


When approaching the steps, a guest of the resort and one staff members hollered, “Look out!  There’s a snake on the railing!  Neither of us panicked.  Instead, we searched the railing for the culprit and waited to see what was going to transpire.

Young zebra in the garden.

Had no one alerted us, we easily would have been in striking distance of the deadly venomous snake, a twig, also known as a vine snake.  Here’s some information on these dangerous creatures from this site:


“This perfectly-camouflaged tree-living snake is seldom seen because of its excellent camouflage and habit of remaining very still in low shrubs, observing the ground below for passing lizards and snakes. Birds often mob this snake and it will inflate its neck with its bright orange tongue flickering – this lead to the incorrect assumption that they lure birds closer with their tongue. It is extremely placid but, if provoked, will inflate its neck and strike viciously. Bites are rare and most inflicted on snake handlers.


Like the Boomslang, the venom of this snake is haemotoxic affecting the blood clotting mechanism and causing uncontrolled bleeding. There is no antivenom for the venom of this snake and although a few fatalities have been reported, none were in South Africa.”

We’re treasuring every moment with the wildlife knowing once the holidaymakers arrive we’ll have considerably fewer visitors until well into January.

The hotel guest grabbed the swimming pool net and tried to capture the snake…not so smart.  That didn’t work and was definitely foolhardy. A degree of commotion ensued while Dawn contacted the young Juan, who’s fast becoming the best snake handler in Marloth Park.


In the interim, we gingerly climbed partway up the steps in order to take the above photo of the snake as it politely posed for us sticking out her pink forked tongue.  Nice.

When I didn’t see Little on the veranda, he knocked over the chair where I sit when he visits.  Determined Little, trying to get my attention.  It worked!

Juan arrived within 10 minutes and in moments captured the snake and safely placed it into a plastic container.  From there, he’d take it to Lionspruit (the game reserve within Marloth Park) and release it.  There are no residences in Lionspruit making this an ideal spot to transfer captured snakes or other venomous creatures.


We had a chance to congratulate Juan on his excellent snake handling skills.  He attended snake school with us many months ago and now he is a volunteer snake handler.  Glad we didn’t go down that road!

Pellets and ice cold carrots were on the menu on a very hot day.  He’s so exhausted in the heat he lays down to dine.

After the commotion died down and Juan was on his way, we entered the bar and engaged in enthusiastic discussions with staff and guests over the excitement we all experienced in seeing this scary snake.  


One might think that locals are used to venomous snakes but many are equally apprehensive about them as us visitors. There’s no such thing as “getting used to” the risk of encountering a snake that may be deadly.

The evening commenced in its usual playful manner.  We’ve seldom encountered such a fun bar anywhere in the world, even in our old lives.  The African atmosphere, the cozy lighting, the friendly staff and of course, good friends, great food and service, along with our good friends Dawn and Leon, make it a very special time for us.
Giraffe on the side of the road on our way to Jabula.

I sipped on one extra light wine cooler while Tom had his usual brandy and Sprite Zero.  In no time at all Uschi and Evan arrived and they too were delighted to sit at the bar as the lively conversation ensued for the remainder of the evening.


Finally, we ordered our meals and when the food was just about ready we wandered outside to the veranda to dine.  At different points during our meal and after Dawn and Leon joined us the four of us for more great chatter, laughter and good times.



We didn’t walk out the door until close to 2200 hrs (10:00 pm), late for an evening out to dinner in this sleepy community.  Within an hour I was fast asleep, the cortisone no longer in my system and sleep no longer alluding me.  

Another giraffe on the road in the evening.

When I awoke this morning and still had 80% battery left on my phone, I knew I’d slept well.  When I can’t sleep I read books, play games or read news on my phone which I’d totally avoiding last night.  I feel like a new person today.


Tonight, we’re off to Ngwenya for river viewing and the buffet dinner.  Rita and Gerhard won’t be returning for a few more days so we’ll be off on our own.  We always enjoy time with friends but being “just the two of us” isn’t so bad either.


May your Thursday be pleasant and enjoyable, whatever you decide to do.


Today’s expected high temp? 37C (98F)…A refreshing break from yesterday’s  
40C (104F).  

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Photo from one year ago today, December 6, 2017:

A band playing on the beach in Arica, Chile.  For more photos, please click here.

Oh, what a night!…Way too much fun!…Tom’s South Africa haircut…at last! A rare visitor…a great dinner…

“We’re not moving! We’re waiting on the others!” We didn’t mind a bit. We’d have gladly waited for any amount of time.

There are times I say to myself, “Oh, please, this is too much fun!” Then again, I realize that both of us are easily entertained. Really. 

An interesting insect or sighting of a turtle walking across the garden has the ability to captivate us to the point of squealing with delight once we can let out our breath.

“We’re coming! We need a few more bites before we join the others!”

We were always like this. Only then, we didn’t have access to this degree of almost constant stimulation.  Whether it’s the sound of Lions roaring, the pleasant bubbly sound of hippos as we lie in bed at night, or the shuffling sound of a creature atop the roof, the pleasure only seems to stop when we’re sleeping.

“Hold onto your shorts!”

It’s ironic that this constant state of being “on the alert” and the sheer engagement when we discover yet another wonder, by 10:00 to 10:30 pm, I’m practically falling on my face. Tom is not far behind.

And still, the others had yet to join them while they anxiously looked their way. At this point, traffic was backed up and as soon as there was an opening, we were on our way, our faces hurting from smiling.

Yesterday and last night, one of many days and nights, we had a particularly delightful time. The heat was unbearable as a storm brewed, the air was thick was visible humidity. We lasted outdoors for five hours finally throwing in the towel, heading indoors to the loft with AC.

Yet to visit our yard, a mom and baby Wildebeest watched us drive by.

Due to the excessive heat, the AC wasn’t able to keep up. The lines frequently clog with insects, caused water to start dripping into the house. When this occurred, we had no option but it turn it off. With AC in both bedrooms, I decided it was a good time to go into our bedroom, turn on the AC and read my book. That didn’t last long.

Definitely not pretty animals, but, all of them are cute to us.  Although it’s been very hot here in the summer months, we’re grateful we’ve come during the birthing season, seeing many babies.

Fearful of missing something, a short time later I turned off the AC, shut the door, and looked outside for visitors. What if we missed something else? We’d had a great morning as shown in yesterday’s post.

We were so excited to get this shot of one of the two monitor lizards living in our yard.  This photo was taken at the hottest point in the day.  Louise and Danie told us that they’ll swim in the pool from time to time. We’d have loved to see that!

Having left prawn shells (shrimp) and a raw egg for the mongoose (they eat snakes), I was thrilled to see the monitor lizard eating the last of the prawn shells and then taking the raw egg with her to the hole in which we occasionally see her and her mate slither in and out.

The monitor lizard, a rare visitor, headed to the ground on the opposite side of the pool to check out the eggs that she laid a few weeks ago. As mentioned recently, it may take up to 300 days for the eggs to hatch depending upon conditions such as weather and attacks by other animals.
This occurred so quickly that I had no time to get the camera. A half-hour later we found the monitor lizard contemplating a swim in the pool, the long tongue darting in and out of the water. As a result, we captured these photos from inside the house. These Lizards are very skittish. If they’d seen us they’d be gone in a few seconds. They move quickly.
Tom, outside the salon where he got a haircut on Thursday.

At 6:30 pm, as the sun began to set, Okee Dokee picked us up to take us to Jabula Lodge, our favorite restaurant in the area. Not only is the food fantastic, but Dawn and Leon, the owners, present every time we arrive, make our dining experience comparable to a party each time. The chatting and laughing between tasty bites adds a playful element that drives us back, time, and again for more.

Tom, awaiting his turn at the salon for his haircut appointment.

On the way to Jabula Lodge, we stopped many times to take these photos. Although not as clear as I’d like since taking photos from a moving vehicle at dusk is challenging with our type of camera. However, we couldn’t resist sharing these today. 

Tom with his new haircut getting ready to eat that huge vertical stick of beef known as Espetada. I wasn’t thrilled about him eating the chips (as they call fries in Africa). But, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t comment, as usual. He said the meat was delicious. I had perfectly prepared grilled chicken, veggies, and Greek salad (sans dressing).

After the laugh-fest at Jabula Lodge, we headed home, watched a few shows on my broken-monitor laptop, and headed to bed. The worst of the storm had passed, the temperature had dropped considerably and a good night’s sleep was imminent. Another good day.