Thick Neck/Bad Leg and Broken Horn, two of our favorites…

It’s easy to see why we call him Thick Neck. His neck is almost twice as thick as other bushbucks.

At the moment, Thick Neck/Bad Leg, Broken Horn, Frank, and the Misses are here. We’ve hardly seen many warthogs since last week’s holiday ended on Sunday, and by Monday, most holidaymakers were gone. Starting tomorrow, a new round of tourists will flood Marloth Park for the ten-day school holiday. We’re preparing ourselves because we may only see the wildlife mentioned above until October 11th, after the holidaymakers leave.

Now that I’m beginning to heal from the dry socket and feeling more like myself, we’ll make a point of staying busy with our friends during this period, knowing few animals will entertain us during the day and evening. We will attempt to keep the knowledge we’ll be returning in December 2022 amid the realities of the Christmas season in busy Marloth Park and focus more on having fun with friends during that visit.

This is Mom from “Mom and Baby” bushbucks. Baby was in the bush while Mom checked out the pellet situation. We have countless helmeted guinea-fowls in the garden all day.

We’re still contemplating applying for the four-year retiree visa. Still, the problem is it requires an extraordinary amount of paperwork, legal fees, and lots of our time to get everything done. Plus, it must be done while we’re in the US. Once approved, the four-year time clock begins. Ultimately, we could lose the first eight months of the four-year visa before we get back to South Africa. It’s a lot to consider.

Before we return to Africa, we’ll have to decide if we’re only staying the three months allowed by our visas or if we should book a visit to another country in Africa for the new 90-day visa stamp to be able to stay for a total of six months less the short break in between.

He spends his days and nights in our garden. He’ll have to find another location when we leave in three weeks. It will be sad to think of him waiting for us. But, with the bush turning green now, he’ll have plenty of vegetation available for him soon.

Many of these types of decisions are based on what happens with Covid-19 over the next 18 months. We do not want to risk losing money or dealing with deposit refunds for housing, flights, and other travel-related expenses. We’ve already been through this five times since the onset of the pandemic and don’t care to deal with this again if we can avoid it.

Speaking of Thick Neck/Bad Leg, we’re considering dropping the second part of his name and going back to Thick Neck only. His bad leg seems to have healed, and he’s no longer limping. A long time ago, Danie told us how many wild animals have robust health and strong immune systems, often healing without incident from various injuries they may get living in the bush.

This morning, Broken Horn has a muddy face. He could have been digging in the dirt or rolling in mud at another location.

Over the collective two years we’ve spent in Marloth Park, since 2013, we’ve witnessed countless animals with injuries, only to watch them heal over time. Recently we posted about a female kudu whose eyelid had almost been ripped off. It looked awful, and we contacted the rangers when blood was dripping down her face. You can see that post with her photos here.

Now called Bad Eye, she stopped by a few days ago, a full two weeks since her injury. It looks as if it’s already begun to heal nicely. She may never be able to close that one eye, but she’s alive and appears to be thriving. Often, injured animals attract the attention of wildlife-lovers such as us, and we feed them more than the others. The added food surely must be instrumental in their recovery.

Broken Horn spends considerable time in our garden with his head down, looking for pellets. He doesn’t look undernourished.

Broken Horn, a wildebeest, is also known as a gnu, pronounced “new.” I recall learning about gnus in grade school but didn’t realize they were also called wildebeests until we arrived in Africa in 2013. They are fascinating animals with prominent personalities, memorable bark, and a keen sense of their safety and protection ability. Broken Horn has a quirky disposition we’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

After speaking to Louise yesterday, we may consider a different, larger house when we return. My only hesitancy is we won’t see these same familiar animals when they only wander a specific area. It’s a big decision we’ll address in the future.

Guinea-fowls don’t fly much, preferring to walk. But they do fly when they are frightened of seeking higher ground to check out their surroundings, as in this case.

May your day be pleasant!

Photo from one year ago today, September 30, 2022:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #191. My dinner in 2013  in Kenya was seasoned grilled red snapper with sautéed non-starchy vegetables. For more photos, please click here.

Fantastic outing this morning…An old friend visits the garden…

Notice the little spoked tuft of hair on the top of the email duiker’s head. So adorable.

Yes, it’s a late start to today’s post. At 9:00, Tom dropped me off outside Louise and Danie’s Info Centre, and friend Kathy picked me up. We headed to her favorite morning spot, Stoep Cafe, located on the main street in Komatipoort. Years ago, Tom and I went there every so often for breakfast. But, as of late, neither of us has been hungry for breakfast, and we haven’t stopped there at all since we arrived in January.

Once Kathy and I arrived at Stoep Cafe, Kathy’s regular table was waiting for her. She’s a frequent customer, and I was thrilled to share this particular time with her. This was the first time it had been just the two of us since she arrived in early July, and we couldn’t have been more chatty in catching up after not seeing each other much in the past two years, mainly due to Covid-19.

Old Man wasn’t looking his best.

The time flew by, and before we knew it, we were back at Louise’s parking lot where Tom was waiting for me after I’d sent him a message on WhatsApp. Kathy and I said our goodbyes, knowing we’d see each other again soon, while Tom and I entered the Info Centre to chat with Louis and Danie. As always, it was delightful to see the two of them, as well.

After sharing interesting tidbits about our mutual days and nights since seeing them for dinner a week ago, Tom and I headed back to our bush house to find several animals waiting for us in the garden, including an old friend from before we left for the US at the end of June, two wildebeests, Hal and his constant partner, Old Man, who must be the oldest wildebeest in Marloth Park.

Upon further inspection, we noticed his face and stunted horns were covered in mud.

As shown in today’s photos, taken only a short time ago, Old Man was a mess this time. His face and stubby horns, obviously diminished in size due to years of use, were covered in mud. We couldn’t help but laugh but, then again, we were saddened to see how he improvises in digging up roots for consumption, using the stubby horns he’s acquired over the years.

Tom tossed them several containers of pellets and paid attention to the several bushbucks in the garden along with one adorable female duiker, as shown in the photos.  Duikers are very shy, and the slightest noise or motion will send them off in seconds into the bush, never to be seen again.

Whenever Old Man visits, he brings this younger wildebeest with him that may be his son or even grandson, whom we call “Hal.”

Gingerly, Tom sent some pellets her way, and for the first time in a long time, I was able to take a photo of a duiker, especially a female with her adorable little tuft of hair on the center of her head, as shown in our photo and described here from this site:

“The common duiker has many common names, including common, grey, and Grimm’s duiker. The name ‘duiker’ is derived from the Afrikaans word ‘duik’ meaning ‘to dive’ due to its characteristic porpoising flight pattern. Common duiker is identifiable by their slate grey color, which in some areas varies to include shades of red and yellow. They have a tuft of dark hair between the horns, or just on the head in the case of the females as horns are absent, and a dark stripe down the center of the face. The preorbital glands in front of the eyes are conspicuous and exude a tarry secretion probably used in scent marking. Unlike steenbok, they tend to live in areas with lots of bushy covers, who prefer open areas. It is into this cover that they dart and dive when disturbed. They have excellent hearing, which alerts them to disturbances.”

A wildebeest’s eyes are high up on his face. Notice Old Man’s eyes by zooming in. Old Man wasn’t having a great day.

With only 56 days until we depart Marloth Park, South Africa. It was fun to be taking new photos of less common sightings when we consider how tired many of our readers may become of the endless flow of frequent sightings. We are especially mindful of every photo and story we post in the future.

Before we know it, our photos will be from Arizona, USA, where we’ll always be on the search for new and exciting photos. It won’t always be easy without wildlife surrounding us, but, as always, we’ll do our best.

Tonight, we’ll stay in and enjoy a quiet day and evening with our animal friends. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, we’ll listen to more music on our new speaker quietly enough to avoid disturbing the wildlife and any distant neighbors. Since yesterday, we learned more about the Bluetooth speaker. We paired it with both our phones and laptops. Now, anything we watch or listen to can be broadcast, loud and clear, a big boon for Tom’s hearing issues and also, when some streaming shows have a low volume, that previously required that we use a splitter to wear earbuds. Nice.

Have a pleasant day!

Photo from one year ago today,  August 26, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago today while in lockdown in Mumbai, India, on day #156. Although our room was more significant than a ship cabin, it was small, as shown in this photo. For more photos, please click here.

Our bag is supposed to arrive today…We’ll see how that goes…I made a mistake about Tiny…

Little and his newly adopted family stop by for another visit. Pellets on the menu!!!

When we packed that duffel bag while still in Nevada, we included five new pairs of shoes for both of us. I tossed all my old shoes in our hotel room that Id replaced with the three new pairs, leaving me with only two spare worn-out pairs of shoes. Tom did the same, and now he, too, has only two pairs of shoes left.

If we don’t get that bag today as promised by United Airlines, we are up a creek when it comes to shoes. None of these brands and styles can be replaced here in South Africa. Our only option would be to buy them online in the US and have them shipped to us via DHL for more exorbitant costs.

Mom and Baby bushbuck which was born while we were gone. She is so tiny!

We also had our toiletries, including two Braun electric toothbrushes, newly ordered boxes of our business cards, new insulated mugs, and drink koozies, all valued at over US $25, ZAR 365, each, none of which are available for purchase in South Africa.

Also included were several new clothing items and underwear we both desperately needed. Do we trust that the bag will arrive? Not really. We’ll be pleasantly surprised if it does. We arranged for the bag delivered to Louise and Danie’s Info Centre, where they will be all day since the roads to our house might deter a driver from bringing it directly to us.

Baby bushbuck and an older youngster sharing pellets from the container which we use for the bushbucks, to keep the guinea-fowl from stealing all the pellets.

In the interim, we grocery shopped in Komatipoort. We had hoped to go to the liquor store for light wine for me and brandy for Tom but based on the current lockdown in South Africa, liquor sales were suspended from Friday through Sunday, in an attempt to inhibit heavy liquor use over the weekends. When people drink heavily, there are more accidents and injuries, resulting in more of a need for more emergency services and hospital visits during these times of Covid. At least the total ban ended the day after we arrived.

Today was the first time we shopped since our return from the US, although Louise shopped for us for basic supplies on Monday. But, we still needed many items and ingredients for recipes I’d like to make over the next week or two. After today’s extensive shopping we’re probably good for the next ten days, depending on how often we eat out.

Hal and Blue Gnu are coming onto the veranda.

Now, that we’re both rested and recovered from the long travel period from the US to South Africa, we can begin to socialize, starting tonight with a get-together planned for tonight at Jabula to celebrate Gerhard’s birthday. It will be a small group of seven, but tonight, finally, I get to see my dear friend Kathy, who arrived here in the bush a few weeks ago, and Rita and Gerhard, whom we also missed during our time away.

I made a mistake about Tiny. We have not seen him. Instead, I’d mistaken a Tiny look-alike, whom we called The Imposter before we left. In my enthusiasm, I wanted to believe it was him. But, when The Imposter was here with his friend Narrow for quite some time, we both realized it wasn’t Tiny.

We love wildebeest. The expressions on their faces is priceless

Good grief. Not to sound species-specific profiling, but many of the animals do look alike. Often it’s the most subtle of markings and traits that enable us to determine who is who. Although massive, I should have picked it up that The Imposter wasn’t as big as Tiny, nor were the size of warts on his temples.

Now, we wait with bated breath for the real Tiny to return to us. It could be days, weeks or months, or even never. We lost Tusker when we were at the Orange house, and he never returned after Basket scared him away, declaring his territory. A similar scenario could have transpired in the four weeks we were gone. Also, warthogs are often hit by cars on Olifant Road, the main paved road in Marloth Park.

As in the past, Broken Horn stops by each day.

We’ll be sad if Tiny doesn’t return, but we realize this is the bush, and anything can happen to these majestic animals living in the wild.

We hope all of our readers are safe from harm and still managing to cope with the throes of Covid, still facing all of us worldwide.

Photo from one year ago today, July 30, 2020:

This photo is from the year-ago post while in lockdown in Mumbai, India, on day #129. Check out the size of the fish and steak portions. Tom was craving peanuts, and we added a few packages to the stash. The brats in the bottom right of the photo are gluten, grain, and sugar-free. The total cost for this haul was US $109,38, ZAR 1595. For more photos, please click here.

Today, a social day and evening in the bush…

Wildebeest Willie has now become a regular visitor, stopping by a few times each day.

Today, at 4:00 pm, a small group of us will be meeting at one of Marloth Park’s favorite Crocodile River overlooks, known as Two Tree for sundowners. Doing so requires the participants to bring lawn chairs. Without a single such chair in our bush home, we were able to borrow two chairs.

Linda and Ken, who will participate in the Two Trees gathering, have invited us for dinner following the event. No doubt, it will be a fun and entertaining late afternoon and evening. We so much appreciate being able to socialize after such a long dry spell months ago in India.

He doesn’t take any guff from the pushy warthogs who jockey for pellets.

It certainly has been a social dry spell for citizens throughout the world over the past 14 months since Covid-19 precipitated lockdowns in almost every country. At this point, we can’t help but wonder how safe the lessening of lockdown will impact the new cases of the virus as more and more private and public gatherings pick up the pace after all this time.

Surely, what’s transpiring in India now, with almost 400,000 new cases daily, has something to do with the lack of protective measures exercised by the masses attending political, social, and religious gatherings. It saddens us when we especially recall hotel guests wandering the corridors in the hotel in Mumbai, talking loudly and gathering in groups without wearing masks or social distancing.

Willie, in the morning shadows, drinks from the top section of the birdbath.

On several occasions, we were shocked by the hotel hosting weddings, conventions, and other events with little regard for the risks of Covid-19. This mentality carried through the entire country, and now, India is paying the price with these outrageous numbers of cases and subsequent deaths.

On the occasions where I went downstairs to pay the hotel bill, which later we had them bring the bill to us, again, I was shocked by the resistance to wearing masks, wearing masks properly, and lack of social distancing. The hotel staff tried desperately to get the guests to comply to no avail.

Willie, later named Broken Horn, spends a lot of time staring at us in an attempt to get us to give him more pellets.

But, the desperation by the privately-owned hotel to recoup some of their losses prompted them to allow social events to transpire during the worst months of the pandemic, which surely continued long after we left. We wonder if the hotel or any other hotels in India are still open for non-Covid guests.

Gosh, we’re grateful we were able to leave India. It’s so much safer here in Marloth Park. We often wonder about the accuracy of the stats here in South Africa when it appears cases are dropping at this point. And yet, just yesterday, we read a news article from what seems to be a reputable source, stating a potentially new lockdown on the horizon.

These two wildebeest were new to the garden, an adult and a younger male.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post here, the uncertainty during these times of Covid-19 is palpable for all of us. Many are frustrated over being unable to visit loved ones, and many miss traveling to their favorite locations. Of course, cruising has been out of the question and may continue to be so for a few more years to come.

We currently have four cruises booked for April 2022, most of which we expect to be canceled. One of our cruises will require a payment in full in July which is scheduled to set sail in November 2021. We feel compelled to pay the final payment since we got such a great price, which is now priced 50% higher. So, just in case it isn’t canceled, we’ll pay the final payment to lock in our price. It’s all up in the air.

That’s it for today, dear readers. Thanks for hanging in there with us during these peculiar times. Hopefully, as restrictions lessen (or not), we can still provide ample fodder to please our readers.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 5, 2020:

Tom and I were at Amazing River View in October 2018, when friends Lois and Tom visited for three weeks. For more photos, please click here.

Exciting visitor this morning…Welcome WW…

By the way, he stopped eating pellets to look into my eyes as I spoke to him. Could this be our old friend Wildebeest Willie? I think it could be him. Then again, there are a few dozen wildebeest in Marloth Park, and I could be dreaming.

Now that I am taking two antibiotics around the clock at different intervals, I couldn’t help but awaken at 4:00 am, knowing at 6:00 am, another dose was due. I never went back to sleep. As a result, I am bleary-eyed, and I feel tired and out of sorts. Of course, taking big doses of antibiotics can impact how one feels during the several-day period. I’ll be glad when this is over, and hopefully, I can go back to feeling like myself.

Admittedly, I am pretty much sick and tired of medical issues. With the worst of genes on my mother’s side of the family, no matter how hard I try, I can’t escape having issues of one sort or another, no matter how hard I try to be fit and healthy. It’s the nature of the beast.

Bossy and a friend, partaking of pellets.

If these antibiotics work and rid me of this dreadful tooth abscess, it will be cause for celebration. I’ve been walking around with this for the past nine or ten months. Dr. Luzaan explained that the tooth no longer had any nerves due to a prior root canal and crown. As a result, the abscess caused pain in my face above the infected area. Oh, good grief. Enough about that! It’s no wonder my face still hurt long after I’d taken the first round of antibiotics many moons ago.

Late afternoon, I chatted with readers Matthew and his wife, Jessica, answering questions about Marloth Park. As frequent visitors to South Africa, they’ve had plenty of experience living in the bush and Africa and are well aware of potential challenges. Their enthusiasm over the prospect of visiting Marloth Park, which they’ve never seen in the past, was palpable, and they, like us, could end up staying for an extended period.

A male warthog, yet to be named, with a friend laying down for a rest after a pellet-eating frenzy.

After seeing our wildlife photos, several of our readers have come to Marloth Park after reading our rave reviews, comments, and of course. It’s always fun to talk to our readers, and we’re thrilled to answer questions and share thoughts. We may still be here when they come to Marloth Park in April 2022. At the moment, they are working with Louise on some possible rentals.

Tom didn’t join in the conversation since he was on the veranda, busy watching the Super Bowl game on his laptop using the NFL streaming service, GamePass, for which he pays an annual fee. He, like many, was disappointed in the game. He never watches the commercials or the half-time show and thus offers no comments regarding these aspects of the event.

Wildebeest Willie did well, sharing pellets with Mom & Babies.

I spoke with Matthew and Jessica on Facebook’s Messenger, and surprisingly, the free call was clear without interruption. It’s incredible to talk with others halfway around the world at no cost and still have a good connection. The call was enjoyable, with social distancing at the utmost.

Speaking of social distancing, we still feel the brunt of the restrictions of Covid-19, although obviously, it is considerably less than it was only a month ago. It appears, dining out in Marloth Park is risky in some restaurants, and takeaway meals are a better option right now.

At times, he stopped and stared at them, annoyed but tolerating them well.

Marloth Park usually has events, fairs, and social gatherings that provide an opportunity to meet new people. At this time, none of those such events are happening or even in the works. Undoubtedly, everyone throughout the park and the world is still feeling a sense of isolation to reduce the risks of contracting the virus.

With good little press about a potential vaccine in this country, it could be a year before a suitable vaccine is available, considering the dreaded South African variants. It appears the recent influx of doses has been terminated due to the lack of efficacy of the vaccines currently on the market. It’s back to the drawing board. Plus, things move slowly in this country.

Soon, Mom & Babies had enough of him and took off. Surely, they will return in no time at all.

I will be back to my upbeat self again when this tooth abscess issue is resolved. Hopefully, the antibiotics do their job. We won’t know until returning to the dentist on February 22, whereby new X-rays will determine my fate and if I must have the laser treatment by the dental surgeon in Malelane. We shall see.

May you have a safe and healthy day.

Photo from one year ago today, February 9, 2020:

Two baby barns owls were peering out from the safety of the hollow in the tree in Ranthambore National Park. For more photos, please click here.

Early morning visitors come by to celebrate our anniversary…Not the humankind…

This enormous male kudu visited last night.  Check out this 
video to appreciate his size.
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
This morning’s first-time visitor to the yard, a wildebeest. Never once did he look at us or pick up his head for a face photo. But, we were happy to see him anyway!
No more than minutes after we awoke this morning, we had visitors galore on this day of our 23rd wedding anniversary. First, we had a herd of kudu consisting of two males and six females.  Then, shortly afterward, we had another herd stop by consisting of one male and six females.

A short time later, the solitary wildebeest  appeared as shown above in the “Sighting of the Day in the Bush.” Unfortunately, he never looked up at us, keeping his head down during his entire visit of about 10 minutes. He ate a few pellets and was on his way.

Yesterday, we had no less than a total of five species of visitors in the yard, one batch after another. Every time we sat down at the table, someone was there, and we jumped up again with camera and pellets in hand. 
There are two types of kudus, the “Lesser” with 4 to 12 white stripes running down its the torso and the “Greater” with 10 stripes running down its torso. This massive kudu appears to be a “Greater.” Otherwise, it’s difficult to tell the difference.
The various species included mongoose, vervet monkey, kudu, warthogs, bushbuck. It was quite a busy day. Midday, we headed to Komatipoort for a few items, including purchasing another massive bag of pellets, 40kg (88 pounds), at a farm store. The cost of the huge bag is ZAR 188 (US $15.90), which will last about two to three weeks.

We try not to be gone long when we shop in town, fearful we’ll miss something back at the house. But, it’s good to be out and about in the town steeping in culture and diversity. As much as we’d like to take photos of the people, we hesitate to avoid making anyone feel uncomfortable.

Here we are, white people in a primarily black town, shopping in many markets and shops they frequent. How intrusive it would be for us to be taking photos of its citizens. 
Got milk?  The intense look from a kudu appears to come from interest and curiosity and less from fear or intimidation.
Instead, we comfortably blend in, as we have all over the world instead, focusing on our tasks at hand. Yesterday’s outing included a trip to the Spar Supermarket for a few items, the pharmacy for repellent and saline, the liquor store for Castle beer, a can “huggie” for Tom, along with a few bottles of wine for me.
Then, we headed to the Butchery for chicken breasts and Boerwars; sausages described as follows from this site:
“Boerewors ([ˈbuːrəvors]), a type of sausage which originated in South Africa, is an important part of South African cuisine and is popular across Southern Africa. The name is derived from the Afrikaans words boer (“farmer”) and wors (“sausage”).
Boerewors must contain at least 90 percent meat and always include beef and lamb, pork, or a mixture of lamb and pork. Not more than 30% of the meat content may be fat. The other 10% is made up of spices and other ingredients. Boerewors may not contain any “mechanically recovered” meat (meat derived through a process where meat and bone are mechanically separated).”
He meandered through the yard, interested in the pellets but seemed more interested in strutting his big “rack” and stature.

As for the beer and wine, some evenings around 5:00 pm, we have “happy hour.” I usually have a maximum of two small glasses of dry white or red wine, and Tom will have a few beers.

By the time we have dinner around 6:30, we no longer imbibe, instead of loading our insulated mugs with iced tea for the remainder of the evening. This ritual is new for us since I hadn’t consumed any alcohol for over 20 years.

As mentioned before, I’ve found that I can consume a small amount of wine with no ill effects. Lately, we’re thoroughly enjoying hanging out on the veranda, without our laptops or phones nearby, chatting and watching nature unfold before our eyes.

To avoid mosquito bites and the fact that we aren’t taking malaria pills this time, we’ve dined indoors in the past weeks. But now, after dining outdoors (a tradition most locals prefer), when company came for dinner, we’ve found the local repellent good enough to keep from getting bit, and we’ve had our dinner outdoors even after dark, loving every moment.

As he walked to the side yard, where he stayed for some time, he seemed relaxed and at ease.

We’ve found we’re more easily adapting this time around than four years ago.  Today, the temperature is expected to be around 100F (38C), and still, we’ll be outdoors all day.  There’s no point in running AC when we prefer to be outside anyway.

Also, we’ve both become even more tolerant of insects and give little thought to them, other than avoiding bees and wasps, which we’re both allergic to. Last night, during night, I awoke to a bug in the bed. Yep, I turned on the light, waking Tom so I can shoo it away. 

There’s no degree of adaptation that would make a person comfortable with a bug in the bed. But, I suppose it’s how one reacts to the inconvenience which determines their degree of adaptability.

Four years ago, we’d seen a larger kudu than this, but so far this time, he’s the biggest we’ve spotted.

Tonight, on our 23rd wedding anniversary (we’ve been together almost 27 years), we plan to dine at Ngwenya, a restaurant located about 10 minutes from here situated on the Crocodile River with opportunities to see stunning wildlife sunsets.

After sunset, we’ll dine, surely reveling in how fortunate we’ve been to not only experience the joys of being together all of these years but also these past almost five and a half years of living this dream lifestyle.
We’ll be back with photos from tonight’s visit to Ngwenya, hopefully with many more photos.
Have a blissful day!  
Photo from one year ago today, March 7, 2017:
During the “silent disco” aboard the ship, we both had messy hair from taking the headsets on and off throughout the night. Tom was incredibly confused from sweating. His shirt was soaked by the end of the evening.  We had a blast.  For more photos, please click here.

Oh, what a night!…Way too much fun!…Tom’s South Africa haircut…at last! A rare visitor…a great dinner…

“We’re not moving! We’re waiting on the others!” We didn’t mind a bit. We’d have gladly waited for any amount of time.

There are times I say to myself, “Oh, please, this is too much fun!” Then again, I realize that both of us are easily entertained. Really. 

An interesting insect or sighting of a turtle walking across the garden has the ability to captivate us to the point of squealing with delight once we can let out our breath.

“We’re coming! We need a few more bites before we join the others!”

We were always like this. Only then, we didn’t have access to this degree of almost constant stimulation.  Whether it’s the sound of Lions roaring, the pleasant bubbly sound of hippos as we lie in bed at night, or the shuffling sound of a creature atop the roof, the pleasure only seems to stop when we’re sleeping.

“Hold onto your shorts!”

It’s ironic that this constant state of being “on the alert” and the sheer engagement when we discover yet another wonder, by 10:00 to 10:30 pm, I’m practically falling on my face. Tom is not far behind.

And still, the others had yet to join them while they anxiously looked their way. At this point, traffic was backed up and as soon as there was an opening, we were on our way, our faces hurting from smiling.

Yesterday and last night, one of many days and nights, we had a particularly delightful time. The heat was unbearable as a storm brewed, the air was thick was visible humidity. We lasted outdoors for five hours finally throwing in the towel, heading indoors to the loft with AC.

Yet to visit our yard, a mom and baby Wildebeest watched us drive by.

Due to the excessive heat, the AC wasn’t able to keep up. The lines frequently clog with insects, caused water to start dripping into the house. When this occurred, we had no option but it turn it off. With AC in both bedrooms, I decided it was a good time to go into our bedroom, turn on the AC and read my book. That didn’t last long.

Definitely not pretty animals, but, all of them are cute to us.  Although it’s been very hot here in the summer months, we’re grateful we’ve come during the birthing season, seeing many babies.

Fearful of missing something, a short time later I turned off the AC, shut the door, and looked outside for visitors. What if we missed something else? We’d had a great morning as shown in yesterday’s post.

We were so excited to get this shot of one of the two monitor lizards living in our yard.  This photo was taken at the hottest point in the day.  Louise and Danie told us that they’ll swim in the pool from time to time. We’d have loved to see that!

Having left prawn shells (shrimp) and a raw egg for the mongoose (they eat snakes), I was thrilled to see the monitor lizard eating the last of the prawn shells and then taking the raw egg with her to the hole in which we occasionally see her and her mate slither in and out.

The monitor lizard, a rare visitor, headed to the ground on the opposite side of the pool to check out the eggs that she laid a few weeks ago. As mentioned recently, it may take up to 300 days for the eggs to hatch depending upon conditions such as weather and attacks by other animals.
This occurred so quickly that I had no time to get the camera. A half-hour later we found the monitor lizard contemplating a swim in the pool, the long tongue darting in and out of the water. As a result, we captured these photos from inside the house. These Lizards are very skittish. If they’d seen us they’d be gone in a few seconds. They move quickly.
Tom, outside the salon where he got a haircut on Thursday.

At 6:30 pm, as the sun began to set, Okee Dokee picked us up to take us to Jabula Lodge, our favorite restaurant in the area. Not only is the food fantastic, but Dawn and Leon, the owners, present every time we arrive, make our dining experience comparable to a party each time. The chatting and laughing between tasty bites adds a playful element that drives us back, time, and again for more.

Tom, awaiting his turn at the salon for his haircut appointment.

On the way to Jabula Lodge, we stopped many times to take these photos. Although not as clear as I’d like since taking photos from a moving vehicle at dusk is challenging with our type of camera. However, we couldn’t resist sharing these today. 

Tom with his new haircut getting ready to eat that huge vertical stick of beef known as Espetada. I wasn’t thrilled about him eating the chips (as they call fries in Africa). But, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t comment, as usual. He said the meat was delicious. I had perfectly prepared grilled chicken, veggies, and Greek salad (sans dressing).

After the laugh-fest at Jabula Lodge, we headed home, watched a few shows on my broken-monitor laptop, and headed to bed. The worst of the storm had passed, the temperature had dropped considerably and a good night’s sleep was imminent. Another good day.