The Crocodile River rarely disappoints spectators but, may disappoint wildlife…

Four waterbucks are sunning on sandbars.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Big Daddy Kudu was resting in the shade on a hot day.

Every few days, we jump into the little car to drive to the Crocodile River. Along Seekoei Street ( I dare you to try to pronounce that street name), several stopping points offer views of the Crocodile River, which separates Marloth Park from Kruger National Park.

The river is a lifeline for wildlife that needs to drink and cool off in the often low water riverless rainy. Now, still in the rainy season, it isn’t nearly as prolific as we’d seen when we were here for years ago.

Here’s a photo we took yesterday of the Crocodile River (below). It’s been scorched these past few weeks:

In a good rainy season, these sandbars may be covered and the river may be flowing. We took this photo yesterday from a sheltered brick overlook on Seekeoi Street. Now it stands almost entirely still awaiting the next rains.

Here’s a photo we took four years ago of the Crocodile River from a similar location shown on our link here:

 We took this photo on December 28, 2012. Note how much more water there was in the Crocodile River than in yesterday’s picture above.

From this site“The Crocodile river is 1000km long and it spans over 4 provinces and through Botswana & Mozambique. It originates north of Dullstroom, Mpumalanga, in the Steenkampsberg Mountains Downstream of Kwena Dam, the Crocodile River winds through the Schoemanskloof and down the Montrose Falls. It then flows eastwards past Nelspruit and joins the Komati River at Komatipoort.The Crocodile River in Mpumalanga has a catchment area of 10,446 km2. Upstream it is a popular trout fishing place. It flows through the Nelspruit industrial area, the Lowveld agricultural area and borders the Kruger National Park. The decrease in the flow of the river is probably due to water abstractions for irrigated fruit farming.”

One male and two female waterbucks resting on a sandbar.
Before we know it we’ll be rolling into fall and winter here when it rains even less than in the current-soon-to-be-ending summer months. We can only pray for rain to keep the wildlife thriving and in good health. That’s why, here in Marloth Park and Kruger National Park (and other parts of Africa) locals rejoice when it rains.
Of course, tourists may be disappointed when they come here in the summer months for a mere three or four days to discover it raining almost every day. Fortunately, for us, we jump for joy along with the locals during a fruitful soaking rain.
Several oxpeckers are nearby as she lounges on the sandbar.

With the rains, comes the most valuable benefit of all…the growth and proliferation of green grasses, plants, and trees that many animals in this environment require for the sustenance of life itself.

For the first time, we’ll be in Marloth Park during the dry season which we hear can be devastating for the wildlife. Many homeowners in the area make a point of trying to feed the wildlife as much as possible during this period.  This is both good and bad.

A lone elephant at quite a distance.

Many homeowners in Marloth Park have homes in other parts of South Africa or other parts of the world. If they come for a few week holiday, feed the animals and then are gone for many months to come, the wildlife who’ve become accustomed to their generosity while they’re here, are left confused and deprived when their “supply” is no longer available.

With the best of intentions, we’ll be gone a year from now and hope there will have been plenty of rain for those dear creatures we also favored with food while we were here. There’s no perfect solution.

The elephant is eating the lush green vegetation on the sandbar.

Most animals here in the park are omnivores thriving on the vegetation of one sort or another. It’s with this knowledge that all of us provide some nourishment when we can. But, sadly its never enough and culling becomes a disheartening reality when there isn’t enough to go around.

Yesterday, as mentioned above, we made our usual jaunt to the Crocodile Rive every other day, always hopeful we’ll get a glimpse of the magnificent visitors to this scenic environment.

We always feel fortunate to see one of these stunning animals.

We stopped along the Seekeoi Street many times ending up at the brick lookout and for the first time since our return to Marloth, there were tourists there enjoying the scenery. It isn’t long before most visitors hear of this particular spot, and we’ve been surprised not to see others there before us, most recently.

A group of perhaps a total of 12 people, with iPads, tablets, phones, and binoculars in hand, busily took photos of the scenic surroundings which included a lone elephant and several waterbucks, who seem to frequent the river more regularly than many other species.

A female waterbuck stands to check her surroundings.

We stayed for awhile, chatting with the others people while taking several photos of our own. No doubt, we were at quite a distance from the wildlife but made every effort to keep a steady hand while shooting the images.

Back on the road, we spotted more wildlife, surprisingly out from under-cover on the extremely hot and humid day. Overall, as usual, it was a good outing in Marloth Park. 

A type of goose we spotted, too far to identify.  Any comments from our bird enthusiast friends?

Soon, we’ll be heading to Kruger again but we’re hoping to do so after this extreme heat passes. The AC in the little car isn’t that good and we’re more likely to see more wildlife on a day with more moderate temperatures.

Soon, we’re off to Komatipoort to shop which will require five stops at various shops; the Spar Market, the pharmacy, the biltong shop, the meat market and the liquor store. 

May YOU have a stupendous day!

Photo from one year ago today, March 15, 2017:One

e year ago today, we got together with dear friends Linda and Ken, from the UK and whom we met four years ago in Marloth Park. We’ve since seen them here again, much to our delight and will see them again when they return from a cruise and other travel. For more details, please click here.

Shocking to us…Natural for those of another culture…Not for the squeamish…

This morning, kids playing in the river.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali” (All of today’s photos were taken during “Sightings on the Beach”)

If we never left the villa other than for our daily walks, we’ll never run out of photos and topics for our posts. With 47 days until we depart the villa to head to Denpasar for another stay in the Kuta hotel while we await our upcoming red-eye flight on October 30th, we’re surprised by the experiences that just keep coming and coming.

No doubt, getting out will also be worthwhile when tomorrow after uploading the post, we’re renting Egon’s van for a half day outing to Negara, the closest good sized city on the highway.

When we watched this activity on the river, we had no idea what was transpiring especially with the large cart used to haul the cow’s carcass which appeared to be cut into huge pieces.

Our intent is to do some sightseeing, take photos ending at the largest supermarket in the area to pick up some cheese and a few other items we’ll need during the remainder of the stay. 

Also, we’ll stop at an ATM once again. Our supply of Indonesian Rupiah quickly dwindle when each day we’re providing the two Ketuts with enough cash to pay for the meals. We only pay for the actual cost of the food and a small sum for fuel for their motorbikes. Daily, they provide us with a neat hand printed receipt with the change. Its at the end of our stay that we happily give them generous tips in appreciation for their hard work and fine efforts.

Yesterday was quite a day. With numerous “Sightings on the Beach” that both shocked and astounded us, we were picking up the camera time after times for yet another round of photos.

It was hard to tell what was going on, especially with the large white bags.

Today’s story and photos are not for the squeamish. We apologize if this upsets or offends any of our readers. That’s not our intention. Nor is today’s post based on a possible shock factor.

Our goal in sharing this story and photos is purely predicated by our desire to share cultural differences we strive to embrace, rather than criticize, to graciously accept, rather than turn away.

We’ve discovered over time that many of the local’s perception of the ocean and other bodies of waters is very different from many of our own. Many of us may perceive the ocean and rivers for their beautiful eye catching scenery. Many of us take a hard stance and commitment on making every effort to preserve the cleanliness of our world’s oceans, each in our own small way.

We wondered, “What was a long white stringy stuff? Were they cleaning squid?  Nope.

The Balinese people see the ocean as a source of revenue and work hard using its resources to earn a living by fishing, providing tourist activities and as a personal resource in their daily lives.

Early on, when we first arrived in Bali we delighted in watching children playing in the nearby river.  At times, the children were naked joyfully running to and fro often for hours at a time. The river consists of fresh water, as most rivers, flowing from the mountains, rivers and streams inland to the sea. 

When the high tide occurs twice each 24 hour period, the fresh water is mixed with ocean water, creating a number of pools in which children and adults play, wash clothes and bathe. There’s more.

Under no circumstances is that water clean. Why not? We’ve observed both humans and buffalo defecate in that water. Can we even imagine the volume of poop coming from a 1,500 to 2,650 lbs, 700 to 1,200 kg, buffalo when standing in that river for an hour each day?

The mysterious activity transpired over a period of a few hours.

The fact that we’ve spotted many humans using the pools as toilets, there’s no doubt these waters are contaminated with toxic bacteria. Perhaps the locals immune systems have adapted to the bacteria and don’t become ill when swimming in the river. We can only surmise this. 

Last time we were in Bali, beginning April 30th, leaving the villa on June 27th, I became ill from eating squid I requested for a meal. The taste was fresh and appealing, but hours later and for several following day, I had an outrageous case of “diari” for which Gede took me to the pharmacy for meds. 

I should have known better than to eat squid caught close to the shore. How many times have I mentioned that we must exercise extreme caution in avoiding seafood caught near the shore? I’ve finally learned my lesson. Now we only eat fresh tuna caught out to sea in deeper waters.

Dogs crowded around giving is the impression they were dealing with some type of animal.

For us foreigners aware of the situation, swimming in that toxic water would never be a consideration. We haven’t ventured into the ocean in front of our villa for this very same reason when we’ve seen endless piles of garbage resting on the sand after the tide wans. 

The sea undoubtedly is beautiful to observe mesmerized by its sounds and tide. Is it safe for swimming? Perhaps not so much in this area and others.

After taking this photo I asked Tom what was the longest section they were handling. Later we knew.

Yesterday proved to be a day adding to our knowledge of cultural difference as to the use of the water in the nearby river and pools which most likely is prevalent in many parts of the world including Bali. We always knew this, but hadn’t actually witnessed vastness of these differences until yesterday’s experiences.

Today’s post and photos is all about “Sightings on the Beach” in its truest form. Nothing we’ve seen to date has surprised us quite as much while also further educating us in the ways of life in other cultures. 

Once they were gone and the two Katuks arrived to make dinner, I showed them the photos and they explained the kids/adults were cleaning and eviscerating a cow. Although this may be gross to many throughout the world, it’s a part of life for others.

Details of our discovery are contained in the photo captions as local Muslims cleaned the carcass of a slaughtered cow in that same river, while dogs gathered around waited for the pieces of the cow entrails, later running down the beach with white matter hanging from their mouths.

Today, again, another peaceful day. The weather has been considerably less humid and cooler than during our last visit, at times, feeling cool when we’ve exited the pool soaking wet. It’s ideal now as we’re appreciating every moment.

We hope your day brings you opportunities to appreciate your surroundings.

Photo from one year ago today, September 13, 2015:

These colorful flowers were growing close to the house in Fiji. For more details as we adapted to a simple life in Savusavu, please click here.