Eight lions spotted in our area…Guess I won’t be going for a walk…Today is our 28th wedding anniversary…

May be an image of map
We are located in Block D, where eight lions were spotted in the past 24 hours.

Note: Sorry, we have no new photos. Due to the black worms on the veranda, I haven’t taken any photos in the past few days.

The following notice was posted last night on Facebook’s “Marloth Park Sighting Page.”

6th- 7th March 2023
The Carnivore Team has released an URGENT WARNING that eight lions have been spotted in the “D” SECTOR OF THE ATTACHED MAP! They are now moving between the houses.
The immediate alert is for BLOCK “D,” “E,” AND “F” as per the attached map. For those who are not familiar with Marloth, BLOCK “D” IS FROM RENOSTER, KINGFISHER, SEEKOEI, SWARTWITPENS, RATEL UP TO OLIFANT, BLOCK “E” IS FROM SEKELBOS, OLIFANT UP TO LUIPERD AND BLOCK “F” FROM RATEL, SWARTWITPENS, SEEKOEI, SOENIE UP TO OLIFANT! A follow-up alert will be supplied if they move out of these areas!
EVERYBODY needs to be extremely cautious, and an urgent alert for joggers, hikers, and cyclists in the morning and afternoon! Be extra careful at night, as the LIONS are a more significant threat in the dark! If you are having a braai, sit with your backs to a wall and keep the lights on!
Please do not allow children to roam around or play unsupervised – period! The lions could be extremely dangerous, especially where kids are concerned!😳
This an urgent alert for joggers, hikers, and cyclists along these areas throughout the day!
Unfortunately, the warnings are not taken seriously! The onus is on each and every one to adhere to the alerts and warn others of the dangers.
PLEASE DO NOT POST ANY CARNIVORE SIGHTING POSITIONS ON ANY SOCIAL MEDIA GROUPS FOR SAFETY REASONS! Rather contact any one of the Carnivore Team if you spot the lions, phone any of the following numbers at ANY TIME:
Rangers 082 802 5894
CPF/ Nadine 082 672 4545 Gerrie Camacho 082 353 9097,
Ernst Röhm /MTPA 083 626 6309,
April Lukhele: 082 807 1057. Jan Koekemoer 063 053 7601.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding – Carnivore Team, Rangers, MTPA, CPF, Security, and the Vet.
Wow!. Eight lions! It certainly would be exciting to see them, but they hunt, mostly at night, and it’s too dangerous to be outdoors looking for them. Occasionally, we hear a muffled roar, but like most lions, they don’t make a lot of noise while hunting. Lions roar as follows from this site:
“Lions will use their roar to ward off potential intruders and/or protect their territory and pride. Sometimes they’ll even roar to talk with other lions, and their roars can reach up to 114 decibels—the same noise level as a chainsaw or snowmobile.
Still, only big cats, such as lions, leopards, tigers, and jaguars, can roar. This is due to their large vocal folds, which form a square shape allowing large vocal vibrations at less lung pressure, resulting in a monstrous sound that resonates for miles. 

Roaring isn’t the only way that lions communicate, either. They often make a “scratch pile” with their urine or claw trees as additional ways to mark their territory and keep a distance from other lion prides. Physical features, including the darkness of a male lion’s mane, are another way of displaying their abilities to others—generally, the older the lion, the darker the mane. However, a particularly thick, dark mane indicates an incredibly healthy and well-fed​​lion —and not an animal you’d want to mess with. 

Lions may growl, moan, groan, huff and puff, and emit gurgling growls that resemble purring because, unlike traditional purrs—which are continuous—the vibratory sounds that lions produce are only evident when they exhale. Lions also show affection to one another through actions like nuzzling and head rubbing.”

Another school holiday season is upon us soon, when more and more holidaymakers will arrive to enjoy the wonders of the bush. We hope that property managers and owners will inform the guests about the lions since we often see families walking on dirt roads at dusk when the lions begin their nightly hunt. That’s not to say the lions aren’t out wandering the bush during the day. They’ve been spotted during daylight hours on countless occasions.

Of course, we don’t like the holiday seasons due to added traffic, noise, and fewer animals coming to our garden. When the wildlife gets a taste of chips, sweets, and human foods unfit for their consumption, they prefer to visit them than come to our “healthy garden” of fruit, vegetables, and pellets. Wild animals don’t have the digestive systems to digest crisps, chips, pasta, and cookies easily. These types of foods can make them ill or even shorten their lifespan. Hmmm…it’s not a lot different for humans, is it?

Here’s the school holiday schedule for 2023:

“South African school holiday dates in 2023

  • First term break: 25 March – 11 April 2023
  • Second term break: 24 June – 18 July 2023
  • Third term break: 30 September – 10 October 2023
  • Fourth term break: 14 December 2023 – 17 January 2024″

I am thinking of you today and always with love and appreciation for our beautiful lives together. Happy Anniversary, Lover. Today is our 28th wedding anniversary. We will celebrate when Tom returns. If you are reading this from halfway around the globe…

Actually, our travel anniversary holds more significance for us since it was the beginning of a new life and a new world for the two of us that has given us more joy than we’d ever imagined we’d have in our senior years. We are very grateful for it all and for each other. I didn’t need him to be gone to realize this. I’ve known it every day.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, March 7, 2022:

Bossy makes sure we see she is here for a visit. “Pellets, please!” For more photos, please click here.

Enjoy this amazing sighting in Kruger National Park with us!!!

The two females were enjoying their feast of a warthog they killed from the time we first spotted them until we returned a few hours later. More photos, below. 

Today, while driving on the paved road In Kruger National Park, a gigantic matriarch elephant was blocking the road for quite a while. We couldn’t go forward. We couldn’t back up with multiple vehicles behind us. We waited patiently. This is their home, not ours, and they lead the way on what they’d like us to do or not.

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing lions on the road. There were two females.

Finally, after about 30 minutes, we could pass, but only after she wandered into the bush. Many vehicles were in front of and behind us, undoubtedly anxious to be on the move again.

Such beautiful animals. She wandered off on the road into the bush but was still visible.

We’d had so much safari luck today that we were patient and ready to move on only when it was made possible by the wildlife. We’d already seen and taken many photos, and if our day had to end there, we would have been content. But it didn’t end there, and more wonders awaited us as the day progressed.

This was the other female.

A short time later, we were holding our breath when the two female lions wandered on the road in front of us; we were squealing with delight over the much-revered sighting that tourists long to see and some never see. There were four or five cars near us jockeying for position, but we started in a perfect position, so the photos weren’t challenging to take.

Finally, we saw the two of them together.

We can drive through Kruger 20 times and never see a lion. Of course, we were excited, to say the least. This fantastic sighting only added to the joy of what we’d already spotted. Then again, we said, “If our day ends here, we are content with what we’ve seen so far.” But, how wrong we were. More safari luck was on the horizon.

We couldn’t take our eyes off of them.

We continued on the long drive to Lower Sabie, looking forward to breakfast at the Mugg & Bean and a quick restroom break. We both had delicious omelets, accompanying mine with a small pot of Rooibus tea while Tom added a strawberry shake to his breakfast. Now I know why Tom likes to eat breakfast at the Mugg & Bean. It’s all about the shake.

A pretty pose after settling down in the bush…
She looks sleepy.

The day was young, and after a quick trip to the Sunset Dam to check for more wildlife, we turned around and headed back the way we’d come in. I wanted to leave ample time to do today’s post when we returned, fold yesterday’s laundry hanging outside on the rack, and prep for dinner, none of which I’d started when we bolted out the door at 8:30 am.

The workers arrived to work on the new inverter system, which should be done by the end of the day tomorrow. We won’t notice load shedding with this new system in the future. Tomorrow morning we’ll head to the immigration office in Nelspruit to submit our documentation, again being out of the way of the workers since we expect to be gone for four or five hours. Besides, the post will be completed and uploaded later, such as today.

They both seemed to be enjoying their meal.

On the return drive to the Crocodile Bridge gate,  we were gifted with a sighting of these two same females eating their kill, which must have occurred between our first and second sighting. Wow! We couldn’t believe our eyes. As we often say to one another under these circumstances, “Who would have thunk?” Who gets to see this stuff in their lifetime? We feel so lucky!

Over the next few days, we will post more photos, but we decided to share the lions first, which were the most exceptional sightings in our minds and, certainly, the day’s favorites.

She’s certainly possessive of their kill.

We were gone less than six hours on a perfect weather day, cooler and overcast, ideal for sightings. Once we returned, at least a dozen animals were waiting for us. Since we stay home a lot, they couldn’t imagine where we were. Immediately, I started cutting vegetables and apples for Nina, Norman, their baby, and all the others. Even the mongooses were waiting for us. Quickly, while they waited, squeaking in their usual funny little tones, I chopped paloney for them. They couldn’t have been more enthused.

It was a good day all around, and it’s not over yet!

Be well!

Photo from one year ago today, January 330, 2022:

Mom and Baby Bushbuck stopped by in the rain this morning. For more photos, please click here.

Update on bite…Octomom and her eight piglets…The new King and Queen of Lionspirit…

Seeing these little ones this time of year is a treat.

As it turns out, the bite I suffered on Saturday was a bee sting. We weren’t able to get the stinger out when I got bit, but this morning almost 48 hours later, I felt it when I ran my hand over my red, hot, swollen, and itchy upper arm and easily pulled it out. The reaction was allergic, and I don’t believe it’s infected. Allergic to bees, we carry an EpiPen but fortunately didn’t need to use it.

Every few hours, followed by a fresh application of Calamine lotion, the ice pack seems to be most effective in providing temporary relief. It has improved in the past 48 hours, so I do not need medical care. The past two nights have been tough, and I’ve hardly slept the past two nights. Once Zef or Vusi comes to clean and change the bedding, as they do each Monday, I’ll probably take a nap, if possible.

It’s a gorgeous sunny morning with a temperature of 83F, 28C, humidity at 59%, and a dew point of 67. The high today will be a tolerable 91F, 33C, with humidity dropping throughout the day.

Marigold and her new little bushbuck, Magnolia.

Octomom and her eight piglets have been here for the past two hours. They are lying in the shade; all cuddled up to her and each other. She is such a good mom. It’s a delight to see them each day, knowing they are well-loved and cared for by this conscientious mom. Ah, the miracles of Mother Nature! We can’t ever get enough of these wonders.

Speaking of the wonders bestowed upon us, fortunate enough to be in Marloth Park, Jaco, an Honorary Ranger, posted this incredible story on his Facebook page a few days ago, as shown below with photos (not ours).

(Please remember that English is a second language for South Africans who speak Afrikaans, and there may be some errors in the below notice. We should all be so blessed to speak a second language with such fluency).
Excellent news. The future King and Queen of Lionspruit. This is the young Male lion of Lionspruit. He is about 4 years old. He made himself at home in Lionspruit just after Flaffie’s death. He was roaming and fighting Lionspruit by himself and defending his territory inside. He was in a fight involved about 2 months ago between him and the two big old male lions that we removed from Marloth Park. After that, he was very proud of himself but lucky for him he was on the other side of the fence, and then the other side, if they did go in, he could be minced meat out of him. He’s a happy Chap now 😀 😄
The Queen was roaming in Marloth Park, then Kruger then back in Marloth Park; she’s a professional hunter between houses on the warthogs, one day she killed a warthog in a boma braai area 😳 luckily no visitors were there, so we decided to dart her and put a collar on her just to see her movements and how many lions is with her, and then, later on, move her into Lionspruit to be Queen for the King 🤴 in Lionspruit, but she was thinking quicker then us 😉 she moved her self into Lionspruit and make it her home 🏡 😉 she’s a bit older than the King, but nowadays it doesn’t matter about age, maybe in the old days, now Queen 👸 and King 🤴 live happily ever after as Queen 👸 and King 🤴 in Lionspruit.
The Field Rangers will monitor them and make sure she will stay there and do a take-off of all the injured animals in Marloth Park for a week just to change her mind so that she can stay in Lionspruit because she knows there are easy fast takeaways in Marloth Park and easy to catch them there 😉. Lionspruit is still a new environment for her, she doesn’t know it that well 😉 😀 👍
Please ask guests and property owners, if you find them, to be RESPECTFUL with them and a SAFE distance from them with your vehicles and not push them, PLEASE. They starting know vehicle’s. If you push them too far, you will never get pleasure from them and will always never see them again; they will hide if they hear a vehicle.
Thank you.”
The new King of Lionspruit. Not our photo.

It will be exciting to hear the lion couple’s roars at night from their location in Lionspruit. As it turns out, in Marloth Park, not counting the separately huge fenced area of Lionspruit, eight lions are roaming among the parklands and bush houses at this time. Lately, they have been spotted in the area of our holiday home. Thus, we avoid walking on the roads and are careful getting in and out of the car, especially at night.

The new Queen of Lionspruit. Not our photo.

We aren’t fearful. But, we are cautious, as everyone should be,  knowing these fantastic beasts are roaming free nearby. We are constantly listening for the lions’ low “rumble sounds, ” which are more frequently heard than an actual roar, as one might expect.

That’s it for today, folks. We hope all of our readers/friends are doing well in the New Year.

Photo from one year ago today, January 9, 2022:

After breakfast, Tom was at Royal Kruger Lodge, where we stayed overnight after a pike broke at our house. For more photos, please click here.

More lion warnings in Marloth Park…See the site map where they’ve been spotted!…Big storm last night!…

We are located in Block D, as indicated on this map. Currently, the lions were spotted in Blocks C and D in Marloth Park.
This morning, this notice was posted on Facebook on the Marloth Park Sighting Page.
16th-17th December 2022
The Carnivore Team has released an URGENT WARNING that a lioness has been spotted in THE “C” SECTOR, and a male lion has been spotted in THE “D” SECTOR OF THE ATTACHED MAP. They are moving between the houses, and everyone should be extremely careful and vigilant!
The immediate alert is for BLOCK “C AND D” as per the attached map. For those unfamiliar with Marloth, BLOCK “C” IS FROM RENOSTER, OLIFANT, VOLSTRUIS, CROCODILE NORTH, AND MODDERVIS. BLOCK “D” IS FROM SWARTWITPENS/RATEL, RENOSTER, KINGFISHER/SEEKOEI AND OLIFANT! A follow-up alert will be supplied if they move out of these areas!
EVERYBODY needs to be extremely cautious and an urgent alert for joggers, hikers, and cyclists in the morning and afternoon! Be extra careful at night as the lions are a bigger threat in the dark! If you are having a braai, sit with your backs to a wall and keep the lights on!
PLEASE do not allow children to roam around or play unsupervised – period! The lions could appear anywhere in Marloth Park! 😳
This an urgent alert for joggers, hikers, and cyclists along these areas throughout the day!
Unfortunately, the warnings are not taken seriously! Don’t go looking for lions because the lions will find you! The onus is on each and every one to adhere to the alerts and warn others of the dangers.
PLEASE DO NOT POST ANY LION-SIGHTING POSITIONS ON ANY SOCIAL MEDIA GROUPS FOR SAFETY REASONS! Rather contact any one of the Carnivore Team if you spot the lions! Phone any of the following numbers at ANY TIME:
Rangers 082 802 5894
CPF/ Nadine 082 672 4545 Gerrie Camacho 082 353 9097,
Ernst Röhm /MTPA 083 626 6309,
April Lukhele: 082 807 1057. Jan Koekemoer 063 053 7601.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding – Carnivore Team, Rangers, MTPA, CPF, Security, and the Vet.”
We take these warnings seriously, almost posted daily, of the presence of both male and female lions in the park. You’d think we’d be terrified, but we aren’t. We do everything we can to stay safe including avoiding walking on the roads and wandering about at night.
When we go out to dinner at Jabula on Friday and Saturday nights, we park as close to the building as possible and proceed to the car with extreme caution in mind, watching for lions and snakes, each of which is more active at night. Living in the bush requires diligent observation at all times and during all seasons.
We can only hope and pray that the countless visitors in Marloth Park heed the warnings on Facebook and from their property owners and managers. This is serious stuff, folks. We’ve seen many visitors walking and biking on the road by our house at dusk. This is foolhardy and dangerous!
Last night, a storm rolled over the area with winds, heavy rain, thunder, and lightning. We thought we’d lose power, but it only went off and on a few times when it wasn’t due to load shedding. The WiFi went off and on while we were trying to stream the last few episodes of Yellowstone, which we’re thoroughly enjoying. Love that show!
Today is a low-key day. When load shedding ends after 11:00 am, I plan to do a few loads of laundry, which will take a few days to dry with this humidity. Tom only has one pair of shorts left, all of the others were in our missing bags, which he’s wearing now on this hot day. Soon, he’ll have to change into long pants so I can wash the pair he’s wearing.
On December 19, 25 days will have passed per the requirement of Ethiopian Air for us to file a claim for our missing bags. On Monday, we will get to work filing the claims necessary to recover part of the value of the missing items. I can’t tell you how many missing things we used before the bags were lost. It’s frustrating, to say the least.
I just received a notice from Eskom that we’re now back to Stage 6 load shedding, which results in 11½ hours a day without power. Ugh! It will be a long and hot holiday season.
Continue to enjoy your holiday preparations, whatever they may be.
Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, December 16, 2021:

Open-mouth crocodile on the bank of the Sabie River. Crocs don’t have sweat glands. Instead, they open their mouths to cool off. For more photos, please click here.

One day and we’re off!…We’re busy getting ready…Male lion warnings!…

This Big Daddy visited early this morning, wondering why he didn’t see us yet. Too early for us!

Last evening, we had intended to visit Louise and Danie for sundowners before taking off on our Thursday trip. When we returned from our pedicure appointments, there was a message from Louise on Whatsapp stating that Danie had come down with the flu overnight. It made no sense to expose ourselves to germs with this upcoming trip.

We appreciated her letting us know. She’d insisted on stopping by before dinnertime to drop off a special treat she’d made for our intended visit. We certainly didn’t want to take any risks, especially since I am already working on recovering from this long-term acute sinusitis.

Wearing a face mask, Louise approached the veranda’s railing, handing off a warm pan of prawn skewers and a fabulous dipping sauce. I’d already prepped a dish and a salad for dinner but decided the prawns would be perfect for tonight, our last night before leaving. We only chatted for a few minutes, and then she was on her way.

Since Tom’s not a big fan of seafood, except lobster, Oysters, Rockefeller, and escargot (which he likes to eat on cruises ships), we could take a few pork chops out of the freezer for him while I eat the prawns tonight. Of course, last night, I couldn’t resist eating a few of the skewers; they were delicious.

Last evening, there were many insects on the veranda, so we decided to eat at the dining room table with the doors closed. Four zebras stopped for remnants of the day’s pellets during that time.

This morning, I prepped Tom’s pork chops after they defrosted overnight in the fridge, made a big salad, and got Tom’s rice ready to cook when we put the chops on the braai. I’ll quickly reheat the prawn skewers and enjoy them with the sauce and the salad on the side.

Tom just returned from Daisy’s Den, where Tracy is a seamstress. Tom left this morning to pick up a pair of jeans. I had  Tracy cut off to hem for long shorts. Over the past few years, I wore that pair of jeans so often, I wore holes in the knees. There was no way I’d wear jeans with holes in the knees. Although it’s cute for young people to wear jeans with holes, I don’t find it attractive on older individuals.

I need to get over myself about the scars from the heart surgery. Since I don’t own a pair of shorts, all of which I’d tossed a few years ago with all the scars on my legs from the surgeries, I knew this tropical trip would require at least one pair of shorts to wear when we go out to the islands on our upcoming Seychelle cruise. This is a step in the right direction.

I’m even bringing the one swimsuit I own. But, the antibiotics I am on, specifically state to avoid the sun due to a high risk of sunburn. Since neither of us has tanned for so long, we must be cautious. We’re bringing organic sunscreen with an SPF of 30, which should serve us well. The cruise line requires all sunscreen, shampoo, and conditioners to be environmentally safe for coral reefs. Fortunately, we were able to find such products at Takealot.

Tom didn’t get outside until around 7:00 this morning and missed this handsome visitor.

On another note, warnings about lions in Marloth Park are posted on Facebook a few times daily. There are two males on the hunt. “And another warning! Here is today’s warning:

November 23, 2022
The Carnivore Team has released a VERY URGENT WARNING that two substantial male lions are on the move and hunting! They are active and moving fast between Gate 1, East of Olifant and Oribi! The situation is extremely dangerous, and the status could change anytime, so PLEASE be vigilant!
If you encounter the lions, please get in touch with the Carnivore Team! DONT POST IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA for safety reasons!
The Carnivore Team and Security are patrolling and monitoring the areas and situation and will report any variances for safety reasons!
Everybody needs to be highly cautious, especially if you are having a braai outside tonight; make sure the area is well-lit and sit with your backs to the wall!
This an urgent alert for joggers, hikers, and cyclists along these areas throughout the day!
Please do not allow children alone in these areas, period – as the lion could be hiding anywhere! 😳
Unfortunately, the warnings are not taken seriously, but the onus is on everyone to adhere to the alerts and warn others of the dangers.
Should you spot any lions, please get in touch with one of the following persons at all hours:
Rangers 082 802 5894
CPF/ Nadine 082 672 4545 Gerrie Camacho 082 353 9097,
Ernst Röhm /MTPA 083 626 6309,
April Lukhele: 082 807 1057. Jan Koekemoer 063 053 7601.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding – Carnivore Team, Rangers, MTPA, CPF, Security, and the Vet.”
We can only hope that visitors and locals will heed these warnings and be diligent when outdoors, whether near their braai, bonfire, walking, or biking on the roads and to and from their vehicles when out to dinner, bars, and shops. We’ve heard several stories from locals who’ve seen the lions and heard the roar of these lions but, as yet, we have not. We are very careful.
That’s it for today, folks. We’ll be back with a post tomorrow as we prepare to head out the door by 3:00 pm, 1500 hrs., for our 6:30 pm, 1830 hrs. flight from Nelspruit to Joburg.
Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, November 23, 2021:

An Egyptian goose was fluffing her feathers while on an island on the Crocodile River. For more photos, please click here.

Off and on water and electricity…Hot and humid…Forecast for Sunday,106F, 41C…Lions…Keeping humans and wildlife safe….

This puffy red flower blooms in the spring is a fireball lily. Quite beautiful. Danie told us he’s chased off a man who tried to dig up this flower from their property, the house we live in now. We will keep an eye out to ensure no one can steal the three of these in our garden.

These two notices were posted on Wild and Free Wildlife Rehabilitation’s web page on Facebook as shown at the end of today’s post. We take these circumstances seriously and hope all of our local readers, of which there are many, would kindly heed these warnings.

Fortunately, we have the birdbath in the garden from which countless wildlife drink throughout the day. We’ve seen many species drinking from the lower and upper areas, which we keep filled with fresh water daily. However, with no running water over the past 24 hours, there was little we could do to top it off.

Instead, mny of the larger species have been drinking from the pool, but we worried about the little creatures. Danie had installed a JoJo tank for us, but then there was a problem with the electricity running the power to the JoJo. Danie was all over this with an electrician here both yesterday and today.

Stingy got into a little scuffle with a young male bushbuck, or…they could have been playing.

Finally, a few minutes ago, we have water after the repairs were made on the JoJo and the power came back on. The recent outage wasn’t load-shedding. It was a fault at an electric supply station. In another hour, load shedding again in a little over an hour.

On Sunday, when the temperature rises to 106F, 41C, we won’t have power and possibly no water during the following hours:

  • 11:00 am to 1330 hrs. (11:00 am to 1:30 pm)
  • 1900 hrs. to 2130 hrs. (7:00 pm to 9:30 pm)

Without power, we will all be subject to this awful heat during these hours. But, the Catch 22…when the power returns, many people hide away in their bedrooms where they have aircon and crack it to the lowest possible temperature. This behavior precipitates more faults and subsequent outages.

Norman likes eating pellets off the railing to avoid warthogs and helmeted guinea fowls from eating them.

We have to keep in mind that we are still experiencing spring, fast heading our way to summer, which starts on December 21. If it feels hot right now, we’d all better brace ourselves.

So, dear readers, how do we deal with all of this? We’re certainly not exempt from becoming frustrated. Nor are we foolhardy to say it doesn’t impact us. It does. Last night, the power was out twice during the night, and I awoke each time, sweating when the fan wasn’t doing it to cool the room.

Last evening, we sat outdoors at the table on the veranda, sipping on our sundowners while the temperature was 38C, 100F. We were in the shade under the veranda roof. When our chicken dinner was done on the braai at 6:00 pm, 1800 hrs., we moved indoors to eat at the dining room table…there’s no aircon in the main living area.

We added some cut-up carrots for Norman to enjoy as well.

We turned on the little portable, rechargeable fan Louise bought for us, and we were okay. The bacon-wrapped, mozzarella, garlic-stuffed chicken breasts, and salad were delicious. I’d accidentally overcooked Tom’s white rice, but he ate it anyway without a complaint.

This morning I asked Tom, do you want to leave and go somewhere else?  Without hesitation, he replied, “No, I’m good here.
I agreed. In a little over a month, we’ll be heading to Seychelles for a glorious cruise in the country’s islands.

Tonight, as always, we’re headed to Jabula, but this time for a birthday party for our friend Sinndee who lost her dear husband, Bruce, only a week ago. It will undoubtedly be a tough evening for Sinndee, but we and others who love her will provide compassion, love, and support.

Kudus finishing the last of lucerne in the nearby garden. Tomorrow, we’ll receive another bale while it’s still busy in the park with holidaymakers.
The Lowveld is currently going through a massive heatwave of 42C (108F) degrees and more, and the animals are struggling. Could we please ask you a favor? – please put out a shallow bowl of water for our small reptiles, birds, and mammals. We have been called out for many smaller animals that are suffering due to dehydration with the last heatwave. This is the least we can do for our little neighbors until the heat subsides.
If you find an animal that looks lethargic please do not try and hand feed water. It is very easy to drown them. If they can drink on their own, put fresh water down and keep a close eye on them. If their condition doesn’t improve move the animal to a cool dark place and phone your closest Wildlife Rehab Centre immediately!
From Wild and Free Team
Deidre – 079 988 5748
Juan – 060 665 5000
Mark – 082 498 6599
Anneke – 079 931 8744″
7th October 2022
The Carnivore Team has released another GENERAL WARNING that at least four lions were spotted and could be busy hunting. The Carnivore Team is monitoring the situation.
A very urgent alert for the following block: Maroela, Olifant, Volstruis, Renoster and Crocodile.
Everybody in these areas need to be extremely cautious and an urgent alert for joggers, hikers and cyclists along the fence and also in these areas!
Please do not allow children in these areas, as the lions could be hiding anywhere! 😳
Unfortunately the warnings are not taken seriously! The onus is on each and everyone to adhere to the alerts and warn others of the dangers.
If you happen to come across a carcass, do not leave your vehicle to go searching and if you are walking or cycling don’t be brave and search for the lions! They will find you! They are extremely dangerous in the vicinity of a kill.
Should you spot the lions, please contact any one of the following persons:
Rangers 082 802 5894
CPF/ Nadine 082 672 4545 Gerrie Camacho 082 353 9097,
Ernst Röhm /MTPA 083 626 6309,B
April Lukhele: 082 807 1057. Jan Koekemoer 063 053 7601.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding – Carnivore Team, Rangers, MTPA, CPF, Security and the Vet.”
And so it goes, the challenges of life in the bush, always interesting, often unusual from our former way of life but always softened by the glorious enjoyment of the wildlife and the people, all of whom we love dearly.
Be well.
Photo from one year ago today, October 7, 2021:
This morning, nine bushbucks stopped by. We gave them carrots, cabbage, and pellets. For more photos, please click here.

Off on a game drive this morning…Hoping “safari luck” prevails….Teaser for tomorrow’s post…

A pride of lions was the highlight of our day in Chobe National Park. This cub made us feel like they were looking right at us. Heavenly. Lots more lion photos to share in tomorrow’s post.

Yesterday was a restful day for us. Still having sinus headaches and face pain, there was nothing I needed more than to rest. I couldn’t recall the last time we spent an entire day lounging. But it felt good. We had a lovely dinner again, up the hill to the restaurant (food photos yet to follow), making it back to our room by 9:00 pm, when I fell asleep in the first five minutes of streaming an episode of the last season of The Black List.

Their antics are adorable, providing several photo ops.

This morning I still have the headache but have taken a dose of Ibuprofen that will hopefully get me through the game drive that will last about four hours. When we return to the resort, we can have the rest of the day to relax, finish this post and work on the many photos we’ll have taken on the safari.

Elephant shots from across the Chobe River from the hotel’s veranda.

We ate a light breakfast this morning with little coffee, knowing the long time in the safari vehicle was ahead. Occasionally, such a vehicle will stop at a planned location with bathroom facilities. But often, behind a bush is the bathroom. That works too, but as a female, it’s not as easy to use a bush “toilet” while wearing long pants. Try figuring that one out, ladies. I only drank one small cup of coffee this morning, and Tom had none.

Their antics are adorable, providing several photo ops.

Dinner last night was delicious. I had the same main dish as the previous night, chicken and prawn skewers, and Tom had a filet on the bone. We’d never seen filet mignon on the bone. But Tom doesn’t do well getting to all the meat when a bone is involved, whereas I’m more like a mongoose…I eat every single morsel. He often hands his bones over to me as he did last night, and I also ate his vegetables. He’s a meat and potatoes (or rice) kind of guy.

We always love seeing elephants.

Knowing we had to get up early for breakfast and the safari, neither of us slept well. Again, we didn’t set the alarm, but by 5:30, I was awake, and Tom was shortly after that. We ate breakfast in plenty of time, giving us a little time back in our room for me to get a start on today’s post. I am wrapping it up but will be back later to post more photos and complete today’s entry. See you soon!


It’s 1:30 pm, 1330 hrs., and we are back from the safari. There was seating for nine passengers with graduated theatre-type seats, three per row. Since we were the last to get into the vehicle when the others were picked up from a different resort, we got the top tier which worked out well for us. We both had “window” seats, although the vehicle has a top and the sides are open.

As sunset ends, all the boats out on sunset cruises begin returning to their respective resorts.

From this good vantage point and the fact that there were only eight of us, the seat between the two of us was empty. We had plenty of room and could take plenty of great photos; Tom occasionally used the camera if the wildlife was problematic for me to shoot, and his phone regularly when I used the camera.

In Marloth Park, we avoid interacting with monkeys, but at this resort, we don’t have to worry about them getting inside the house and destroying things. So now, they are kind of cute.

Did we see anything spectacular? Did “safari luck” prevail once again? The answer is a resounding “YES,” as you’ll see from the above teaser photo of one special sighting, with plenty more to come tomorrow and in the following days. We don’t go on another game drive until Wednesday afternoon. No doubt, we’ll see lots more then.

It was fun to see so many tourists enjoying traveling once again. The activities were crowded.

Game drives can be tedious when there are few exciting sightings. But almost four hours flew by so quickly; we could hardly believe it. Our safari mates were mainly from France. One of the tourists was a kindly safari guide from Italy who does tours in Namibia chatted with me from time to time and was very friendly. He’s not only a safari guide but also a geologist and had lots of good stories to tell. Also, he lives in Tuscany, Italy, when not working for short periods, leaving us with a few morsels to share from our time in Tuscany in 2013.

Many vervet monkeys hang around the resort’s veranda throughout the day and evening.

So now we’re back with a few hours until it’s time for sundowners. It’s sunny here almost every day, so sunsets are exceptional. We’ll have plenty of those photos to share over the days to come. Please check back tomorrow for more. We love sharing all this new stuff with you!

Of course, we’d see a warthog on the grass in front of our veranda at Chobe Safari Lodge. Everywhere we go….

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 22, 2021:

With no water and unable to refill the birdbath with clean water, Benny (Benny, Henny, Lenny, and Penny) decided to drink from the pool. We’d never seen a warthog do this. For more photos, please click here.

Lions in Marloth Park…And other warnings…

Lion prints were found here in Marloth Park a few days ago.
Let’s face it; life is dangerous in most parts of the world. Whether it’s wars, natural disasters, crime, or animal encounters, one can never sit back and feel entirely safe. South Africa is listed as #8 in the list of the world’s countries for the highest murder rate, details of which may be found here at this site with updated stats for 2022.
Also of concern for humans are the world’s most dangerous animals listed on this site, most of which may be found in South Africa and other countries on the continent and other parts of the world. The majestic lion is listed as #10, certainly not the most dangerous to humans, but without a doubt, falling into a difficult position.
No one wants to come face to face with a lion, although many videos on YouTube may lead some to assume human interactions with lions is safe. It is not. Subsequently, with lions on the loose in Marloth Park, every local visitor must exercise caution daily and night.
A resident of Marloth Park took this photo from their vehicle.
No one is exempt from the possibility of a life-threatening or life-ending attack by a lion, even right here in this paradise-like conservancy where wild animals surround us at any given moment. A few minutes ago, I walked by the bedroom window to see our new wildlife visitor, Bad Ear (his left ear is bleeding), a huge wildebeest looking into the window at me, inquiring about the possibility of some pellets.
Of course, we were happy to see him, but we don’t forget for a moment his size, as indicated here:
“Males typically weigh 165 to 290 kg (364 to 639 lb), and females weigh 140 to 260 kg (310 to 570 lb).”
With their sharp horns and seeming gentle disposition, a human could be impaled instantly if a wildebeest becomes frightened or defensive.
Thus, we don’t take our presence here in the bush lightly. We proceed with caution at every turn while still taking time to enjoy the frequent visits from wildlife. But lions, hmmm…if a lion approached us while we were on the veranda, we’d have to move quickly to get inside the house to protect ourselves, keeping in mind how fast ions can move.
Fortunately, by nature, lions don’t generally seek human interactions. But, here again, if frightened or provoked, an attack could be imminent. We are more well protected in this house by a short fence bordering a portion of the veranda, providing some protection. But, if we hear a lion’s roar nearby, I assure you we won’t be racing out to the garden for a photo.
More lion footprints were recently spotted in Marloth Park.
It is difficult for residents to take photos unless they happen across one of the lions while in their vehicle. The images we’re sharing today are not ours. They were on a public forum on Facebook, which we watch diligently for new sightings on a few select Facebook groups for Marloth Park.
In the case of today’s photos, we “borrowed” all of them from Facebook to make an illustration of this reality in Marloth Park and other areas. Are we frightened? No. But we certainly would be if we were up close and personal with one of these beasts.
On another note, there is considerably more to fear from humans, the criminal kind who have been attacking and, in some cases murdering drivers on the N4 highways after dark, often early in the evening. As indicated in the post, we spotted it this morning on Facebook. These two attacks occurred as early as 2100 hrs, 9:00 pm. Anyone could be traveling back to Marloth Park after enjoying dinner in a restaurant on the N4 or visiting family and friends.
We have decided to avoid traveling on the N4 whenever it is dark, with no exception. The risk is too high based on the circumstances, such as listed below, posted by a Marloth Park official this morning.
The carcass of an ostrich found in Marloth Park results from a lion attack (or possibly, a leopard).
Good morning everyone.
Please warn your guests to try not to travel late at night.
We had two spiking incidents last night.
Both about the same time. 21h00
1. N4 Impala Station (between Hectorspruit and Malelane. Mozambique Truck.
2. Bethal, near the offramp, two vehicles spiked.
The problem is that the suspect is in groups.
1. Avoid driving over any foreign object on the road.
2. If you cannot avoid it, and your tires do hit an object which causes any damage, please continue driving as far as possible. The ideal will be to a garage or toll Plaza.
3. Suspects target what’s in your vehicle, cell phones, bags, cash, etc.
4. Don’t carry a lot of cash.
Keep the TracN4 ready at all times so that you can call them immediately.
Be vigilant at all times.
Thank you, and be safe.”
This frightens us, as it should. We are not foolhardy and take no such risks. Then again, nor should anyone, anywhere in the world, in these frightening times. We all must proceed with caution while still striving to find joy and fulfillment all around us in whatever we choose to do, wherever we choose to live.
Be well. Be safe.

Photo from one year ago today, June 3, 2021:

Hornbills certainly enjoy Frank and The Misses’ seeds. We don’t have any Franks at this new house. For more photos, please click here.

Marloth Park has suffered a sad loss of a beloved animal…

Not our photo. Fluffy, male, and Dezi at the Impala Dam on January 15, 2021.

After a good night’s sleep, I awoke this morning at 7:30 and began my day by checking out the world news, my email, messages on Messenger, text, and WhatsApp, and finally checking out the most recent new posts on Facebook as I always do. I love knowing what’s going on in the world. I also listen to podcasts when getting ready for the day. But more on that later in this post.

When I read the following post this morning that popped up on Facebook, it brought tears to my eyes. Not only was it beautifully written and heart-wrenching, it was sensitive to the reality that few of us in Marloth Park had ever seen Dezi, but that didn’t mean we didn’t love her.

Many nights, we’ve sat on the veranda and listened to hers, and Fluffy’s roar permeates the air. Last night, the roars we heard must have only been Fluffy’s since, by then, Dezi was no more.

Please read the following unedited, beautiful tributes to her and her sad passing.

May be an image of big cat and nature
Not our photo. Fluffy and Dezi at the water’s edge in Lionspruit.

✝️A TRIBUTE TO QUEEN DEZI ✝️ by Gerrie Camacho.

The roar from the Lionspruit lioness, also known as Dezi, will no longer be heard as she has spent her last night under the Lowveld skies. As of last night, she will no longer join her mate of the past 16 plus years in the always familiar duet of lion vocalization, claiming Lionspruit as their territory. She was a quiet legend and was most probably one of the oldest wild living lionesses but at the age of twenty years had to quit the African bush life.

Few people were privileged to spend time with her, many were lucky to see her, and most owners and visitors had the regular privilege to hear her at night time. After her radio collar transmitted from the same area for the past few days, it was pertinent to go find her on foot in an area too dense to enter with a vehicle.

She was hardly responding to any stimuli of the sound of humans and paid no attention to our approach on foot. A winding pathway was established from the nearest road to approach her by vehicle. Here she was darted and taken to a workable area where she was examined by Doc Peet.

We can only pay tribute to this female who kept a fighting spirit to survive until the last minute. Doc Peet who has been serving the Marloth community voluntarily and diligently over the past couple of years had the sad task to let her pass on as humanely as possible. This task could have been performed more easily, but he chose to help her out of this life with as much dignity as possible. Thank you to all those involved in finding her. Thank you Doc Peet for the professional, compassionate and respectful manner you once again showed while working with this magnificent beast in her last moments under the Lionspruit skies. R.I.P. Dezi!❤️

Also, on Facebook was the following message further explaining her passing:

It is a sad day indeed for all of us who love our own Lionspruit lions.
Yesterday we lost Dezi. It has been a long week of hoping against hope that she would recover from age-related injuries that she recently suffered whilst still living her best lion life. But unfortunately, she was losing ground day by day. Dezi indeed lived to a great age for a lion.
We would like to thank Doctor Peet Venter for his caring, professional input. He concluded yesterday that Dezi was suffering, and it was time to let her go. Thank you also to Gerrie Camacho from MTPA, the Marloth Park Field Rangers, and the Honorary Rangers for this last day of care. A special thank you to Joce Gordon for the time-intensive monitoring, especially over the last few weeks.
Genie Retief, Chief Honorary Ranger.”
May be an image of big cat and nature
Not our photo. Another gorgeous photo of Dezi.

It is amazing that those of us who love wildlife can feel so deeply for an animal they’ve only heard but never seen. That’s the magic of living in Africa, or anywhere there is free-roaming wildlife. We fall in love with their beauty, uniqueness, and mystery, although we were never able to get too close to her or ever see her at all.

If we are so touched by the sound of a lion, living only meters away from Lionspruit, which abuts our holiday home in the rear, it is easy to understand how connected we become with the animals we see almost every day, who look into our eyes, with trust and interest and depend on us, in the leanest times, to toss some sustenance their way.

Soon, the holidaymakers who came to the park for the Christmas and New Year season will be leaving to return to their homes in other parts of South Africa and, for some, other parts of the world. When they are gone, the vast numbers of animals that routinely visit us will return to us in abundance.

Now, with the rich vegetation for the wildlife to eat after weeks of rain, they no longer need much in the way of pellets. And yet, day by day, they return, much to our joy and appreciation. Sure, we still toss a few pellets their way, the same way you’d offer your dog or cat an occasional treat, knowing with or without this offering, you are still loved, still important in their lives.

In the future, the lion roars we hear at night will only be those of Fluffy and, of course, the remaining five lions currently residing in our presence.

The holiday has ended, but our hope for the future is only just beginning. May the New Year bring all of us peace of mind and comfort.

Photo from one year ago today, January 3, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #284. Festival in the street in India. “Meena Sankranti is an important Hindu festival observed on the auspicious occasion of the sun’s transition from Pisces to Aries. Known as Meena Sankramanam in South India, the festival will be celebrated on March 14 (Saturday), 2020, all over India. Celebrating a Sankranti is often marked with the donation of various things. According to specific personal needs, the people celebrate the event at the onset of every month. Some Indian states like Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala observe the occasion at the beginning of each month. In contrast, states like West Bengal celebrate the festival during the latter half of the month.” For more photos, please click here.

Dinner on the veranda with friends during a sizzling hot night…Escalated lion warnings…

Thirsty after eating pellets, piglets needed a drink from mom.

Last night’s dinner was easy to make when Rita and Gerhard came for dinner, which was decided on New Year’s eve when they surprised us at Flo and JiJi’s party as described in yesterday’s post, which is found here, in case you missed it. We had already planned a lovely New Year’s day dinner for the two of us, and in our usual manner, we had plenty for two more. We had enough for six more, so we’ll be eating leftovers for the next few days.

I’m thrilled I won’t have to cook for a few days with this awful heat and humidity. Last evening when we were situated at the veranda table with Rita and Gerhard, starting at 3:00 pm, while the meat cooked on the braai, it was so hot and humid, the sweat was pouring off each of us.

Moms and piglets stop by several times each day.

I had a few last-minute items to prepare that required the use of the oven. Rita sat on the barstool in the kitchen while I worked on the food, giving us a chance to catch up on some “girl talk” while Tom and Gerhard chatted outdoors. We often talked about how much we miss Kathy and Don, who are back in Hawaii, and how we wish they could be with us.

We made a plan to meet at Two Trees on Tuesday for sundowners and river viewing. Afterward, we may go out to dinner or each return to our respective bush houses for the remainder of the evening.

Poor mom with no tail.

But, the four of us will stay busy together this summer in Africa, frequently sharing our wildlife sightings and stories that come our way. Every Friday night, the four of us will go to Jabula, sit at the bar for drinks and later move to a table on the veranda for dinner. All of this is reminiscent of old times we shared beginning in 2018 when they first came to Marloth Park, again a couple who came here to this wildlife paradise after reading our posts for years. Little did we know, the four of us would become fast friends.

We introduced them to our friends living here before the onset of Covid-19, and again, typical for Marloth Park, magic happens, and social circles grow. Neither of us has ever lived anywhere where it is easy to make new friends. In our old lives, we socialized with the same wonderful long-term friends year after year, rarely including someone new in the “inner circle.”

This is the mom who lost her tail. She is the mom of Barbara and Lori and the set of two piglets. Poor girl, she also lost one of her latest piglets in the past few weeks. Check out her perfect tusks.

But, as I often say, there is something special about the commonality visitors and residents of Marloth Park possess, a passion for nature and wildlife that has a way of bringing people together. It may be true that those who love nature and wildlife have a different perspective of life, a passion that is unlike any other we’ve encountered along the way. We are very grateful to have met so many amazing people, many of whom have become dear friends.

This is our boy, One Tusk. His singular tusk is larger than any tusks we’ve seen on any other warthog.

As for the most recent comments about the lions possibly having returned to Kruger, it’s not the case. Here’s the latest post from Facebook that popped up last night:

1st and 2nd January 2022
The Carnivore Team has released a warning that the three young lions have been spotted at 16h30, and they are highly mobile and hunting!
A very urgent alert for tonight in the following area: The whole block of Swartwitpens to Seekoei and tomorrow morning from Hardekool to Soenie an urgent alert for joggers and cyclists to be cautious along the fence!
Please do not allow children in these areas period as the lions could be anywhere! 😳
Unfortunately, the warnings are not taken seriously! The onus is on everyone to adhere to the alerts and warn others of the dangers.
Should you spot the lions, phone any one of the following numbers:
Rangers 082 802 5894
CPF/ Nadine 082 672 4545 Gerrie Camacho 082 353 9097,
Ernst Röhm /MTPA 083 626 6309,
April Lukhele: 082 807 1057. Jan Koekemoer 063 053 7601.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding – Carnivore Team, Rangers, MTPA, CPF, Security, and the Vet.”
Broken Horn has been digging in the mud based on his dirty face.
No doubt, this means the lions are still here in Marloth Park, although this time the warning was issued they are closer to us, now under 2 kilometers, 1.2 miles from us. Of course, for our concerned family and friends, we want to assure you we are safe. We don’t go out onto the roads on foot, and we proceed with extreme caution when going to and from the car to the house.

That’s it for today, folks. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable start to the New Year.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, January 2, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #283. This kind man, Mr. Ganapthay of Cholan Art Village, made the experience of visiting his nine-generation family’s bronzing business all the more special to both of us. For more, please click here.