The rains continue…More flooding…We’re hunkered down until tonight…Another sad animal injury…

Roads have been closed in sections of the Kruger National Park due to heavy rain.
Image: SANParks

The rain stops for an hour, drizzles for another hour, and then comes down with an unspeakable force. It’s expected to continue until Tuesday. There continue to be more and more warnings in the Marloth Park Facebook groups about flooding on certain roads, vehicles getting stuck, and road closings. A lot could happen in the next four days.

We were so sad to see that this Big Daddy kudu, whom we’ve named Torn Horn, suffered such a horrific injury, most likely from a fight with another male kudu.

We’re considering heading out to the little market for a few items as soon as the rain lets up. The videos and photos online are astounding, and as much as we’d like to go out and take some of our own, the little rental car,  a lightweight KWID, would surely result in our getting stuck if we attempted to travel on any of the dirt roads. Neither of us cares to get soaked.

I just touched base with David, and he said it should be OK for us to get there. By going out soon, we can determine if it will be safe and sensible to go to Jabula tonight for dinner. If Olifant Road, the paved main road in Marloth Park, is passable, we will go. It’s about a 10-minute drive from here.

We’ve been surprised that many animals have stopped by during the storm. This morning there were four bushbucks and one duiker in the garden. We tossed pellets to them, but if they don’t eat them right away, they turn into mush from the rain, and they don’t eat the mush.

We put pellets, apples, and carrots on the railing so he wouldn’t have to bend to the ground.

We hadn’t seen Norman, Nina, and the baby for a few days, but they were here for a few hours yesterday afternoon when the rain let up for a while. It was good to see them again. We had more animals in the garden than we’d seen before the Christmas holiday. It was great to see them all together.

Even the mongooses stopped by a few times in the past two days, and we couldn’t cut up paloney fast enough for them. It was fun to see all their babies, already indoctrinated into the frenzy of eating paloney, cut into bite-sized pieces. They also recognize our clicking sounds that attract them to the garden. When a few show up, we make the clicking sounds, and they all come running from everywhere within earshot. It’s quite a sight to see.

Today’s photos of the injured kudu broke our hearts. We fed him apples, carrots, and pellets. He was looking thin. An injury as severe as losing a horn can cause significant disability and even death while the animal tries to recover. Nothing can be done other than to wait and see how he does.

Hopefully, this wound will heal, and he can go about his life in the bush.

Most of the wildlife is sturdy with robust immune systems and often recovers without infections or further harm to their health and well-being. We hope this will be the case with the now-named “Torn Horn” (a mouthful to say). We hope he’ll return to see us again so we can check his progress.

The sun is peeking out right now as it continues to rain. There’s an expression in the Afrikaans language, taught to us by our old friend Okee Dokey, frequently used when describing sunshine when it’s raining. It’s stated as follows:

Jakkals trou met wolf see vrou…which translates to “The fox married the wolf’s wife.” Go figure.

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, February 10, 2022:

Rita sent me this photo on Whatsapp of a tiny newborn bushbaby they found on the veranda. One of the Honorary Rangers, Nadine, picked up the baby to have the bushbaby cared for and eventually released it back into the bush. So sweet. For more photos, please click here.

No power!…No Water!…Our road washed out…Huge storm with 100+ mm, 4″ rain during the night…Crazy night!…

  • A handsome male duiker in the garden.

This morning this message was on Facebook regarding access to our house:

“Good morning.
“Spruit”* in Bird: washed away the road. Impassible.
Eagle: VERY bad: no sedans can drive there.
Keep safe.”

*Definition of spruit:: a small, often dry tributary stream in southern Africa.
Bird and Eagle are the two roads that provide access to our house. I guess we won’t be going anywhere today. We needed to go to the little market for lettuce for our taco salads. But with the meat in the fridge and the power out, it will be spoiled by dinnertime, and we won’t dare to eat it.
Tom put the metal bowl filled with ice in the refrigerator during the night. The ice will be a good indicator that the fridge’s contents will be safe to eat. The freezer should keep the contents frozen for a few days. With the storm’s intensity, we could be out of power for days. But, as we always say, TIA, This is Africa, and occurrences such as this are common.
When the power is out, the pumps for the water supply don’t function. Subsequently, the only water we have right now is left in the house’s lines. Miraculously, I was able to take a quick shower this morning. Soon, Tom will bring buckets of water from the pool to the bathrooms in the house to flush the toilets.
Duikers, the smallest of the antelopes in South Africa, are very shy and don’t come close to the house.
Of course, we use bottled water in a water machine for drinking water. The water is included in our rent. We do not purchase small bottles of water. Why use all those plastic bottles?
The electric inverter provides us with WiFi, able to supply power to the router. Without that, we’d have no access to the Internet. The inverter will run out in less than a day. If we could go out, let’s say, and go to Kruger, we could turn off the inverter and save the remaining power to use later. But, with the road washed out, that’s not possible.
The little rental car won’t make it on the washed-out road. Besides, the Crocodile Bridge may also be covered in water and debris, preventing access to Kruger National Park, even if we could go. As a result of all of this, we’ll stay put and wait it out, until the power returns, until the water returns, and until the road dries out sufficiently to pass.
Stringy and Gordy, preferring not to get close to one another. Bushbucks are solitary animals and rarely travel in pairs or more.
With all the rain, the only wildlife we’ve seen so far today is a few bushbucks, Spikey and Gordy, and Barbara, Lori, their mom, and the two piglets and a female duiker, who all came for some pellets this morning. It will be a quiet day.
We can only imagine how frustrating it is for holidaymakers who are still in the park on what may be their only annual vacation. For us, it’s a lot easier.
This morning, Rita and Gerhard invited us for breakfast at Stoep Cafe in Komatipoort. If we had been able to go with them, they’d have had to pick us up in the big four-wheeled truck. But, after being awake the majority of the night with little sleep, we were still in bed at 8:00 am. By 8:30, we got up to begin our day.
We hope you have a pleasant day!

Photo from one year ago today, January 6, 2020:

This photo was posted one-year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #287. A Marwari horse with curly ears at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in India. For more photos, please click here.