Two days and counting…Favorite photos from Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe…Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls,

Alas, we arrived at the magical splendor of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders
of the World.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Kudus stopping by for a little breakfast.

Gosh, it’s hard to believe it was a year ago that we left South Africa for Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe for sightseeing and a possible visa extension.  In order to get a visa extension, travelers must depart to a country that isn’t bordering South Africa at any point.  

In the shallow area of the Victoria Falls, we were gifted with a rainbow but this
was the first of many we saw throughout the day.
Zambia was a perfect choice and from there we visited Zimbabwe and Botswana.  We had the opportunity to see Victoria Falls from both Zambia and Zimbabwe which were two entirely different scenarios.  We enjoyed every moment finally being able to see the famous waterfalls.
I was happy to see Tom safely return from climbing to the top of the wet slippery bridge which he tackled without me.  I’m not quite as surefooted as he is.  It was slipperythe visibility was poor and I wouldn’t have been able to take photos in the heavy mist so I stayed behind with 
Alec while we awaited his return. I was getting worried when he’d been gone a long time.  
Seeing him in his yellow poncho made me sigh with relief.
From this siteWhile it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is classified as the largest, based on its combined width of 1,708 meters (5,604 ft.) and height of 108 meters (354 ft.), resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water.”


Also, we’d heard so much about Chobe National Park and the Chobe River.  For years, I’d longed to do a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River and as it turned it, we did it all, thrilled we had an opportunity to see so much.

The sights and sounds of Victoria Falls from both the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides were unlike anything we’ve seen in the past.

We spent a week on these trips, details and more of which may be found in the archives beginning on May 12, 2018, and continuing for several days.  Please check out the links for more exciting photos and adventures during this fantastic trip.

After this elephant dug a decent sized mud hole, he decided to try to lay on his side.  Digging the hole must have been exhausting for this big fellow in the heat of the sun.  For four stunning videos of him swimming in the Chobe River, please click here and scroll down to the videos.

As it turned out, once again we needed a visa extension and we returned in August for more exciting tours.  More on this later.  In any case, it was fun to see other African countries.  To date, we’ve been to nine countries on the African continent which is nothing compared to its total of 54.  


There are no less than a dozen countries in Africa it’s unlikely we’ll ever visit which present huge risks for tourists.  We’ve thoroughly enjoyed being in Africa but don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.  






The best snorkeling apparatus on the planet…his trunk. His huge feet were no longer touching the river bottom and he was buoyant.

We’re often asked if we’ll return to Africa and that’s definitely on our itinerary, especially when we’ve booked a cruise to Cape Town in two years. However, what will transpire at immigration in Johannesburg will determine when we’ll be allowed to re-enter the country. We’ll see how that goes and report back during our upcoming lengthy travel day.

During our sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, we spotted these bee-eaters making nests and burrows into holes they made in the river bank.

As for posting on our upcoming long travel day, Saturday, May 11th, we will upload a post in the morning before we depart for the airport in Nelspruit.  We’ll arrive in Connemara on Sunday afternoon and if time allows, we’ll upload a short post indicating we’ve arrived.  

Sunset on the Zambezi River.

If you don’t see a post on Sunday, it will be due to an arrival later than we’d expected and we’ll wait until the following day.  At that point, we’ll have been traveling for 24 hours or more and may simply be too tired to do so.

Riding the ferry is free for people but not for vehicles between Zambia and Botswana but, to disembark it requires removing one’s shoes and walking in the water.

I’m going from recuperating in a mostly lying down position to a 24-hour travel day. I have no idea how well I’ll feel when we arrive.  But, please rest assured that after some rest and one night’s sleep, we’ll be right back here writing to all of you.


Of course, I’d be lying if I said I was totally at ease in anticipation of this long travel day.  My number one objective will be to walk every hour on the various flights except when fully reclined in my business class seat in the middle of the night.

Albert, our guide prepared “tea time” before we entered the Chobe National Park.

Ah, let’s hope it all goes smoothly.  There’s only a 90-minute layover in Johannesburg and that’s where we’ll have to deal with immigration.  If the process is lengthy, we could miss the flight.  My being in a wheelchair will hopefully speed up the waiting time in the lines at immigration.


That’s it for today folks.  We’re hoping you all have a peaceful and stress-free day!


Note:  Due to some type of WiFi signal issue this morning, the line and paragraph spacing is “off” preventing me from correcting the situation.

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Photo from one year ago today, May 9, 2018:

An elephant taking a drink from the river.  For more photos…Please click here.

Part 3…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…They’re back!!!…Six years ago today…Itinerary re-post from one year ago.

We so excited to see the kudus and other wildlife returning to our garden as the holiday crowds dissipate.  

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

One of our two favorite frogs took up residence in this cute little decorative basket near the pool on the veranda.

This morning, two bushbucks, one duiker,  five zebras, and three warthogs stopped by at the same time.  Last night before the pelting rain began, 12 kudus and three warthogs stopped by for a snack.  We couldn’t toss the pellets quickly enough.  

Notice the pellet crumbs on her nose.  Often, there are lots of crumbs in the huge bags of pellets.  Most of the wildlife are happy to lap up the crumbs if we place them on the tile steps.  See more here at this link.

We’re so excited the animals have begun to return to our garden.  After all, that’s why we’re here…the wildlife and the people.  They’re all wonderful and have made this past year fly by in a flurry of activity.

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we spotted this elephant digging a hole to access water in the ground below.  Please take a moment to watch our video at the top of the page.  See this link here for more.

The now working aircon in our main floor bedroom provided us with a good night’s sleep along with the fact the power stayed on for the past 36 hours.  Add the fact that today, for the first time in days, the temperature is cool and comfortable at 21C, (70F) and surprisingly doesn’t feel as humid as it had over the past several days.  What a welcomed relief!

Louise and Danie joined us for dinner that night at Kambaku, the popular restaurant at the golf course in Komatipoort, as we celebrated their belated birthdays.  We couldn’t be more grateful for all they’ve done for us.  See this link here for more.

Today, we’ll complete this three-part series of 2018, “Year in Review” and return tomorrow with our regular posts and all new photos as we see more and more wildlife each day as the holidaymakers have begun to drift away.

Our photo of the blood moon taken on July 27, 2018.  See this link here for more.

Holiday times are different in South Africa than many other countries. In the US, kids return to school the first day after the end of New Year’s Day.  But here, the return to school varies from public schools to private schools but may be as late as the middle of January.  This fact determines when many of the holidaymakers leave Marloth Park.

Not a night passes without an opportunity to watch these adorable bushbabies enjoy the yogurt we place on their little stand.  See this link here for more.
However, as we’ve seen from the gradual return of the wildlife to our garden, many may have left right after New Year’s Day.  At this point, we’ll see how it transpires over the next week or two.

What an animal!  We feel fortunate to have been able to get lion photos.  See this link for more.

This morning when Tom was reviewing past posts, he mentioned it was exactly six years ago today that we boarded our first cruise.  See here for the link. (At that time, we didn’t post many photos and didn’t do a post daily). In 80 days, we’ll be boarding our 24th cruise in Santiago Chile, ending in San Diego California.  

Mom and baby love.  See this link here for more.

It’s even hard for us to believe how many cruises we’ve experienced in this short period of time and other than a four-day back to back cruise in 2013, in the Mediterranean, we’ve loved every one of them.  

Every piece of art at WayiWayi Art Studio & Gallery was representative of Zambian culture.  See this link here for more.

The four-day cruise was during spring break and was crowed with highly inebriated, loud, demanding and pushing and shoving passengers.  It couldn’t have ended quickly enough for us.  

We were excited to get a view of the leopard’s face after waiting for a considerable period while Samson, our guide in Chobe National Paek in Botswana kept moving the vehicle for better shots.  Upon careful inspection of this photo, you can see the pads of the feet of her kill in the tree near her head.  See this link here for more.

Below included in our “one year ago today” feature we posted the itinerary which we’d included on today’s date in 2018.  Certain aspects of our itinerary have changed, including the first year that has since passed.  In the next few months, as we add more bookings, we’ll be updating the itinerary and post it here.  

Based on our position in the line-up of vehicles in Kruger our photo taking advantage was limited.  See this link here for more.

As the years have passed, we don’t feel the sense of urgency to fill in the blanks and extend the itinerary beyond two years.  Its less about being lazy and more about feeling comfortable that all of it will work out as we go along.

Stunning female lion – as a part of the Ridiculous Nine we spotted in a game drive in Marloth Park with friends Lois and Tom who visited for three weeks.  See this link here for more.

Tonight, we’ll be visiting Rita and Gerhard at their second condo at Ngwenya where they’re staying until tomorrow.  Then, much to their delight, they’re moving back to the Hornbill house where they lived the first month they were here and will stay until sometime in March when they’ll be leaving Marloth Park.

Tom, Lois, Kerry (our guide) me and Tom after a highly successful game drive in Kruger.  See this link here for more.

We’re hoping to see them in this New Year when they’ll come to visit us in Ireland during our three-month stay beginning in May.  We’re also looking forward to Kathy and Don visiting us in Ireland as well.  How fortunate we are to have made such fine friends.

We encountered this stunning scene of zebras and wildebeest from the fence at Marloth Park. One reason zebras and wildebeest hang out together is that zebras love to eat the taller grass and wildebeest the shorter grass – it’s a type of symbiosis. There is no competition regarding food.  Also, wildebeests have a better sense of hearing, while zebras can see very well. It’s always great to have an ally to warn of any impending danger.  Another reason is zebras and wildebeest prefer to be in the open savannahs…the concept of safety in numbers comes into play.  See this link here for more.

Then upcoming on January 14, friend Linda and Ken will stay here with us for a week.  They arrive from Johannesburg on the day that we’re having a birthday dinner party for Rita. Such good times with friends…we are so grateful.

We’ve so enjoyed spending time with new friends Rita and Gerhard who came to Marloth Park after reading our posts years ago.  Through our site, they found the holiday home they’ve rented and also found Louise to help them get situated.  They’ll be here in Marloth until March.  We look forward to many more exciting times together.  See this link here for more.

That’s it for today, folks.  We’ll be back with more tomorrow. 

May you find your day to be fulfilling and meaningful!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 3, 2018:

One year ago today, we posted the upcoming itinerary that included a total of 852 days, which is now down to 486 days since the first year of this itinerary has passed. Since that date, we’ve had a few modifications which we’ll include next time we update and post the itinerary. For details, please click here.


 Location 
Days
 Dates 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
20
 1/2/2018 -1/23/2018 
 Ushuaia, AR – Ushuaia, AR – Antarctica Cruise 
16
 1/23/2018 – 2/8/2018 
 Buenos Aires, AR – Prodeo Hotel 
2
 2/8/2018 – 2/10/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Bush home selected
89
2/11/2018 – 5/11/2018
  Zambezi River Cruise – Victoria Falls 
8
5/11/2018 – 5/19/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
5/19/2018 – 8/16/2018
 Uganda – See gorillas and the “Cradle of Mankind” 
7
8/16/2018 – 8/23/2018
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
 8/23/2018 -11/20/2018 
 Mozambique, Africa (get visa stamped) 
1
 11/20/2018 -11/21/2018 
 Marloth Park, South Africa – Rent a bush home
89
 11/21/2019 – 2/17/2019 
 Valparaiso, Chile – Rent vacation home or hotel
36
 2/17/2019 – 3/24/2019 
 Cruise – San Antonio, Chile – San Diego 
14
 3/24/2019 – 4/8/2019 
 San Diego, CA – Fly to Minneapolis, MN – Family visit
13
 4/8/2019 – 4/21/2019 
 Cruise – Fort Lauderdale, FL- Dublin, Ire (1-day hotel stay) 
15
 4/21/2019 – 5/6/2019 
 Ireland – Rent country house – Research Tom’s ancestry 
90
 5/6/2019 – 8/1/2019 
 Amsterdam, NLD – Hotel stay 
11
 8/1/2019 – 8/11/2019 
 Cruise, Baltic – Amsterdam, NLD – Amsterdam, NLD 
12
 8/11/2019 – 8/23/2019 
 England – Rent country home
62
 8/23/2019 – 10/24/2019 
 Southampton, UK – Fort Lauderdale, FL
15
  10/24/2019 – 11/8/2019 
 Henderson/Las Vegas, NV – Los Angeles, CA -Scottsdale, AZ 
25
 11/8/2019 – 12/3/2019 
 Ecuador – Galapagos – Rent vacation homes on islands
89
 12/3/2019 – 3/1/2020 
 Peru – Machu Picchu – Rent vacation homes, visit site 
30
 3/1/2020 –  3/31/2020 
 The Pantanal/Amazon River Cruise – Brazil (2 cruises)
30
 3/31/2020 – 4/30/2020 
 Number of days  
852

Part 2…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…An important decision has been made…

Two female rhinos on the trail of a nearby male.  See this link here for more.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

We were hopeful on Monday when we had 13 kudus in the garden, thinking perhaps the traffic in Marloth Park was thinning out.  Today, we’ve had several kudus, bushbucks and the warthog mom and four babies.

Yesterday was another hot and humid day, leaving us soaked in sweat throughout the day.  Today, it continues.  Luckily, the power didn’t go out and we slept in one of the upstairs bedrooms with working aircon.

Linda, me and Kathy.  It was these two thoughtful friends that took me to lunch on my birthday, four years ago.  Now, we’ll all be together again to celebrate my 70th.  Wow!  See this link here for more.

We’re hopeful, the repair guy will come today and repair the aircon in our main floor bedroom where we have a dust-mite-free mattress, pillows, and covers.  The bed upstairs is a double and although we’ve slept in double beds throughout the world, a queen-sized bed is much more comfortable, especially when we both have a tendency to hog the center of the mattress.

Ken, Tom and Don making big faces for the camera!  See this link here for more.

We’re looking forward to aircon comfort in our main floor bedroom, hopefully, available by this evening.  From there, we hope the power stays on as it has for the past 24 hours.

We’ll always remember this birthday as a special event for both of us; celebrated life, health, our experiences and the fine friends we’ve made along the way.  See this link here for more.

This morning, it’ rained, a nice soaking rain needed in the bush at this point.  We were discussing the frustration many holidaymakers must be feeling after they came to the bush with lots of expectations, only to be sorely disappointed by some events that transpired.

While in Kruger, we spotted a rhino mom and her baby, born this season and still closely attached to the mother. See this link here for more.

It’s been outrageously hot, humid and there have been more power outages than we can count.  Kruger National Park has been difficult to enter with the crowds going as far as making reservations for a fee, to enter.  Once inside, they’ve had to deal with all the vehicles blocking the roads during a sighting.

This was a “tower” or “journey” of the eight giraffes who made their way to the only paved road in Marloth.  Note the eighth giraffe is to the far right in this photo.  See this link here for more.

On top of that, there has been less wildlife visiting the properties over the past several weeks due to the added number of people and vehicles in Marloth Park, certainly adding to the frustrations.

When “capturing” the Black Mamba it is imperative to immobilize the head close to the ground and raise the tail.  Tom managed to do this while it was desperately attempting to escape during his snake handling experience at Snake School.  The Black Mamba is the fastest snake on the planet.  See this link here for more.

As we often drive around Marloth Park for two hour periods, almost every day, we see few animals in the gardens of holiday homes, other than an occasional kudu or warthog.  

At a distance, they saw Dad coming their way.  The chick’s pace picked up the moment she spotted him.  Look at the far end of the dirt road to see him coming!  His feathers are dark.  See this link here for more.

We can only imagine the frustration of the holidaymakers dealing with these issues, as well as property owners and managers, dealing with the renter’s demands as a result of their frustrations.  It hasn’t been an easy situation. Some tourists have left earlier than they’d planned.

 I awoke Tom when this thing was walking on me.  With the light from my phone, I saw it and must admit, a little scream escaped my lips as I shooed it off my shoulder.  Yucky!  Look at those spiky legs!  Tom captured it in this plastic container and released it outside.  See this link here for more.

Today, we continue on with Part 2…2018, “Year in Review.”  In yesterday’s post, found here, we covered our cruise to Antarctica and the many stunning photos we captured along the way.  It was exciting for us, once again, reviewing each post for favorite photos to share in the post.

This was a common sight in Marloth Park a holiday weekend in April.  It’s packed with tourists sitting in the back of a “bakkie” which is Afrikaans for “pickup truck.”  Very dangerous.  See this link here for more.

Today, we’re including photos and links from the first half of the year up to and including June 2018.  Tomorrow, we’ll add a Part 3 which with so many photos, we found to be necessary.

Adorable baby Danie with his loving and attentive mom, Okey Dokey, our friend and driver from 2013 when she and her husband and baby came to visit.  He never stopped smiling and laughing the entire time they were visiting.  See this link here for more.

Of course, we want to “save” some favorite photos to share on the last few days of our one year stay in Marloth Park, including all the year’s expenses which we’ll include on the last day, February 14, 2019.  On that date, we’ll depart the park to spend the night in a hotel in Nelspruit, close to the airport for our early morning flight to Kenya.

This gorgeous feta, onion and lettuce salad served by dear friends Louise and Danie when they invited us for dinner was enhanced with edible flowers indicative of the attention to detail and creativity these two fine hosts possess. See this link here for more.

We made a very important decision in the past few days…we will return to Capetown, South Africa via a cruise on December 2, 2020.  However, we’ll fly to Namibia from there where we’ll spend three months and then return to Marloth Park.  

Alas, we arrived in Zambia to see the magical splendor of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  Later that day we also went to Zimbabwe to see the falls from that country.  See this link here for more.

By then, the holiday season in Marloth will have passed and we can avoid or at least diminish some of our own frustrations during the holiday season.  No doubt, Namibia will have some challenges but we’ll have an entirely different set of expectations of our own.

None of the six of us or our guide Alfred could believe our eyes as we watched this male elephant build his mud pool in Chobe National Park.  We’ve seen a lot of elephants in Africa but this was a rare sighting for us.  See this link here for more.

As for yesterday and today’s photos, many of our long-term readers certainly have seen them in past posts.  However, we always have a new influx of readers and encourage them to click on the links we’ve provided along the way.

Check out those teeth on a croc we spotted while on the Zambezi River cruise. Crocs are able to replace each of their 80 teeth, up to 50 times in their 35 to 75-year lifespan.  See this link here for more.

It’s been a fantastic year, as we mentioned in yesterday’s post and we continued to smile when we reviewed the year’s posts and see all that we’ve accomplished and experienced along the way.

The harsh realities of the bush – This is a Bovine Tuberculosis infected kudu we spotted only the day after we were educated on this dreadful disease impacting mainly kudus in Marloth Park.  See this link here for more.

And, there’s so much more yet to come in the New Year.  Please stay with us as we continue on our exciting world journey.


 This video will remain as one of our favorites in years to come clearly illustrating the intelligence of elephants during a human intervention in “their world.”  Watch and you’ll see why.  See this link here for more.


Have a spectacular second day of the New Year!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 2, 2018:

We set up the tripod to take this photo of us in Costa Rica on October 31, 2017, the five year anniversary of our world travels which was posted in Part 2, our 2017 “Year in Review.”  For more, please click here.

Part 1…2018, “Year in Review” with favorite photos…

It was fun to hold up our US flag on the ice floe in Antarctica. See the link here for more.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Perhaps the holidaymaker’s are beginning to leave the park when yesterday we had no less than 20 kudus stop by throughout the day, including this adorable young male.

This has been one of the best years of my life.  The adventures were many the challenges endless, and the opportunity to see parts of the world we only dreamt of.

A one or two-year-old Rock Hopper Penguin on New Island in the Falkland Islands yet to grow his full plumage.  See this link for more.

Tom always says, “The best year of my life is yet to come.”  OK, I’ll go along with that premise as well.  

  Closer view of King Penguin with a chick.  See this link here for more.

But, how in the world can we possibly top this past year visiting Argentina, Antarctica, spending a year in Marloth Park, and twice traveling to Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe…Chobe River, Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls and cruising on the Zambezi River?  (More photos will follow in Part 2 tomorrow).

Tom certainly got it right when he captured this Black Browed Albatross chick with what appears
to be a smile. See this link here for more.

Today, included in our photos is a focus on our Antarctica cruise, surely one of the highlights of both of our lives.  We left Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 23, 2018, to head to Ushuaia, Argentina, the most southerly city in the world, to board the ship, the Ponant Le Soleal.

It was stunning to see all these Albatross atop these pods in their massive nesting grounds.

When the cruise ended on February 8, 2019, we returned to Palermo for two more days before we flew to Marloth Park on February 11, 2018, to begin this year-long stay, ending on February 14, 2019, in a mere 44 days.

This elephant seal on Steeple Jason Island didn’t care for our photo taking antics.  See the link here for more.

Going from the cold and ice of Antarctica to the heat and dust of Africa was quite an experience in itself.  But, in no time at all, we adapted to our new life for the year to come.  And, its been a grand year we’ll always treasure.

This is unreal…the Black Browed Albatross on Steeple Jason Island, remove tall grass from these massive “pod-like” structures, adding mud and vegetation to make it a free-standing pod on which they can nest. Here’s a young chick making a little noise while atop her/his elevated nest.  That’s amazing!  See the link here for more..

By far, that cruise was the most expensive cruise or venue we’ve experienced in our six-plus years of world travel.  We doubt we’ll embark on such a costly expedition in years to come.  It proved to be well worth the expense and we have no regrets.

Standing among the King Penguins was an experience we’ll always remember.  See this link here for more.

Last night we brought in the New Year at Royal Kruger Lodge, a four-star safari resort and spa here in Marloth Park.  Our host, Flo, and JJ did an exceptional job at making us feel welcomed. We been to several social events with Flo and JJ over the past year and found them to be a very special couple, with three children, teenage daughter, and a son and, a college-age daughter, all of whom attended the party.

This has got to be one of our favorite Antarctic photos, a Chinstrap Penguin lying on the rocks for a short rest with what looks like a winsome smile on his face.  See this link here for more.

Louise and Danie, longtime close friends of theirs ensured we had an invitation, along with Rita and Gerhard.  We couldn’t have had a more enjoyable New Year’s Eve.

We had to keep our distance from this delicate structure which would be a disaster for us in the small boat, where it to collapse near us.  See this link here for more.

Also, we knew a number of other guests in attendance of the party of 30 to 40 guests, staged poolside, at their stunning property, surely one of the most beautiful resorts/game lodges in Marloth Park.

There we were, sitting on a Zodiac boat in Pleneau Bay sipping on French champagne.  Was that ever fun!  See this link here for more.

We returned to the house at 1:00 am but didn’t fall asleep until after 2:00 am.  Fortunately, we both managed to get some sleep even without working aircon which hopefully will be repaired in days to come.  Also, we were thrilled to find we had power and could at least use the portable fan.

Both of us raising a glass in celebration of this special occasion.  The ships staff created an ice bar on a small ice floe.  We used the Zodiac boat to arrive at the floe, all set for French champagne.  See the link here for more.

Today, we’ll lay low and have a nice dinner on the veranda, hoping we’ll see as many visitors as we did yesterday before we left for the party close to 1900 hours, (7:00 pm).  

Both of us holding the “I crossed the Polar Circle” sign.  See this link here for more.

We had no less than 20 kudus stop by; Little and his best friend; warthog friends Mike and Joe;  numerous bushbucks, and both female and male duikers.  Even Frank and the Mrs. made an appearance.  We hadn’t seen either of them in over a week.  I suppose holiday traffic has an impact on francolins (birds).

A face only a mother could love.  See this link here for more of our favorite photos from the  Antarctica cruise.

We’re wishing every one of our worldwide readers has an exceptional New Year, filled with the riches of life that even money can’t buy…the joys of nature and our surroundings, free for the taking, fulfilling in many ways.

Happy New Year to each of YOU!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 1, 2018:

Us, one year ago at the boutique hotel in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina where we awaited the Antarctica cruise beginning on January 23, 2018.  For more details, please click here.


The Railway Museum in Livingstone, Zambia…Challenges of tours throughout the world…

This is train deluxe coach from the 1901 era

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Although his tusks were small, this was the largest elephant we spotted in Chobe National Park.

We’ve been so busy figuring out what our next move will be since we returned from Zambia last Thursday evening, we’ve had little time to return to some of our photos from our tours in Livingstone.

At the entrance to the Livingston Railway Museum in Zambia.

One of the tours of particular interest to Tom, as a retired railroad worker for 42½ years, was visiting the Railway Museum in Livingstone, Zambia on the day we toured the city of Livingstone.  

The interior walkway of the above coach where the sleepers were located.

Admittedly, Livingstone is a small city, formerly the capital, with few points of interest to most travelers.  Most travel to the area to see one or both sides of Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe and also to safari in Chobe National Park, on game drives and river tours on the Chobe and Zambezi River.

Steam locomotive firebox.

To reach all of the above venues including visa/immigration processing along the way, within 2½ hours.  The tours themselves can run from two to six hours depending on the packages the tourists choose based on their budget and available time.

Passenger coach from the 1930 era.

A mention for those who may have a disability…if one has a serious medical condition, the bouncing on the game drives could be prohibitive.  If you’ve never been on a game drive, this is a serious consideration.  

This is a crane/”hook” used in derailments, Cowans Sheldon crane #109.

Also, visiting Victoria Falls has some terrain that could be challenging whether from the Zambia or Zimbabwe sides, each of which is different.  We found the Zimbabwe side slightly easier hike. 

Small steam engine (boiler).

We also saw some visitors in wheelchairs being managed by strong individuals who could navigate the varying elevations in the walking paths.  There are no rough hills to climb other than the gradations in the fairly level paths.  

This is the balance of the above photo, the tender and the cab.

As for today’s railway museum, it was easy to maneuver with level walking areas along the tracks where the trains are located.  However, getting up and onto some of those that allowed visitors to board, could be highly risky for those with any type of mobility and strength issues.

A steam engine, reminding us of “Thomas” trains, appropriately named, built in 1919.

Those railroad guys, like Tom, think nothing of the steep climb necessary to board a train after years of doing so.  Also, getting into a safari vehicle can be challenging with a steep climb up into the tall vehicle.  There are numerous occasions where a tourist will be getting on and off the truck.

This is a 15th class, 4-6-4 + 4-6-4 Garratt, circa 1950’s.

I mention these for those who may be considering traveling to this part of the world for some of the most exciting venues in the world such as Victoria Falls, as a World Heritage location and one of the Seven Wonders of the World as described here.

This is a 12th class, 4-8-2 #189, circa 1926.

Of course, there are a few tourist attractions worldwide that senior may hesitate to visit due to health, age, and disability.  There are even a few that give us pause (for me particularly with my bad spine) such a Machu Picchu and the mountain trek to see the gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda.  

This is a 16A class, 2-8-2 + 2-8-2 Garratt #623, from 1952.

But, these two are still on our list of desired spots to visit as we continue in our world travels.  We’ll see how it goes.  After feeling well for the first time in a few years after the resolution of my gastrointestinal issues in June, we consider such future plans gingerly.

A steam engine and tender, formerly part of the Rhodesian Railway (now Zambia).

Even driving through Marloth Park several times a week presents its own challenges which I handle easily, the outrageous bouncing on the uneven dirt roads with many potholes and often getting out of the little car to walk through the dense bush to get a better look and to take photos of sightings along the way.

A steam engine and tender.

As a matter of fact, we’ve been so busy since our return last Thursday, we’ve yet to take the time to make those wonderful drives through Marloth Park and/or return to Kruger National Park.


Perhaps, in the next few days, we’ll put aside our immigration issues and search for solutions to continue to enjoy the time we do have left in the bush.  In the interim, the beautiful animals have been coming to see us!  What a treat that has been, as always!

Steam engine boiler exposed to show interior, #91, built in 1912.

Enjoy today’s train photos with comments from Tom explaining a few details below each photo. 


Have a  fantastic day!

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Photo from one year ago today, August 28, 2017:

When this sweet and friendly butcher at the Farmers Market spotted me with the camera, he willingly posed!  The people of Costa Rica were approachable and warm.  For more photos, please click here.

 

 

We’re back!! And they’re back, too!…Final expenses for Zambia and Botswana…Playful Chobe kudu video…

Our most recent bag of pellets contained a lot of dust.  As Tom began to sweep the dust from the pellets off the veranda’s edge these four kudus took a spot to begin licking off the dust

“Sighting of the Day on the Veranda”

This young male’s horns have started to sprout.  He was mature and experienced enough to know that looking into our eyes would reap some rewards.  How right, he is!

We’d intended to post more Zambia and Chobe National Park (Botswana) photos today but have decided to do so over these next several days instead.  We wanted to focus on the expenses today but something magical occurred this morning…we had a record-breaking 19 kudus come to call including moms and their offspring of varying ages.

There were more out of view of the camera for a total of 19 in our garden this morning, more than our prior record of 17.

There aren’t words in the English language that can describe the elation we felt as one-by-one they approached the veranda making direct eye contact with us.  Our hearts were pounding with sheer delight.  We couldn’t toss the pellets quickly enough.

Sixteen kudus in this photo with more on the sidelines.

It was great to be back at the bush house in Marloth Park.  Louise had arranged a deep “spring” cleaning as she’d done last time we were gone and the house was dust free and spotless.  They’d even rearranged and tidied the kitchen drawers I have a tendency to make messy from time to time.  We couldn’t have appreciated it more.

Kudus are smart.  They sure know how to grab our heartstrings.

No more than seconds after we pulled into the driveway, we had visitors waiting for us…Mr. Bushbuck and Ms. Bushbuck, Baby Bushbuck and Friend, who must have been waiting for our return.  Imagine their curiosity as to where we were for seven days and nights.  As I write this now, the three bushbucks are here, content to see we’re still here.

Shortly after their visit, Josiah came to thoroughly wash the veranda floor, preventing the spread of disease among the kudus.

We’d planned to go out for dinner after our arrival but neither of us felt like eating out again.  Instead, we stopped at the Spar Supermarket in Melalane while Tom stayed in the car with our luggage while I shopped, buying enough to last until well into next week.  This way we wouldn’t have to leave right away.

They each picked a spot, licking to their heart’s content.

By 1900 hours, 7:00 pm, we were pulling the steaks off the braai, the salad and vegetables were prepared and we were both completely unpacked, sorting piles of laundry to get done today.  (As it’s turned out, it’s a cloudy drizzly day and we’ve had to hang all the wet clothes on hangers throughout the house, after we had to bring them inside when it started raining).

Last night, as always, we set up the veranda for the evening and set the table for dinner.  We weren’t disappointed when several warthogs, a few kudus, our usual male duiker and the usual bushbuck family hung around while we dined.  (We never feed them any of the animals our leftover food.  They get pellets, fresh raw vegetables, and apples at this location), all fit for their consumption.

A few determined kudus, anxious for some greenery, began chomping on the “house” plants of the veranda.

As for the immigration situation, we’ll share the details in tomorrow’s post after we’d had an opportunity to do some research today.  The news is both good and not-so-good.  Somehow, we’ll figure it all out.

I’m back to feeling like myself again since the side effects of the malaria pills have finally worn off after stopping them two days ago.  After reading about the possibility of long-term side effects after stopping the pills, I’m relieved to feel great once again.

This kudu particularly liked the lemongrass plant.

I was a little queasy and dizzy on the return flight especially when it became turbulent for a while but once we landed, I felt better.  South African Airways is a good airline and we feel safe and comfortable flying with them overall.  

They offered a complimentary lunch but we both declined.  We’d have our last (included) breakfast at the hotel and had no problem waiting to eat again until dinner.

A determined oxpecker held on tight while this kudu participated in dining on the pellets.

We’re looking forward to seeing Louise and Danie later today when they mentioned they’ll be stopping by to say hello. Tomorrow night, we’re meeting up with Kathy and Don and friends for dinner at Jabula.  As usual, it will be another social weekend with both humans and animals.

We couldn’t be happier, nor could we be more grateful for this wonderful life we live.  Sure, it has its ups and downs as you’ve read as they occur and, in tomorrow’s post we’ll share a realistic down we must face going forward.  

This happened so quickly we barely had time to set the camera to video. It was fun to see this Big Daddy having a good time.

But, there’s always the joy of living in the moment, remembering the joys of what transpired in the past and the excitement of the treasures the future holds.

Here are the expenses we incurred for the seven-night trip to Zambia and Botswana as we continue to strive to extend our time in South Africa:

 Expense   US Dollar   South African Rand (ZAR) 
 Hotel & Flights (rt) 7 nights   $                  2,730.22  $                 39,073.66      
 Tours   $                     968.35  $                13,858,58        
 Taxi   $                       78.90  $                   1,129.18       
 Dining Out   $                     235.07  $                   3,364.21     
 Tip  $                       69.04  $                       988.07
 Visa (Zambia Immigration)   $                     160.00  $                    2,289.85
 Pharmacy & Misc.   $                       41.90  $                        599.65
 Total   $                 4,283.48  $                   61,303.20
 Avg Daily Cost    $                    611.93  $                      8,757.66

If you’d like to review our expenses for our last seven-night stay in Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, please click here.  These visa extension trips are pricey as shown.

May your day bring you joy!

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Photo from one year ago today, August 24, 2017:

We had the opportunity for numerous iguana sightings at the rescue center in Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

The Chobe saga continues…Angry elephant and scary looking others…Issues with malaria pills…

This short video clearly illustrates how dangerous an annoyed elephant can be 
when her/his territory is not respected.



“Sighting of the Day in Chobe National Park”

We’ve rarely been this close to a waterbuck since they remain close to the river, impossible for us to access.  What a handsome animal!

Those who have been following us for some time know we hesitate to mention every little ache and pain or discomfort we encounter in our lives of world travel.  All of us have some degree of a medical issue on occasion, some noteworthy required medical intervention and others we can manage on our own.

This elephant was not happy to see ours and another safari vehicle on the road.  He started flapping his ears and swinging his trunk, tossing sand.  See the above video for details.

Today, I share this with our readers as informational only and do not, under any circumstances, suggest our experience is common, nor are we suggesting any medical treatment or advice.  This is an FYI only.

The other safari vehicle was much closer to him than ours. 

Upon the recommendation of a local doctor in Komatipoort with whom we recently updated our vaccinations, we began taking malaria prophylaxis medication one day before departure to Zambia on both this trip and the past trip three months ago.

And then, it happened.  He approached the safari vehicle ready to charge.  See the above video for more.

We were prescribed to take one tablet daily of the generic equivalent of Malarone (Atovaquone Proguanil) known in South Africa purchased over the counter at any local pharmacy at a cost of about ZAR 14.35 (US $1) per tablet.

Three giraffes along the bank of the Chobe River.

We started taking the pills last Wednesday, with food, one day before we departed Marloth Park continuing daily during the week in Zambia and Botswana, never giving it another thought with a plan to take them seven days after our return.

We’ve never seen so many impalas on any other safaris in the world.

While in Africa for almost a year in 2013/2014 we took the pills continuously never experiencing any major issues. While in Zambia for a week in May 2018 we followed the same regimen, never giving it much of a thought.

Our guide Sampson explained that the only animal that can cause a self-induced abortion by eating a certain poisonous plant, does so when conditions are poor and her calf wouldn’t survive.

(We still continued to use insect repellent while taking the pills which is always a must-do while in Africa and certain other parts of the world).  

Hippo with oxpecker, cape buffalo, and impala all in one photo.

Last time I took the first pill a few hours later I had a headache.  I never get headaches. I brushed it off and continued with the pills. While on our first safari in Chobe a few days later, I noticed I had a weird headache-like sensation in my jaw for most of the day.  I’d taken the pill on an empty stomach and attributed it to that.

Yellow-billed stork.

After lunch, the headache went away.  Thus, it obviously made sense to take the pills with food which we’ve done since.  But then again on Monday morning, while in Chobe National Park on a game drive once again, after taking the pill with food, I noticed that same jaw pain.  I reached into the backpack and pulled out a Tylenol and chugged it down.  

Lilac-breasted roller.

An hour later the pain was considerably less but not totally gone.  At that point, I’d never mentioned it to Tom, not wanting to worry him.  We continued on and had a great few days in Chobe.

Such a sweet face. Check out those eyelashes!

The second day in Chobe, I noticed my balance was off. I kept bumping into things, not outrageously so but enough to make me notice.  On Wednesday night when we returned to the Livingstone Protea Hotel, I could hardly walk straight, I felt nauseous and horribly dizzy.  

Each day before commencing on the game drives, tea, coffee, and muffins was served in the bush.

I didn’t feel like having dinner but in an effort to “tough it out” I didn’t complain and we ate in the hotel’s restaurant.  I ordered a bit of fish and steamed vegetables, hot tea and drank lots of water.  

The beautiful fish eagle.

By yesterday morning, I struggled to do the post, more than I’ve ever struggled in the past when not feeling well.  How I got through it, I’ll never know.  By noon with the post uploaded I was in bed, under the covers with the room spinning and I couldn’t walk across the room.  A few hours later diarrhea hit hard.

Crocs don’t have sweat glands.  If a Crocodile gets too warm, it can only reduce its temperature in three ways: get in the shade; get in the water, or sit quietly with its mouth wide open.  This one opted for the later.

I’d stop taking the pills 24 hours earlier.  I knew the pills were making me sick and didn’t think it was something else when I’d read that these two symptoms were common side effects of Malarone and it’s equivalent.  

A face only a mother could love.

By 1600 hours (4:00 pm) I knew there was no way I could go to the restaurant for dinner, I knew I had to drink lots of water and should have some easy to digest dinner although I wasn’t hungry.  Not eating would only make me feel weaker and dizzier.

We watched the sunset from the veranda at the Chobe Safari Lodge.

By 1900 hours (7:00 pm) Tom delivered my plate of grilled chicken breast and a few steamed vegetables.  I encouraged Tom to relax and enjoy dinner in the restaurant while I ate half-sitting up in bed.  


Neither of us slept well as typical on the night before we fly away.  Fortunately, this morning I’m much better although still feeling a little dizzy. I’ll be OK to travel today. 

African sunsets are memorable.

After searching online I found this article from the USFDA on potential side effects from taking malaria pills. Please click here for details on that report. After reading this and other such articles, I’ve made a decision not to take malaria pills in our remaining seven months in Africa.  


Here’s an excerpt from that report:
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising the public about strengthened and updated warnings regarding neurologic and psychiatric side effects associated with the antimalarial drug mefloquine hydrochloride. A boxed warning, the most serious kind of warning about these potential problems, has been added to the drug label.  FDA has revised the patient Medication Guide dispensed with each prescription and wallet card to include this information and the possibility that the neurologic side effects may persist or become permanent. The neurologic side effects can include dizziness, loss of balance, or ringing in the ears.  The psychiatric side effects can include feeling anxious, mistrustful, depressed, or having hallucinations. (For a more complete list of potential side effects, see Additional Information for Patients).”

I’ll continue as I have all along, using copious amounts of insect repellent every six to eight hours and keep my arms and legs covered as much as possible.  Most often I get bit by mosquitos on exposed skin, not under my shirt and pants.  

Moments later the sun disappeared and we walked to the restaurant across the road for a gourmet meal as shown in yesterday’s post here.

If I have to wear my insect repellent clothing all summer long in Marloth Park I will and again when we’re in Kenya at the end of February and early March. This time while staying in Marloth Park neither of us have taken malaria pills.  The stay was just too long to safely continue taking these drugs.


Do we worry about getting malaria?  We hardly ever give it a thought when taking sensible precautions but this is up to you and your doctor should you visit a malaria-prone zone anywhere in the world.  This was the last time we’ll take them.  


Tom’s had no issues and will complete his regime for the seven days once we’re back in Marloth Park but he too, says they present too many risks to our liking.  We wouldn’t have taken them coming to Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe had the doctor not insisted it was imperative for these regions.

On the first safari when we went through the border between Zambia and Botswana we had to drive through a chemical that cleans the tires to prevent the spread of hoof and mouth disease.

Today, we share more of our photos from this week’s four safari adventures:  two game drives and two boat rides in Chobe National Park and on the Chobe River.  As you can see, we were hardly disappointed.  Many more photos will follow.


Tomorrow, we’ll post our final expenses for this one week in Zambia and Botswana.  I wasn’t up to putting them together these past few days but once we’re back in Marloth Park, I’ll tackle the numbers and share them with all of you.


Soon, we’re off for the airport and by 1730 hours (5:30 pm) we’ll be back in our own little paradise.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed for an easy immigration transition in Kruger/Nelspruit/Mpumalanga!


We’ll be back with you soon.  Have a great day!


________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, August 23, 2017:

Statue in a roundabout on our way toward San Jose, Costa Rica, known as Rotondo de las Garantias Sociales Zapote.  For more photos, please click here.11

The Chobe saga begins…Good food for the carnivores…

We were excited to get a view of the leopard’s face after waiting for a considerable period while Samson, our guide kept moving the vehicle for better shots.  Upon careful inspection of this photo, you can see the pads of the feet of her kill in the tree near her head.

“Sighting of the Day in Chobe National Park”

Cape Buffalo have a symbiotic relationship with cattle egrets who eat the ticks and other insects off their bodies preventing illness and infections.  Cape buffalo are well aware of this benefit and do not object to their presence. 

With literally hundreds of photos from four safaris in Chobe National Park, two each on land and the river, we almost don’t know where to begin.  Do we share our favorites first and wind down over a number of days to those of wildlife our readers have seen over and over again?  

When our guide maneuvered the safari vehicle for our photos, it was tricky getting into a good position.  There were nine of us in the vehicle and several other nearby vehicles with equal numbers of tourists, we were all jockeying for positions.

Or, do we spill “the best of the best” first and dwindle down to those animals and scenes which may have become familiar to all of you over the years of our wildlife adventures throughout the world?

The leopard was well aware of our presence and kept turning her back to us.

For expediency and perhaps a bit of laziness on my part, we’d decided to attempt to balance it out over this next week (or more, if necessary) with some of our favorites and others we look forward to posting which may not be as spectacular.

Of course, we would have preferred full-on face shots but it just wasn’t going to happen.

Dealing with hundreds of photos to pick and choose is a monumental task in itself.  Writing the text is easy comparatively.  Editing the post with a less than ideal Wi-Fi signal is challenging as well.  So bear with us.  

From time to time, she’d allow us a glimpse of her profile.

We’ll do our best to share our experience with all of you, our loyal reader, our new readers “getting their feet wet” in beginning to read our over 2200 posts and our occasional readers who may attempt to pick up where they left off or not.

But then, she’d put her head back down to nap after her tasty breakfast.

A person asked me, “If you go on safari over and over again, seeing the same animals, don’t you get bored?”

I answered, “If you watch football over and over again, seeing the same players, do you get bored?”

There are many islands in the Chobe River during this dry season.  The elephants swim back and forth from the land to the islands to partake of its rich vegetation.  Elephants are excellent swimmers.

Every time is different.  At this point, we couldn’t count how many times we’ve been on a game drive, either driving ourselves or being driven in a safari vehicle.  It doesn’t matter.  The fact remains, we aren’t bored.

In no time at all, she made her way to the island in the deep water.

No sooner than we climbed up into the safari vehicle or boat over these past days, the adrenaline rush flushed our minds and bodies with feel-good hormones as the sense of anticipation washed over us.

Once on the island, she joined the other members of her family.

A few times over these past few days, I described it to Tom like fishing…the anticipation is 75% of the excitement.  We get that same feeling when searching for wildlife scenes.  

There is varying speculation on how many elephants there are in Chobe National Park.  It ranges from 50,000 to 65,000.  During our four safaris, we saw no less than a thousand elephants.

For us, after many such experiences, the sighting of an impala or kudu may not be earth shattering but an impala attempting to mate or a kudu playfully dancing about is all new and elicits great feelings of pure joy and elation.

This was one of many crocs we spotted on the banks and in the water of the Chobe River.

In essence, that’s what we’re searching for, the unusual and less often sightings but all the while thoroughly enjoying the parade of elephants on an island in the crocodile-infested river or a dazzle of galloping zebras on the savanna.  It’s all quite exciting for us.

Tom’s fantastic dinner at the gourmet restaurant at Chobe Safari Lodge, located in a separate building we walked to in the dark with the sounds of wildlife around us.  There are no fences around Chobe National Park as there are in Kruger National Park.  One could easily encounter wildlife while out at night.

Of course, if you aren’t interested in wildlife, one way or another, none of our recent or upcoming posts over these next seven months will hold must interest for you.  Sorry about that.  As our longtime readers know, our posts aren’t always about wildlife and nature.  A year from now we’ll be at the end of our Baltic cruise…hardly a wildlife-rich experience.

This was the best-roasted leg of lamb in au jus that I’d ever had, moist, tender and delicious.

For now, we’re chomping at the bit to share nature’s bounty over these past several days.  And yes, once we’ve shared all we can, we’ll be back to posting our ongoing day to day adventures in Marloth Park. 

We made new friends while on safari, including Jean-Pierre and Patricia a wonderful couple from Nice, France.  

No words can describe how excited we are to return tomorrow to see all of our friends, both human and animal and to settle back into our lovely holiday bush home, “Orange…More than Just a Colour.”

Yumm…life is good.

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Photo from one year ago today, August 22, 2017:

Tom, walking toward the dental clinic in Costa Rica.  It didn’t seem to be in a great neighborhood with bars on windows and doors but we felt comfortable.  For more photos, please click here.

We’re in Chobe…What an adventure!…Fun facts about Chobe!…

“What the muck have I gotten myself into?” says Mr. Cape Buffalo (one of the Big Five).

“Sighting of the Day in Botswana”

“Why are all these humans staring at me?” says Ms. Baboon.

While we’re in Chobe (Botswana) we didn’t have ample free time to upload our hundreds of photos to get to work on them.  Yesterday morning Steve, our driver with Chris Tours, picked us up at 7:00 am and we didn’t get to our hotel room at the Chobe Safari Lodge until after 4:00 pm after a full day of game viewing.

The entrance gate to Chobe National Park.  Our guide enters the building to be given a route for our game drive.  Luckily, Samson was able to negotiate a route close to the river where wildlife congregates during the dry season.

With a dinner reservation for 1830 hrs (6:30 pm), with both of us desperately needing to shower before dinner, we knew we’d have little time to prepare the type of post we’d like to in order to best represent our full day’s experiences on a game drive in Chobe National Park and an afternoon cruise on the Chobe River.


Cape buffalo are safe around this young crocodile.  But, according to our guide Samson, once this croc is fully grown and a buffalo is floating in the water with hooves not touching the river bottom, they would be in grave danger.

No doubt, my expectations were high after the experiences we had three months ago engaged in these same activities.  Tom, on the other hand, kept his expectations in check.  But, like visiting Kruger National Park once a week as we do, one needs to temper expectations and go with the flow.  

Elephants have their own built-in snorkel.

There were a few stunning moments we’ll share in photos over the next week but for today, we’ll only be adding a few of the less exciting photos in order to save time including the gems from yesterday and today with the accompanying stories to go with them.

Luckily, as you see this post today, we have another full day of the same activities and hopefully, we’ll be back with some serious adventures in tomorrow’s post when we back in Livingstone, Zambia.

This elephant crossed the Chobe River with ease.  Elephants are great swimmers.

We stayed with the same group of six other people on the first day during both the land game drive, the buffet lunch at the resort and the boat safari in the afternoon.  


Today, we’ll meet an entirely new group of people.  The people we met yesterday were fantastic and we all shared wonderful stories of our world travels and love of wildlife. 

Man and boy canoeing in a channel of the Chobe River.

One couple from Switzerland and Germany had actually just come from a stay in a lodge in Marloth Park.  What a coincidence!  We chatted with a pair of traveling friends working together in Dubai with one of the two from Minnesota.  Another coincidence.  

Tom is right at home while on safari.  We’ve learned so much over these years, it’s all the more exciting.

The third couple is from Nice, France and although there was somewhat of a language barrier, we managed to engage in lively conversation.  Meeting these friendly people was an interesting and enjoyable experience.  


Of course, we handed out business cards and look forward to seeing them online, hopefully visiting us here on our site and saying hello on Messenger from time to time.

Warthogs, outside Chobe National Park, running from dogs chasing them as shown in the photo below.

The room at the Chobe Safari Lodge was excellent with views of the Chobe River.  Of course, early in the morning, we heard the magical sounds of hippos gurgling in the river…music to our ears…reminiscent of our time in the Maasai Mara in 2013 when we slept in a luxury tent on the Mara River awakening to the sounds of the hippos before sunrise.  See that link here.

Dogs chasing warthogs, outside the perimeter of the park.

After checking a few online resources we found these fun facts about Chobe we’re sharing today.  Please check below for details.


From this site:
1. Chobe National Park is divided into four different areas, each with distinctly unique geographical landscapes. They are as follows; the Savuti channel, Linyati wetlands, Serondella and Nogatsaa.
2. In 1888, the Savuti channel dried up completely and only flowed again in 1957, 70 years later. It is changeable and sporadic, but exceptionally diverse and beautiful.
3. The roads in Savuti are notoriously difficult to drive through due to the wet black cotton soil in the area.
4. Savute and Linyati have no internet and no mobile network coverage
All the more reason to take a digital detox and enjoy the simple pleasures of a Botswana safari
5. Before it was a national park, this area was used as trophy-hunting grounds and as a source of teak wood for the blooming timbre industry (both of which have been outlawed).
6. In the 1940’s, Chobe National Park fell under a major tsetse fly infestation. This has a great impact on the decision to declare the area a national park.
7. Gobabis Hill in Savuti has ancient San rock paintings that are estimated to be about 4000 years old.
8. Chobe National Park has the most elephants in all of Africa and you can literally feel the ground shake as a large herd moves by.
9. To celebrate their second wedding, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton married in secret at the Chobe National Park in 1975.
10. Victoria Falls is only a short drive away from the park. Don’t miss the chance to visit this magnificent feat of nature on your Botswana safari.
11. Rhino is the only Big Five animal that is not found easily in the park.  (At current speculation, there are only 13 rhinos in this massive national park).

Tonight, we’ll be back to our hotel in Livingstone, Zambia by dinnertime.  For ease, we’ll dine at the hotel which will be Tuesday evening and then, on Wednesday we’ll dine out once again.  

Our lovely room at the Chobe Safari Lodge in Chobe National Park in Botswana.

On Thursday morning, we’ll head to the airport in Livingstone to return to the Kruger/Nelspruit/Mpumalanga Airport which is a seven-hour turnaround.  At some point during the day on Thursday, we’ll upload a new post.  Most assuredly, we won’t be missing any day’s post during this trip but the times we upload them may vary.

Hopefully, all goes well with immigration when we re-enter South Africa on Thursday afternoon.  Either way, we’ll be sharing the details here.

Have a superb day and evening!

____________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, August 20, 2017:

This plant in the garden in Costa Rica had an interesting leaf pattern.  For more photos, please click here.

A tour of the visually enticing and historic city of Livingstone, Zambia…Twenty years from now?…Is it possible?…

A craftsman at work encouraged us to take the photo.

“Sighting of the Day in Zambia”

Everywhere we travel in Africa and other parts of the world, we see women, not men, carrying heavy baskets atop their heads.

We prepared today’s post yesterday after uploading the post for August 19th.  With a plan to leave the hotel in Livingstone with Steve from Chris Tours picking us up at 7:00 am, we realized there would be no time to prepare a new post for today.

Our driver dropped us off at this outdoor arts and crafts market in the center of town.

Luckily, the editing site in blogger allows us to select a time and date we’d like a particular post to be automatically uploaded.  This has proven to be invaluable for our commitment to post a new story with photos each and every day.

We encountered some of the most “assertive” vendors we’ve seen anywhere in the world, comparable to those in the souks in Marrakesh, Morocco.

No doubt, this commitment we made to our worldwide readers many years ago has kept us on our toes when we have activities planned that impinge upon the hours of the day we reserve for doing our posts.

Only one vendor refuses to allow us to take photos. (Not necessarily this one).  We respected his wishes.

Yes, I know.  Some of our kindly readers have written saying, “No worries, miss a post or two from time to time.”  Thanks to all of you for your support!  However, if we miss one or two posts here and there, suddenly we may find ourselves missing four or five or ten or twelve.  

The items offered for sale consisted of inexpensive jewelry, Africa themed arts and crafts, fabrics, clothing, toys and such.

We all know how this goes.  Change a consistent habit or process and suddenly it gets away from us.  It’s kind of like being on a diet…only one piece of cake and then I’ll go back to my diet.  

Often tourists can’t resist buying items for their homes.

Well, we know what happens then…a leftover piece of cake beacons us sitting in the fridge in the morning calling our name and once again we re-commit to the diet after we’re done eating this “one last piece.”

With no intent of making purchases, we wandered through the busy area stopping to appreciate some of the items.

Writing these daily posts is one diet we want to stick to, as long as we continue to travel the world and perhaps even after when we can’t continue any longer due to health as we age.  As long as I still have my wits about me, I can’t imagine ever stopping.

Colorful dolls with handmade detail.

Imagine, we had to stop traveling due to health concerns or merely old age and we were thrown into the reality of staying put.  How we handled this may be of some interest to others for both retirees and working folks.  

It appeared many shoppers could easily be locals shopping for themselves and for gifts.

At this point, neither of us can conceive of living out our lives without this magical way we approach each day.  But, most likely, someday, it will happen.  When I think that in 20 years, God willing, I’ll be 90 years old, its hard to imagine doing what we’re doing today…riding on bumpy dirt roads on safari in Chobe National Park in Botswana.

There are numerous banks and financial business in town.

I’m sure some travelers out there have done this at 90 years of age.  Please point them out to me.  I’d love some inspiration that it’s indeed possible, if not likely.  Tom will be a measly 85 years ago…quite the youngster.

A typical day in the city of Livingstone.

When I think of how fast the past 20 years flew by, it makes me realize how quickly the next 20 will come.  So, missing a day’s post is not in my wheelhouse.  Each day counts.  Each moment counts and our intent is to continue to live each one to the fullest, sharing our story with all of you.

We waited for our driver to pick us up while people watching on the busy street.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with a short post since we’ll be on safari all day once again.  However, we’ll upload a few photos from today’s safari and a few snippets of this return experience to Botswana.


May each moment of your day be special.

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Photo from one year ago today, August 20, 2017:

Lavender bougainvillea on the grounds of La Perla, villa in Atenas, Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.