Part 2…Five years ago in South Africa…The Panorama Route…Wildlife in Hoedspirit at the Moholoholo Rehab Centre…

The small Serval cat is a vicious hunter in the wild.  We were not allowed inside her habitat.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Mongooses waiting patiently for Tom to place the bowl of raw scrambled eggs on the ground.

It was on January 19, 2014, we posted the photos we’re sharing in today’s story of our visit to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre in Hoedspruit, South Africa, about a four-hour drive from Marloth Park.

This handsome cheetah was recovering from poisoning, as the result of an attempt to kill him for his hide.  He won’t be able to return to the wild due to the risk of being killed by his own species.  He’s been made an “ambassador” to represent the rehab center in saving his and other species from becoming endangered.  Watching him through the electrified fencing, we were anxious to get inside for “hands-on.”

In reviewing the photos, it boggles our minds to think this was a full five years ago.  It seems like only yesterday we embarked on a three-day getaway to see the Panorama Route as reiterated in yesterday’s post here.


Here is the link from our visit to Moholoholo so many moons ago.

This mating pair of honey badgers were kept together when one was injured.  It was delightful to watch their playful antics.  In the wild, they are dangerous animals known to be able to rip the genitalia from any animal in a single bite. Yikes.

As mentioned in a few recent posts, we may be sharing a few repeated posts as we wind down our time in Marloth Park, now only 22 days until departure.  Mainly, we decided on this occasional repeat to share past experiences in South Africa in 2013/2014 for our readers who may have begun following us long after this time.

We weren’t allowed to get face to face with this vulture.  He offers tourists a stick with the appearance of being generous when in reality, if the gift is accepted through the fence, he’ll bite their fingers off!

Another obvious reason is the fact we’ve been here for so long (a few weeks short of one year as of today) we felt we needed to “shake it up a bit. ”  How many warthogs, kudu, giraffe and zebra photos can we post in our remaining time?  We realize that it’s become redundant and perhaps boring after so many of the “same old, same old.”

Of course, we’ve yet to become bored with a forkl of kudus, a band of mongoose, a dazzle of zebras or a tower of giraffes in our garden or on the bumpy dirt roads in Marloth Park or even in Kruger National Park.  It’s been a constant stream of that which we love, over and over again.

This adorable, yet deadly eagle was more than willing to lower her head for me to pet her.

And yet, it’s about to change very soon and we will bombard our readers with new experiences, new photos, and new adventures unlike many others we may have shared in the past.

Tom volunteered to feed the vultures raw meat.  He wore a leather sleeve on his right arm from fingertips to shoulder.  As soon as our guide put the raw meat into his hand, several vultures flew at him to grab it, leaving two to fight over it.  Exciting, to say the least!


Yes, we’re excited for the future; the upcoming photography tour in Kenya; the March cruise from San Antonio, Chili to San Diego, California; seeing our family once again in Minnesota in April; the cruise in the latter part of April from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Copenhagen, Denmark; and then in May, flying to Dublin and then driving to Connemara, Ireland where we’ll stay for three months until August.  And, it goes on and on…The Baltic, St. Petersburg and more.



At times, I feel melancholy about leaving the bush, the wildlife, and friends.  But then, I remind myself I’m continuing to travel the world with my husband, lover, companion and best friend and we’ll never run out of the lively conversation, magic moments, and memorable experiences along the way.

This male lion recovering from an injury leisurely walked our way as we approached the electrified fence.  I was able to take this photo through an open small space in the fence, using a bit of zoom.  Of course, we weren’t allowed inside his area.

Today, as we share photos from five years ago, we anticipate five years into the future, wellness, and good health providing, when we may share some of our magic moments from this heart-pounding year in the bush.  


In 22 days, I’ll be emotionally prepared to move on, however sad it may be to say goodbye to Little, Ms. Bushbuck, Basket, Tusker, Mom and Babies, Wildebeest Willie, Frank, and the Mrs. and many more.  No doubt, a few tears will be shed on those last days.  

Other wildlife meandered the open areas of the rehab center, which is located in the bush including many vultures, eagles, impalas, and other species.  This young impala was enjoying a quiet time in the shade.

Then, of course, is saying goodbye to our many friends in Marloth Park who have welcomed us, once again, with open arms, open hearts and more loving friendship than we ever could have imagined.  


Never a day passes without us acknowledging how we’ve been blessed to live this unusual life, filled with riches that can’t be bought.  We are grateful.


May you have blessings in your life!

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Here are the expenses we incurred one year ago today, for the 31-night stay in the Prodeo Hotel in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina: 

 Expense   US Dollar   Argentine Pesos 
 Hotel – 31 nights $                  2,480.00 47,076.69
Flight – Round trip- inc. cruise                   –               –
 Taxi   $                       65.31 1,239.75
 Groceries & Dining out   $                     987.87                     18.752.28
 Laundry  $                        56.00 1,063.02
 Tips for hotel staff   $                     158.05 3,000.19
 Pharmacy & Misc.   $                     477.52 7,157.48
 Total   $                  4,224.75 59,537.13
 Avg Daily Cost    $                     136.28 1,920.55

Please click here for more details.

Honey Badgers…Looking back three months ago….A tribute to animal intelligence…


This video, presented by  Brian Jones and Africa Geographic is one of the most amazing examples of animal intelligence that we’ve seen without any training by humans. We were fortunate to see these Honey Badgers when we visited the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Center only three months ago. Last night this video appeared on my Facebook homepage.

While visiting the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre we were impressed by the opportunities for veterinarians, students, and volunteers whose passion revolves around wildlife. If you know of somehow who could benefit from this program, please refer them to this link where there is a wealth of information about the student and volunteer educational program. What an ideal segue into wildlife for future veterinarians! 

Our photo from this January while we visited the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre in Hoedspruit, South Africa, a day we’ll always remember. 
Last night, as I gave Facebook one last look before heading to bed, I noticed this video had been posted on my home page by Africa Geographic, one of my favorite “likes.” (Feel free to “friend me.” I’m easily found by my email addressjessicablyman@gmail.com).
When I clicked on this video about these two Honey Badgers, we both watched with bated breath. After less than 15 seconds into the video, Tom says, “These are the Honey Badgers we saw at Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre when we traveled to Blyde River Canyon (which we’d coincidentally mentioned in yesterday’s post).
We realized that the familiar voice was that of the renowned Brian Jones, manager of the facility and world naturalist and advocate for saving the rhinos. While we visited the facility, Brian spoke to the group of visitors in a classroom environment where we were mesmerized by his knowledge and passion for wildlife.
On January 19, 2014, we wrote a story with several photos of our visit to Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre which was without a doubt, a memorable experiences in many ways as shown in our photos; seeing these same Honey Badgers, interacting with a Cheetah, Vultures, and other animals as shown in our post. If you’d like to review those photos, please click on this link below:
Retracing our steps from such a short time ago has made us realize how little time we actually had to learn about the in-depth characteristics of many of the wildlife we’ve seen in our travels.
It was only while living in Marloth Park for a full three months that we had the glorious opportunity to live amongst the wildlife, observing and studying their behaviors, often on a daily basis, that we actually felt we had a chance to get to know them to some degree.
As for Morocco over the past 24 hours, we had quite a day and night. Before noon each day, Adil stops by to see if we’d like Madame Zahra to cook our dinner, giving her ample time to shop and prepare our dinner. 
The wet floors of the souks required walking with caution as we made our way to a restaurant for dinner.
Yesterday, we declined, after decided to stay in all weekend due to the huge tourist crowd in the souk due to spring break and Easter weekend. Itching to get out, we didn’t give our idea of declining dinner a second thought until a wild rainstorm ensued in the afternoon. 
Lighting and thunder flashed through the air as the pelting rain poured into the riad’s open courtyard. Keeping in mind that riads are built and furnished with the possibility of rain, the house suffered no ill effects. But, when we wanted to go to the bathroom or to refill our iced tea, we had to carefully walk around the edges of the courtyard to avoid getting wet while in the house.
This reminded us of the outdoor living room in the house in Kenya where we lived for three months from September 1, 2013, to November 20, 2013, where we had nowhere to go during rainstorms, other than by moving the outdoor furniture out of the way of the incoming rain to avoid getting wet.
Staying in the salon all day, we waited for the rain to subside so we could leave to go out to dinner. Rain pours into the slats in the souk’s roof leaving the shop owners no alternative but to cover their wares in huge plastic sheets.
By dinnertime, we decided we may as well head out. It appeared the rain would continue well into the evening.  Putting on our hooded jackets, we walked erratically through the souk in a feeble attempt to avoid huge puddles, stepping on grates, and the splashing from the fast-moving motorbikes. 
It was almost an athletic event, as we wove in and out rapidly making our way to the closest restaurant on our favorites list, Arabe. Holding hands as we always do when walking through the souk, watching each step over slippery surfaces, we made it up and back without incident.
Without the opportunity to cook our own meals based on the conditions of the rental, yesterday was a perfect example of a time it was more difficult. We’d never chose to go out on a night when the pouring rain, thunder, and lightning were at full force.
All in all, we made it, after a pleasant dinner returning none the worse for the wear. Tom turned on the little heater in the salon, we bundled up, staying warm as we watched a few of our shows. 
Again, the crowing rooster awoke me at 5:00 am along with the call-to-prayer. Hearing them both at the same time made me chuckle over the irony. In Boveglio Italy, in only a matter of two nights, we adapted to the sound of the bell tower ringing twice an hour. Here, I haven’t yet adapted to the crowing of the rooster. Go figure.
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No photos were posted from one year ago today, April 22, 2013, but the post included a warning from the captain of the ship we were on at the time. 
On occasion, in the past, we didn’t post any photos on some days.  Now, we do so each and every day. On this date a year ago, our ship made a detour to drop off an ill passenger in Bermuda. It was due to this detour that our ship, the Norwegian Epic, ending up in the eye of a storm lasting for three days as told in tomorrow’s year ago story. Please check back tomorrow. For details of the written post for April 22, 2013, with the captain’s warning, please click here.

Thirty to forty crossing the road… Breathtaking Kruger Park experience…Later in the day, we visited the Elephant Sanctuary…More photos in tomorrow’s post.

Wow! They kept coming and coming until there were 30 to 40 elephants crossing and waiting to cross the road. They continued in a steady stream. What a sight!
It’s the end of our first 36 hours since leaving Marloth Park. Here’s what we’ve done so far:
  • 5.5 hours on a self-drive safari through Kruger National Park 
  • 2 hours at the Elephant Sanctuary in Hazyview on an interactive experience with elephants, walking, feeding, and touching the elephants (photos in next post)
  • 2-hour boat trip in the Blyde River Canyon, the third-largest canyon in the world where two rivers come together, the Blyde River and the Treur River
  • 2-hour tour of the renowned Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre with an opportunity to touch and experience rehabilitating wildlife
The elephant herd crossed the road as more waited in the wings to do the same.
As shown, the babies are kept tight in the center of the herd as they make their way across the road.
Although the park wasn’t crowded, the word must have got out about the elephants on the road when suddenly cars appeared out of nowhere. We continued to stay back and out of their way, especially with the babies in tow.
 
This kudu was munching on a hill, stopping only to look at us as we drove by.
Back at the exquisite Blyde River Canyon Lodge for the evening, we were reeling from the above experiences, energized more than tired from the hours of standing and walking while we learned so much.
Need I say that in these 36 hours we’ve taken no less than 300 photos? And, as we sit here now on the veranda at the lodge at 6:00 pm on Thursday evening, there are impalas, vervet monkeys, and zebras playing, eating, and wandering about on the beautiful grounds.

Finally, the sun came out today, and weather providing tomorrow we’ll take off on yet another day of exploration as we embark on the popular Panorama Route, returning to the Blyde River Canyon Lodge for our final night.  

Saturday, we’ll drive back toward Marloth Park, stopping at the Mpumalanga/Nelspruit airport to return the pink rental car and pick up another rental car. Doing so enables us to save approximately US $800, ZAR $8712. Since we’ll be traveling in that direction anyway, it made all the sense in the world to swap cars when the savings more than pays for our three-day outing.
 These enormous sausages-like pods grow on the Sausage Tree (duh) were growing on a few trees in the park. Our Marloth Park friend Piet, informed us as to the name of these trees.
 
 These pods were huge, comparable to the forearm of a large human on the Sausage Trees.
 
We only saw a few Sausage Trees clumped together in one area.

Although we love being here at this lodge, in this canyon, and in this area, we have no sense of dread that often accompanies returning “home” after a pleasurable time away.  
In the time we have remaining in Marloth Park, already having passed the halfway mark, we’ll continue to embrace the ongoing wonders of daily life in the wildlife-rich area.

Over the next several days, we’ll continue to post photos, sharing what we’ve learned during this short but special time away. Often, we’ve heard the locals say, “I want to travel like you guys but, staying in South Africa. There’s so much to see here!”

We heartily agree.  Thank you, South Africa. Thank you so much for sharing your treasures with us!