OMG!…It doesn’t get any better than this!…Quite a “Sighting of the Day in the Bush!”…

Soon, there were nine until the tenth arrived.  At this point, the three warthogs were on the scene, a mom, an auntie, and a tiny baby.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Today’s sighting of the day in the bush couldn’t be more befitting of what life is like in Marloth Park. Please check out this video when ten zebras, three warthogs, and two kudus came to call.

There are fewer visitors over the weekends when tourists flock to Marloth Park, staying in holiday homes or one of many lodges in the park. They too feed the wildlife that visits their surroundings, and often with the extra cars and added weekend noise, many of the nature take cover and don’t come around as much.

They don’t waste any time letting us know they’d like some pellets.

Usually, by Monday or Tuesday morning, we begin seeing them again. Besides humankind, on both Saturday and Sunday, that’s not to say we don’t have visitors over the weekend. Many animals visit us on weekends, just not as many as during the weekdays.

We tossed out a few handfuls, and they were all over it.

Based on the fact we spend 14 to 15 hours a day on the veranda, less our almost daily drives in the park, visits to Kruger (upcoming again this week), trips into town for shopping and appointments. Time spent socializing. The wildlife has come to realize. We’re an easy mark for pellets, apples, and carrots most of the time.

In a matter of moments, more zebras arrived in the yard.  Check out the young one in the back center of the photo.

On a day like today, we’ll be gone from 12:30 to 7:00 pm for two planned events, both of which we’ll share with photos in tomorrow’s post. Our dinners are already prepared, ready to be reheated, and by 7:15 this evening, we’ll be back on the veranda prepared to begin “watching and waiting” once again.

This zebra came up to the veranda, licked my bare toe to let me know she wanted more.  I complied, cutting up several apples for her and the others.

For us, avid wildlife observers and prominent commentators in one form or another, we never seem to become bored with this interminable hobby that is a way of life as we live in what we’ll always refer to as “this magical place.”

Their stiff upright manes are an indicator of good health.

We’d love to hear if any of our readers have been to or heard of such a place anywhere on this earth, where one could live for a few months at a time, socializing with beautiful people and embracing daily life surrounding by visiting wildlife.

There was plenty of kicking taking place as they competed for the pellets and apples.

If you know of such a place, please let us know. We’ll want to go there! But, as the well-traveled residents of Marloth Park always say, “There is no place on earth quite like this place.”

The three warthogs held their ground, refusing to let the feisty zebras intimidate them. Tom made sure to toss plenty of pellets toward them.

Sure, many locations throughout the world offer sightings of bears, moose, antelope, whales, endless varieties of birds, farm animals, and on and on. But, as we perused this world so far (not even the “tip of the iceberg” so far), we haven’t encountered anything comparable to Marloth Park.

The youngest of the dazzle of zebras (yep, dazzle) got in on the action without hesitation.

In a way, it reminds me of when I was a child, and we visited Disneyland, only about 35 minutes (much longer now with more traffic) from where I grew up in Long Beach, California. There was one exciting moment after another, and as a kid, it was easy to feel I’d never get enough.

The cement pond is a favorite spot from which to drink after eating the dry pellets.

And, although this place isn’t “manufactured or artificial” (except for the homes, lodges, and few shops), this wildlife environment was here long before the people. For me, it feels like Disneyland every day, one wonder after another.

The young zebra rarely moved from the others to allow for a good photo.

For Tom, who’s a little more reserved in his outward display of enthusiasm, he too is caught up in the wonder of it all, especially when a few days ago, he was responsible for discovering and booking the upcoming cruise back to Africa in November/December 2020. Click here for the details if you missed the post describing that cruise.

Tom mentioned these three had been by earlier in the morning while I was getting dressed. I was thrilled to see them return to check out the little one.

On February 11, 2018, coming back here this time was a gift from Tom for my 70th birthday on February 20th, knowing how anxious I was to return. But, now returning in 2020 is not only for me. He, too, is fully engaged and loving the life we live here.

Two female kudus came prancing into the yard to check out the activity. When the zebras wouldn’t allow them in on the pellets, they left.  No doubt, they’ll return later.

No, we won’t eventually move here as many have asked. We have no plans to permanently “live” anywhere. Nor will we stay so long next time. We’ll stay the 90 days allowed by a South African visa and be on our way. 

This time, we wanted to see Victoria Falls on both sides from Zambia and Zimbabwe, safari in Chobe National Park, the Chobe River and, cruise on the Zambezi River. Mission accomplished.  

When we book plans for our next 90-day required exit in August, we’ll share all the details at the time of booking and while we’re on that next adventure. However, we don’t need to travel from Marloth Park, South Africa, for an experience. 

The kudus left, deciding a few pellets weren’t worth a kick from a zebra.

We need only open the giant wooden doors to our lovely holiday bush home on a morning like this to behold a scene such as this morning’s and, the adventure has just begun.

Thank you to all of our readers for sharing this particular time with us. All of you have given us such purpose as we document all of these magical moments. Without YOU, we may have smiled, laughed, and taken a few photos along the way. 

With YOU, it’s immemorial, as we feel dedicated and determined to document this life we lead 365 days a year.

Have a pleasant Monday!

Photo from one year ago today, June 4, 2017:

As we continued to have quality time in Minnesota with family and friends, we added more photos of Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.  We didn’t want those we love to feel every get-together was a photo op posted online. For more garden photos, please click here.

Zambia…We have arrived!…The tours begin tomorrow…Laid back evening tonight…

Around 2:00 pm on Friday, we arrived at the Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone, Zambia. It was much larger than the Nelspruit Mpumalanga Kruger International Airport.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

We couldn’t resist posting this photo we took last night of Wart Face and his new girlfriend. She’s a mom with two babies who still hang around with her, but it’s mating season, and Wart Face has been courting her for weeks. We laughed out loud to see them taking a rest together last night at dusk. Note the two oxpeckers on her, the first time we’ve seen oxpeckers on warthogs. Over this next week, while we’re in Zambia, we’ll be adding photos we’ve taken outside of South Africa for this feature, “Sighting of the Day in the Bush,” since it is undoubtedly bush-like here as well.

It took a total seven hours from the time we left the house in Marloth Park this morning to arrive at our hotel in Livingstone, Zambia, at 3:00 pm this afternoon. The drive to Nelspruit was less than an hour and a half, and the flight was less than two hours. 

As we drove away from the airport in Zambia, the surroundings could have been any city in any part of the world.

The remainder is all the typical monkeying around on travel days, check-in; luggage (no fees required); immigration, all of which included long periods of waiting in line. There were only 84 passengers on the entire flight, but it could have been four times the amount based on its time to process all the travelers.

But, somehow, even with the delays, we were okay.  In actuality, everything went well. There were no surprises which we like. We’ve found that the longer we travel, the less annoyed we are by typical inconveniences one can expect at the airport or other means of transportation.

Buses and charter vehicles provided transportation for many tourists, many of whom we could determine were from North America.

One of the longest delays of the day was at immigration in Zambia. An extensive tour group was given priority over the rest of us at both airports, resulting in hour-long delays. There was nothing we could do but wait.

As we drove through outlying areas, we were reminded of driving through Kenya, where we’ll be again in nine months.

Once we made it through immigration in Zambia, we paid a ZAR 1223 (US $100) entry fee for the two of us (by credit card), which included both Zambia and Zimbabwe. Finally, we were on our way to baggage claim to easily find our bags and be on our way. 

A walker sheltered from the hot sun carrying an umbrella.

Alec, our driver for the week, was waiting for us at the airport entrance holding a sign with our name. We got into the somewhat rickety van to make our way to our hotel, a short distance away. We drove through the town of Livingstone, where many travelers come from all over the world to visit the renowned Victoria Falls.

Once we reached the city of Livingstone, we were surprised by many modern buildings and conveniences.

From this site: “Livingstone was, until 2012, the capital of the Southern Province of Zambia. Lying 10 km (6.2 mi) to the north of the Zambezi River, it is a tourism centre for Victoria Falls and a border town with road and rail connections to Zimbabwe on the other side of Victoria Falls. A historic British colonial city, its present population was estimated at 136,897 inhabitants at the 2010 census. It is named after David Livingstone, the British explorer and missionary who was the first European to explore the area.”

The city is clean and well organized.

“Zambia was known as Northern Rhodesia until October 1964, and bordering Zimbabwe was Rhodesia. “The territory of what is now Zambia was known as Northern Rhodesia from 1911. It was renamed Zambia at independence in 1964. The new name of Zambia was derived from the Zambezi river (Zambezi may mean “River of God”).”

Shops, businesses, and restaurants line the streets.
There’s a vast amount of fascinating history we’ll explore in part over this week while we visit some of the sights in these three bordering countries; Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.

Now that we’re settled into our comfortable hotel room at the Protea Hotel by Marriot Livingstone with good AC, Wi-Fi, and a comfortable bed, we’re content and happy to be here. 

We have a few days on our own, during which we’ll check out downtown Livingstone on foot.

For ease, tonight we’ll dine at the hotel’s restaurant, and we’ll check out recommendations from TripAdvisor for the remaining evening’s meal. Breakfast is included each morning, beginning at 6:30 am, which will work well for our busy schedule of various tours we’ve already arranged.

Tomorrow, at 7:45 am, we’re off to see Victoria Falls. We decided we’d do the full tour of both sides of the falls, from Zambia and Zimbabwe. It will be a full day. Once we return to our hotel in the late afternoon, we’ll prepare the post with many photos of Victoria Falls.

Back at you soon, dear readers! Enjoy the evening and the weekend!

Photo from one year ago today, May 11, 2017:

The beach on a tropical island as we began to wind down the cruise. In three days, we were back in North America, preparing for the Alaskan cruise. For more details, please click here.