Yikes!!!…Monkey in the house!!!…Quite a sighting on the river…A meaty mishap…

Water spouted out of his mouth after he took a big gulp of water.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

An appropriately named Fish Eagle, stood watch over his “catch of the day.”

Each day brings new excitement.  Whether its the sighting of a new bird, beast or blooming flower, not a single day passes without one form of adventure or another.  It becomes a matter of paying attention more than being lucky.  There’s never a shortage of opportunities.


We’re always hoping to have the camera on hand for such occurrences but sometimes something happens so quickly a photo isn’t possible.  This morning was exactly that case.

Last night, while viewing the Crocodile River in Kruger National Park from Serena Oasis, aka Amazing River View, we noticed this solitary giraffe approaching the water.

Tom was outdoors and had noticed a number of Vervet monkeys trying to get seeds out of the bird feeder.  When this occurs, he often takes the bird feeder down from the tree which requires the use of a long pole we keep close to the front door.  He did exactly that while alerting me to the monkey’s presence.


I was busy indoors, chopping vegetables for wildlife and to roast for tonight’s dinner. While he was busy in the yard, in a literal second in time, a monkey ran into the house, onto the kitchen bar stools, perused what was available and counter top and snatched an apple.  There wasn’t enough time with my wild response to grab anything more.

And respond I did!  I literally screamed at the monkey to “Get out!” while yelling at Tom, “Monkey in the house!”  There was nothing he could have done that I wasn’t doing, chase the darn thing back outdoors.

Several times, he bent down preparing to take a drink but hesitated, standing and looking around.

This all transpired in literally 20 seconds or less.  Of course, my first thought, once the monkey was back outside, was, “Darn, I wish I could have taken a photo!” 


Generally, while I’m preparing food I don’t plan for photo ops and didn’t have the camera beside me on the wet granite counter top.  But, when I’m not in the kitchen or bedroom it’s always within a second’s reach.  Oh, well, this time we can only tell, not show, what happened.


We prefer to keep the door to the house open and while we’re on the veranda, generally, the monkey won’t approach the house.  This was a unique and isolated case of circumstances being just right for the monkey, not so right for us.

Giraffes are vulnerable when they slowly bend to drink when predators such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, and crocodiles may attack.

Many people are fascinated with Vervet monkeys and baboons.  However, as we’ve mentioned in the past, they are highly destructive and can tear a house apart in a matter of minutes.  That’s why, most of the houses in Marloth Park has some type of protection over their windows, not necessary screens (which are seldom seen on windows in Africa) but bars and other protective materials.


With my heart pounding, I retold the incident to Tom and we both chuckled, grateful nothing was damaged and kind of intrigued by this first experience.  Luckily, we were out only one apple for the “other” wildlife.  We’d never had a monkey in the house.  Have you?  Such an oddity.


As for last night, we had a farewell dinner with Kathy and Don.  They’re on their way to Pretoria on Sunday but fortunately are returning in about three weeks.  We have such fun with these two fine people and last night couldn’t have been more perfect.

He didn’t stay down for more than a few seconds, fearful of his vulnerability.

We met shortly before five at Serene Oasis, a bar/restaurant located in a local park with outstanding river views from their veranda.  They don’t allow visitors to sit and watch unless they purchase a beverage and/or food.  We’d decided to have “sundowners” there and once the sun was set, head to Jabula for the best food in Marloth Park.


It proved to be a perfect plan, after all.  Not only did we capture many of today’s photos but we had a fabulous time sitting outdoors yakking up a storm while enjoying nature at its finest.

Carefully bending his knees, he gracefully dipped for the first drink.

When darkness fell we drove to Jabula for a delightful evening with great food and again conversation.  Dawn, the owner (with husband Leon) her assistant, Lyn always make us feel so welcomed with hugs and kisses and the finest service and food in the land. 

Now, on to the “meaty mishap.”  It goes like this…on Thursday we grocery shopped ending up at the butcher when we were done at Spar.  We purchased ZAR 798, (US $60.40) in meats, from chicken breasts, beef mince, pork tenderloins to bacon.

Another quick sip…

Twenty five minutes after leaving the butchery on Thursday we were back home putting everything away.  We hadn’t used the little car for 26 hours  since purchasing the meat, when we left yesterday at 4:30 pm to meet up with Kathy and Don.


Upon getting our seatbelts on, I asked Tom, “What’s that bag in the back seat?”  He turned around and touched the bag.

This morning I was cutting vegetables for roasting when the Vervet monkey entered the house.  There were two apples near this pan.  He took one of them.

“Oh, no!” he exclaimed, “That’s the bag of meat!”  He had a pained look on his face. “Yesterday, I put it in the back seat, not the trunk, which was already full.  Then, when I brought everything inside the house I forgot about the bag in the back seat.”

Since we both avoid “blaming” in such situations, my thoughts revolved on trying to make him feel better and not beat himself up.  It could have been a lot worse.  It the realm of things, its no big deal.  Sure, no one wants to be out the money and its only a small “hit” and not worth stress or frustration.

The monkey didn’t have time to grab any of these grape tomatoes I’d washed with me shooing him outside while yelling all the while.

Soon, when we’re done here, we’ll head to the butcher store, another branch of the store in Komatipoort and re-purchase the items we lost.  We found a dumpster and unloaded them before we entered the restaurant for fear the smell might attract wild animals while we were at dinner. 

Tomorrow morning, we’ll be posting but doing so earlier than usual. (We’ve booked another trip and will share details). We have a very exciting day planned.  We’re meeting up with friends, Cathi and Rick in Kruger National Park, whom we met in Kauai, Hawaii in 2015. 

This big bowl of vegetables, for the wildlife, also caught the monkey’s eye but he opted for the big apple as I shooed him outside. 

Avid photo safari enthusiasts having been to South Africa in the past, we thought it would be fun to meet up in Kruger rather than some other location.  They have other friends with them, otherwise, they’d have stayed with us for a few days.  But, seeing them for lunch tomorrow in Kruger will be such fun.

If we leave by 10 am, take our time driving in Kruger, we’ll easily make contact at our prearranged destination in Lower Sabie where there’s a popular restaurant.  It will be wonderful for all of us to be driving through the park seeing wildlife on our way to our get-together.

On Monday, we’ll report back with photos and details!

Have a fabulous weekend!

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Photo from one year ago today, June 9, 2017:

Perfect pink orchids at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.  For more photos, please click here.

Busy morning…Off to a brunch at Frikkie’s Dam, in Lionspruit in the African bush…

Although they all had their backs to us, we were thrilled to see these elephants through the fence between Marloth Park and Kruger National Park.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

“Have you got one more bite for me?” asks Mr. Kudu as he began to walk away.

 It’s 9:50 am Sunday morning and in 70 minutes we have to be out the door to head to Frikkie’s Dam in Lionspruit for brunch in the bush with Louise, Danie and a group of their friends, most of whom we’ve yet to meet.

I prepared a brunch egg casserole (low carb of course) which goes into the oven in 10 minutes and will bake for about an hour which when done, we’ll tightly wrap in foil and bath towels to keep warm until we arrive at the destination.

Several, were off to the side on their own which may have been part of the herd.

It’s a rare occasion I have only 70 minutes to prepare a post but not knowing what time we’d return I was determined to get it done before we leave at 11:00 am.

There’s never a time we’re not excited to see elephants.

There could have been more time to get things done this morning if I’d dragged myself out of bed a little earlier than 7:30 but after a fitful night, I struggled to get up, showered and dressed for the day.

By the time I entered the kitchen at 8:00, I got busy preparing the dish, chopping and dicing onions, garlic and mushrooms to saute in a buttered skillet. 

There were about a dozen elephants at the Crocodile River from our vantage point.

You know how mornings may go…one getting distracted by a variety of tasks around the house; I washed a small load of laundry, set out dishes and flatware for tonight’s dinner and put away dishes Tom had washed that I’d used in the food prep.

We waited quite a while for this hippo to turn around for a better photo but she/he was busy munching on the grass.

Then, I packed a bag with forks, spatula, paper plates, paper towels, bottled water, etc. that we needed to bring along to serve our solitary dish at the outdoor brunch in Lionspruit, the wildlife conservancy located within the borders of Marloth Park. 

Surely Louise and Danie have been preparing food for hours and yet they just stopped by to drop off a pass for us to use to get into Lionspruit.  They’re always thinking of us.  They didn’t want us to cook anything saying they’d have plenty for us.  But, good grief, I had to contribute something!

The elephant on the left appeared much larger than the other.  She must have been the matriarch.

Then, of course, we had two female kudus stop by distracting me for another 20 minutes or more.  Yesterday, I’d cut up tons of veggies for them and wouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to provide them with a nutritious breakfast.  They hung around for another half hour looking wondering if we’d come up with more.

But, I wanted to save some of the veggies for later when we return for the evening while we wait for Scar Face to show up.  We haven’t seen him in two days and we became a little concerned. 

Their peaceful grazing and the way they honor one another is a sight to behold.

Last night at dinner at Jabula with Kathy and Don and their friends Jill and Beau we all discussed the fact that we’d only seen wildlife yesterday morning but none in the afternoon. 

That seems to be the case most weekends when there are more visitors in the park, more traffic and more noise keeping some of the wildlife undercover in the bush.  Maybe we don’t need to worry about Scar Face.

After the drive along the river, we decided to stop by and see the house on Hornbill that we rented four years ago. 

We had an excellent evening at Jabula.  Dawn and Leon, owners and friends of the best restaurant around, always fuss over all of us making the evening extra special.  Of course, the food is consistently exceptional.  Tom had the ribs and chips (fries) and I had grilled chicken breast with creamed spinach (no flour added).  We brought home the bones for Scar Face in a doggie bag. 

Last night, dear friend Don told us his story of spotting a leopard in Marloth Park on his daily walk.  I must admit we were jealous.  That would be quite a sighting!  Perhaps, one day soon we’ll spot it too.

It brought back a lot of wonderful memories of our first time living in the bush.  Now, here at the “Orange…More than Just a Colour” we’re building new memories.

We apologize for today’s less than perfect photos and fast story.  The photos were taken at a distance our camera cannot easily handle nor can I, without the tripod with me.  I guess we should start taking it with us when we go for our almost daily drives in the park.

We’ll be back tomorrow to review the news regarding the earthquakes and erupting Mount Kilauea on the Big Island in Hawaii.  We were there in 2014/2015 when we had the unbelievable opportunity to see lava flowing when our family visited for Christmas.  The lava was flowing toward the town of Pahoa where our holiday rentals were located on the sea.  More on that tomorrow with links and photos from our original story.

Have a peaceful and fulfilling day, dear readers!

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Photo from one year ago today, May 6, 2018:


One year ago today, we arrived back in the USA via the Big Island, Hawaii as we continued on the cruise.  For more details, please click here.

Wrapping up details for Zambia…Dinner at Jabula with friends…

After we stopped at Obara farm store, we spotted this woman selling cooked food on the side of the road…an African style food truck…minus the truck.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

We had no less than a dozen kudus stop by for apples, carrots, and pellets.  Check out the adorable baby kudu near the tree, most likely only a few weeks old.

It’s Sunday morning and once again we’re on the veranda enjoying the view.  It’s was only 8:30 am, when I started the text content of today’s post, after deciding on which photos to upload for today’s post. which is always a challenge. 

So far this morning we’ve had five different species of visitors as the holiday crowds dissipate and the animals are more prolific in our yard.  It’s odd how this happens.  For days, we had few visitors while the park was jammed with holidaymakers.  Now as they’ve departed, the action in the yard has escalated to where it was prior to the “school holiday,”  Easter holiday, and “spring break,”

Through the bushes, we could see the kudu heading our way.

This morning’s planned “brunch in Lionspruit” was postponed.  Several of the confirmed guests canceled last minute so this morning Louise sent me a text to informing us they’ll schedule for another day. 

We are fine with the change of plans, which allowed me to get today’s post completed early as opposed to later in the day since we’re invited to dinner at Sandra and Paul’s home at 5:00 pm. 

One by one, they entered the yard until finally there was more than a dozen.
This morning as I riffled through thousands of photos, it became all the more apparent to me regarding the time required to keep our zillions of photos in order.  Often, one may perceive all we have to do to upload a post is to write it, edit it and add a few photos.  But, it’s much more complicated than that.


I keep used photos in a separate folder on my desktop to ensure we don’t post the same photo twice.  I have several other photo folders to keep the old, used and new separated.  Managing photos is a huge daily task that requires the first hour of each day, once I’m showered, dressed and situated at the big table on the veranda.

The baby kudu was nursing and not interested in solid food quite yet.

Typically, I download all the day’s photos at the end of each day to ensure the data card on the camera (s) is cleared for the next batch.  It would be too confusing to leave hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs accumulating on the card which some travelers tend to do.

Also, I don’t want to take the risk of accidentally deleting photos or of being unsure of the circumstances as to when they were taken.  Most often, the photos we share are from the prior two or three days, sometimes longer. 

We heard something on the tree closest to the house to discover this lizard.

Weather conditions, backgrounds, and scenery can change from time to time so we attempt to keep the posted photos as current as possible.  Then, there’s the reality that some days, what we have on hand may be redundant or less interesting to our readers meaning we need to get out to take more interesting photos. 

Its all a part of the delicate balance of trying to keep our posts interesting and current.  But, from time to time, especially here in Africa, there’s a lot of the same animals and similar photos.

This lizard wasn’t quite a meter long from head to tail. 

That’s the reason why, almost every day, we head out in the little rental car in search of new and interesting scenes to share with all of you.  Please bear with us, if there is redundancy. 

We’re excited that next month we’re heading to Zambia which will surely provide us with plenty of photos to share over many weeks, even after returning from the one-week getaway.

It appears she/he was trying to determine if it was worth tackling the bird feeder for a treat.  We put an egg on the ground but when the lizard scooting past it, she showed no interest.

In the past day, we’ve been working back and forth via email with the highly rated Chris Tours located in Zambia but crosses over to other bordering countries for a greater range of options.

Here’s the schedule we’ve booked with Chris for the week we’ll be in Zambia, during which we’ll also enter Botswana for the Chobe tour:

May 11th, 2018 – Meet, Greet and Private Transfer from Livingstone Airport to Protea Hotel

May 12th, 2018 – Guided Tour of the Victoria Falls on both Zambia and Zimbabwe sides

May 13th, 2018 – Free Day
May 14th, 2018 – Chobe Day Trip in Botswana
May 15th, 2018 – Free Day
May 16th, 2018 – Boat Cruise on the Zambezi River by the Lion King
May 17th, 2018 – Free Day

May 18th, 2018 – Private transfer from Protea Hotel to Livingstone Airport


By arriving on May 11th and departing on May 18th, we won’t be doing any tours on either of those dates.  The highly-rated Chris Tours is our choice for all of our tours based on five-star ratings at numerous sites online.   We’re comfortable we’ll be in good hands.

This lizard climbed down the tree to the ground then running into the bush.

It was important to book all of these now, especially after we discovered the limited options for available hotels during our required time slot in order to hopefully accommodate our visa renewal time slot.  Please see yesterday’s post for details regarding the immigration concerns.

In all, we’ll be added three more countries to our travel map as shown on our homepage:  Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.  All of these will be good experiences for us and if for some awful reason, South Africa doesn’t let us return for any more 90-day time slots, we’ll have seen a little of these other countries to determine if we’d like to return.

Yesterday, a small group of mongoose stopped by for a plate of eggs.

This time, instead of dreading immigration concerns we are excited for the opportunity to see these special areas in these other countries.  As for photos, we’ll be bombarding our site with an endless array of what we’ll see during the tours and throughout the small town of Livingstone, Zambia on the free days as shown in the above itinerary.

Last night we had dinner with Kathy, Don, (Don’s cousins, Sandy and David) with Janet and Steve joining us shortly thereafter.  The conversation on Jabula’s veranda around the table for eight was robust with conversation and laughter.  The food as always was excellent and the pricing reasonable.  Dinner and drinks for Tom and I totaled ZAR 478, (US $39.39). 

For a change of pace, I’ve switched from wine to gin and tonic when we found sugar free tonic at the little store in Marloth.  I limit myself to one shot per day, loading up on ice, lime or lemon.  We found these metal cups that keep the drinks cold at Obara and I brought it with me to Jabula last night, along with the sugar-free tonic.  Thus, I only ordered the tiny shot of gin as shown in the little cup dividing it among two drinks.

Many of our friends come and go to Marloth Park and homes they own elsewhere.  While some are away, we spend time with the others, going back and forth between houses for dinners and dining out.  It all works for us and we’re so grateful to be a part of these great groups of people.

So, that’s it for today folks.  We’ll continue to be on the lookout, literally and figuratively, for more photos to share with all of you each and every day.

Have a pleasant day! 

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Photo from one year ago today, April 8, 2017:

This was the view from the next door neighbor’s house which was up for auction.  For more photos of an expensive home in Fairlight, Australia, please click here.