A little about Marloth Park… Fun with the locals…

Zeff was here with us four years ago.  It was wonderful to see him again. 

What is Marloth Park? Over these past four years since we were last here, we’ve mentioned it more times than we care to count, over and over again, ad nauseam, perhaps at times to the disdain of our readers. For this, we apologize and hope we haven’t bored you.

But, this place is unlike any other world, a little developed, a lot natural. Oh, some may say this is like “Disneyland in the bush,” but that’s far from the truth. 
Our first male kudu visitor.
Marloth Park is adjacent to Kruger National Park, that this 3000 hectare (11.5 square miles), developed as a town in 1972, became a holiday haven for wildlife enthusiasts who wanted to experience living in the bush (bushveld in Afrikaans, the local language), being able to interact ever so gently with the many animals that have naturally habituated this area.
We’ve heard that 4000 lots had been divided over the years, and there are varying opinions on how many houses have actually been built in these past 46 years. Our host, Danie, a builder, presumes there are about 2300 houses in Marloth Park.
Mr. Kudu certainly enjoyed his share of pellets after he finished off everything we’d left on the dirt driveway.  Once he left, we restocked.
Other than the houses in the area and a few minimal-offering shops and a petrol station, Marloth Park remains pristine in its attempt to maintain a less touristy-feeling environment while providing its homeowners and visitors with a life-changing experience.
Sure, we could find a home in the savannah, somewhere in the bush in Africa, where wildlife roamed about the house. In that case, we wouldn’t have the ease of living all of us expect in our day to day lives; electricity; air-con for sleeping; Wi-Fi, running water, sewer systems, garbage pickup, and all those amenities many of us have come to anticipate as a part of everyday life.
What a muscular animal!
We’re not 20 years old, hauling a backpack and sleeping in a tent for the rich experience one of this age might find enticing in their pursuit of personal growth.
However, even in our age group, we reap the benefits offered by this stunning environment, of peacefulness, wonder, and the sheer joy of our surroundings and yet have all of the above conveniences we’ve come to expect and, maybe at our ages, need to be comfortable to some degree.
This adult female bushbuck stops by several times a day.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, it’s not a piece of cake living here. It’s a half-hour drive to a supermarket or pharmacy. And if one needs emergency medical care, it’s still that same 30-minute drive which would be a matter of life or death in the event of a bite from a black mamba (snake) even we had seen in these parts only four years ago (and most likely will see again).

It’s hot and humid most of the time. There are insects like none others we’ve seen anywhere in the world. The power goes out more often than in most places, often due to careless tourists failing to be mindful of the size of the limited power grid in this area. 

While at the shopping center yesterday, these students were cheering and singing after a fabulous photo safari in  Kruger Park as part of a school project.

And, the mozzies come out at dusk bringing with them a rash of dangerous diseases. This time we aren’t taking malaria pills. None of our friends take them that live here off and on throughout the year.  

The possible fourteen months we’ll be in Africa is just too long to be taking the drugs. Instead, we’re using repellent day and night with a maximum of 35% DEET, which has been determined to be safe.

When this pretty young lady spotted us with a camera, she asked if we’d take her photo.  When we handed her a card with our web address, she thrilled us to post her photo.  Her name is Sonto Zwene. We hope she has an opportunity to see herself here. What a lovely girl!

The staff in Marloth Park come from many surrounding areas. Many arrive each day by bus or sharing the  Rarely do any of them live in the park. The exception is those who may be live-in support staff.  Even Martha, our full-time housekeeper who lives in a little house on the property, frequently leaves the area to visit family and friends.  

These kindly, warm and friendly people definitely enhance the quality of our experiences living in Marloth Park. A warm hug is as common as a hearty hello. Although most speak Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu, many speak English sufficient to communicate easily.

More Helmeted Guinea Fowl. We love these turkey-like birds with colorful heads.

Yesterday, we drove to Komatipoort for the second time since our arrival to find a few groceries items we hadn’t been able to find the first time. Also, we replaced the HDMI cord, but we’re still having trouble with the signal from my laptop to the TV. We’ll work on this later today.

While in town, we stopped at a pharmacy to discover I won’t need to order refills of my few prescriptions from afar. They carry each of my three meds over-the-counter, without a new prescription, making the process convenient.

“The greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) is a woodland antelope found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas due to a declining habitat, deforestation, and poaching. The greater kudu is one of two species commonly known as kudu, the other being the lesser kudu.”

Yesterday the temperature was a high of 100F (38C). In the evening, after our delicious dinner, we stayed indoors. The two air con units in the high vaulted ceiling living room couldn’t cool it down. It was toasty, but we managed. Today, it’s partially cloudy and much cooler.

We’ve already had several visitors this morning and look forward to more as the day progresses.

Have a beautiful day! 

Photo from one year ago today, February 16, 2017:

Boats in the bay on the Huon River in Tasmania. For more photos, please click here.