We’re off to the immigration office in Nelspruit…More Kruger photos!…

We don’t often have an opportunity to see baby wildebeests, so seeing this family with a calf was special.

In a short time, we’ll be heading out the door to make the drive to Nelspruit. We have all our papers ready for our 10:45 am appointment.  It’s a place where they do the equivalent of “musical chairs,” whereby we sit in rows of chairs, moving over each time a person(s) is called for their turn. Even with an appointment, the wait can be long and boring.

With my short attention span, just sitting and doing nothing is torture for me, whereby Tom is quite at ease with his thoughts. It’s funny how we get along so well and enjoy each other’s companionship when we are so different. The old adage about “opposites attract” may well be true after all.

We accidentally left out this photo from yesterday’s many lion photos. That woman is taking a big risk with her arms hanging out the window. One of those lions could grab her and pull her out of that vehicle in seconds.

We don’t plan to do anything else in Nelspruit. We have no interest in shopping and have enough groceries to last until the end of this week or the beginning of next when we’ll return to Komatipoort. People always suggest we shop at the massive Woolworth’s market, which the locals call “Woolies.” But, based on the fact that primarily we eat only meat, veg and small amounts of dairy, shopping at a fancier market with more variety isn’t important to us.

Once we return by around 2:00 pm, 1400 hrs, there will be plenty of time to prep for dinner, finish and proofread this post and upload it for our readers. We had a huge response yesterday after posting the lion photos. Thank you for all of your comments here, on Facebook, and by email.  It always means so much to us to hear from you, our readers, when you enjoy new and exciting photos.

We drove the loop of Verhami Dam and spotted quite a few species.

We certainly understand that you can become bored with our endless stream of photos of kudus, bushbucks, zebras, and mongooses. Oddly, we never tire of seeing them, but that’s a whole lot different than looking at a photo.

A vulture in a tree with what may be a bit of carrion for lunch.

Today, the work will be completed on our new inverter system after we experienced our last session of load shedding last night. This morning, we’re leaving a few minutes before the start of the 9:00 am session, and by the time we return, it will be done.

We just returned from Nelspruit, and the electricians are still here. The house is an upside-down mess with wires and equipment everywhere, but we are fine. Vusi will clean tomorrow when he comes, but we’re fine overnight. With the doors to all the rooms open during the electrical work, tonight Tom will spray thoroughly since the insects are many.

Many vultures were sitting in a tree, scouring the area for possible carrion.

Last night I got up during the night to use some calamine lotion, and there was a nasty-looking black insect on my hanging bath towel. I didn’t do anything about it; this morning, it was gone, where we don’t know. I’m sure it will pop up somewhere.

This may not look like a hippo, but upon closer inspection, we confirmed it was a hippo with an oxpecker sitting on its head.

We ran into some obstacles at immigration this morning, but all is resolved now. We left with peace of mind, knowing the process will continue. It will be weeks before we receive an answer. We’ll share more details in tomorrow’s post.

The first elephant sighting of the day. Many more followed, which .we’ll share shortly

When we returned, I busied myself with prep for tonight’s dinner of saucy (low carb), sliced grilled chicken strips, which Tom will have on his little white buns, and I’ll have on my homemade keto bread with a side of coleslaw for both of us, and white rice (for Tom). It’s not as hot today as it’s been lately, and we’re delighted to be able to enjoy a  cooler evening on the veranda with our animal friends.

Enjoy today’s photos from yesterday’s self-drive in Kruger, and have a lovely evening wherever you may be. More photos will follow.

Photo from one year ago today, January 31, 2023:

Yesterday, I made Tom’s favorite dinner, low-carb pizza with cheese and egg crust, sausage, onions, green olives, and mushrooms. It was delicious! For more photos, please click here.

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.