A funny kudu experience at Louise and Danie’s home…Returning to our house soon….

It was a bit odd spending the night away from our little bush house, sleeping in another king-sized bed, dining at the elaborate bar in their luxurious lounge while watching another episode of Shark Tank. Before and after dinner, we enjoyed sitting on the veranda, watching wildlife wander by on the dirt road adjoining Louise and Danie’s property.

Lately, I dread bedtime with all of my itching bites when all the itching seems to worsen. We’re hoping the extensive fumigation will have eliminated the issue. Hopefully, we’ll know that I don’t get any new evidence of the dust mite allergy over the next few days.

Ms. Kudu didn’t mind the oxpecker on her head.

Last night, on WhatsApp, we spoke to friends Rita and Gerhard from Washington, USA. Years ago, they stumbled across our site and eventually came to Marloth Park when they’d read so much as to how we love it here. When they arrived in 2018 and stayed for a few months, we had an opportunity to meet them, and we hit it off so well that we became fast friends,  spending lots of fabulous times together.

In December, they hosted a fantastic surprise birthday party for Tom, and a month later, we did a birthday party for Rita. Now, they are in the process of getting their “retirement visa” for South Africa using the law firm that we’d use for the waiver to return to South Africa when we overstayed our visas when I had heart surgery, and we were banned for five years.

Within minutes of her arrival, the oxpeckers landed on her and refused to leave. She gave up trying to shake them off and went into the trance-like state we’d never seen before.

At some point, we may decide to apply for a retirement visa, eliminating the hassle of having to leave every three months when we come here. This doesn’t mean we’d live here permanently. It simply means we can go and stay for six or nine months every few years without the hassle. We shall see. As with everything right now, plans are up-in-the-air due to Covid-19.

Recently, we found out from dear friends Kathy and Don. It looks like they may have their retirement visa finalized by May and will be able to return for another few months’ stays. They will be able to return to Marloth Park in July.; That’s a long time away, but hopefully, we’ll all be able to get together again, as more and more friends eventually return to Marloth Park, especially after receiving their Covid-19 vaccinations.

Three or four oxpeckers started working on her as the trance-like state began.

Also, we’re thrilled Linda and Ken will be back in Marloth Park for a few days. Saturday night, we’ll all dine at Jabula, and Monday night’s dinner will be hosted at our house.

But, even for us, so much is up in the air. Will we have to return to the US when our next visa is up in July to get the vaccination allowing us to cruise and travel in the future? Only time will tell when right now. At this point, South Africa will not provide vaccinations for non-citizens. This could change. We’ll continue to watch the news.

The more the oxpeckers worked on her, it was funny to watch her ears droop, and her eyes stare into space.

Last night, while sitting outdoors on Louise and Danie‘s veranda, we had a hysterical time, laughing for almost an hour, over the antics of a kudu mom and her two youngsters, when they were bombarded with oxpeckers, the funny birds with orange beaks, who eat insects and clean wounds of some of the wildlife including kudus, giraffes, warthogs, and others.

These birds are persistent, and even if the animal shakes them off, which they often do. They are relentless and will return seconds later. Last night, when a flock of oxpeckers stayed attached to the three kudus, we laughed over something we’d never seen before…the kudus appeared to be in a trance with their ears down while the oxpeckers did their thing.

Even her young male’s ear also started to droop when a few more oxpeckers descended on him.

Soon, once load shedding ends, we’ll head back to our house, which is currently being “spring cleaned” by Zef and Vusi. The house was clean before the fumigation, but Louise insisted that every inch of the house was thoroughly cleaned of any potential dust, and each room aired out to eliminate the smell from the fumigation. As a result, we took several photos, most of which we’re sharing here today.

We are so grateful for their attention to detail, along with the commitment to rid the house of any possible dust mites. In the meantime, as much as we’ve enjoyed it at Louise and Danie’s home, we’re anxious to get back to our little house. Louise sent me a photo from when she was overseeing the work where Frank was looking for me. He was peering inside the screen door, wondering where his seeds were. She spotted the seed container, leaving a little pile on the veranda floor so he and The Misses could partake. So sweet.

The look on her face was unique, one we’d never seen before.

The bush always surprises us! May you have a great day!

Photo from one year ago today, March 16, 2020:

Another of our favorite tiger photos was taken while on safari in India. For more, please click here.