The wonder in South Africa continues…

This giraffe didn’t seem to mind be included in the photo with us.  This photo was taken in our neighborhood. Louise explained that the giraffes will soon come to our house.
The warning regarding the monkeys is posted on the refrigerator door.
There’s so much to do here, it’s astounding. With safaris in Kruger Park to be arranged at any time we choose, game walks, bush dinners, trips to other areas, cultural experiences, and more, we’re absorbing the fact that we have three full months to plan and experience those we find most appealing.
For the moment, continuing to be thrilled with the bush around us and getting our equipment and supplies in order, we’re at peace with the decision to stay in this particular private home that has almost everything we need. 
A portion of the dirt road from the main road to our house. We’re isolated, but don’t mind.
With its two large bedrooms with two en suite baths, two living rooms, each on its own floor, and an open kitchen with almost every amenities (Louise is bringing us an electric coffee pot), including Tupperware, quality stainless steel pots and pans, dinnerware, we are more well equipped than we’ve been in a very long time.
This shot from our veranda reminded us of a scene in the movie, Out of Africa. But, this is the real deal, not a movie set in England.
Sleeping in a cool room with the covers over us in itself is an amazing treat. To take advantage of the two bedrooms, Tom and I each picked a bedroom and bath as our own, although we sleep together on the main floor. This way, we were able to unpack in our own chosen room and have the option to clutter our respective bathrooms. I picked the upstairs bedroom with the soaking tub. It was nice not to have to share a small cupboard space with our remaining sparse supply of clothing.
Our new home in the bush, far from the nearest house.  The house has a security system and all windows and doors have steel accordion-type safety gates to keep out any intruders, animals, or human.
Unfortunately, there was no hot water this morning so I opted for the shower in my bathroom, albeit with cold water. As of now, noon, there’s hot water again, which hopefully lasts until Tom shower’s before dinner. 
This large dirt driveway is befitting the property and easy to navigate including wildlife visitors and, human visitors, each of which we’ve had several.
Our new houseman is Zeff. This morning he and Louise appeared at our door at 8:30 so he could clean and, she could see if we needed anything. The price of our rental includes two weekly visits from Zeff, all of our laundry, towels, and changing the linen. If we want him for addition visits, we pay ZAR $50, US $4.90 per visit. We’re tidy and doubt we’ll need additional visits.
The braai is the South African word for a barbeque. This is in our massive yard, only feet from the veranda and the pool.
Having already used one large bottle of water, Louise took to the bottle to be refilled at the local water store, Credence Clear Water Revival, returning it refilled a short time later. The cost of this is included in our rent. 
The service is unbelievable.  Louise is unbelievable.
Another view of our 2 story house.
She brought us a jar of organic coconut oil as yet another welcome gift. Also, she explained how we can save money booking our own events since the company she represents requires they charge an “upcharge” for organizing safaris and tours. Giving us phone numbers of their preferred tour guides, we have begun contacting them on our own.
There are three verandas in this house.  We are free to move any of the outdoor furniture to fit our needs.  This second main floor veranda doesn’t provide as good a view for watching for wildlife, so I doubt we’ll use it.
Last night, Dillon, a suggested local safari guide, stopped by offering (without any prompting from us)  to contact us when he has two open spots for safaris, enabling us to get a discounted price. The last minute is fine for us. By throwing on the BugsAway clothing, hats, socks, and boots, we can be ready in five minutes, camera, and binoculars in tow.  After all, we don’t have much of a schedule to follow. Yet.
Yet to find the name of these birds, we were excited to get this shot of mom or dad feeding a baby. Look at those yellow eyes!
After all of our whining in Kenya about the heat and bugs, we continue to sit outside all day, fearful of missing  “visitors.” However, if we get hot or the bugs are annoying, which are present in abundance, we need only go inside the house to park ourselves in either of our two living rooms, one of which has a TV. We doubt we’ll ever watch it. Yesterday, I suggested that we watch the news. But, Tom said, “Why bother? It’s only frustrating.” I agreed.
Mom or Dad and baby looking out for food sources.  The baby is well protected by her parent. These birds kept flying about, but I waited patiently to get these shots.
Last night, we dined in the house. Tonight, we’ll dine outside paying special attention to never leave food on the table when we go indoors. It’s a necessary precaution with the monkeys we’ve seen watching us.
“I’ve got a bug for you, darling.  Come and get it!”
Our dining out routine begins tomorrow with the hope of dining out three nights per week. There are three restaurants in Marloth Park but a 40 minute drive each way to others. I’ve already begun contacting some of the all-inclusive resorts nearby to see if they’ll allow us to dine at their lodges with their guests. 
By explaining that we’ll post reviews and photos of their properties, the response has been very good. With our worldwide readership, this option for “free advertising” has been a benefit to us, getting some ‘extras,” not expected but none the less appreciated.
Tomorrow, we’ll post more wildlife photos of visitors to our property and photos of the interior of the house. Every day in Marloth Park is a new day. 

Comments and responses The wonder in South Africa continues…

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Hi from Pat

    I certainly do not think it is easy living in Africa but I do think it is as you said, "The rewards outweigh the hardships".

    Thanks for the name of your camera, Dan appreciates it too.

    Your new home looks very nice and sounds a lot more comfortable than your previous one in Diani Beach. And it appears you are going to be very busy with all the activities available.

    You speak of having to be careful and alert around the animals, as it should be, but right here in the US in the suburbs of Orlando, Florida, a 57 year old woman was attacked by a black bear while walking her 2 small dogs. This happened today and the report was that she had traumatic injuries. It seems so impossible that a bear would be in that area. The reporter stated that there is an increase in the number of bears and also deer. The deer are causing billions of dollars of damage in landscaping and automobile accidents as well as deaths caused by striking a deer with your automobile. So I guess we need to be careful and alert also.

    Oh, I loved the bird pictures also. My 12 year old grandson has discovered bird watching and is keeping a log of the different birds he has seen so far. He has a book that identifies them. It is cute to see him so excited when he discovers a new one. Last week when he was at our house, towards the evening, we saw a Great Horned Owl. He was very excited as he ran for the binoculars. He has identified and written down 41 birds so far. He even sits and sketches them and he does a very good job. It is always neat to see the young people become aware of nature and how important it is to life.

    Getting late again and after a day of shopping and cleaning, I am really tired.

    Until tomorrow,


  2. Jessica Reply

    Dear Pat,
    It is sad to hear about the bear attack in Florida. As Tom and I have learned there is no safe place anywhere in the world. And there is only so much one can do to reduce the risks.

    Precautions are important but from time to time, we allow ourselves a little danger. As Tom and I sat outside yesterday hearing the nearby roar of a lion, we held our breath with excitement as we devised as fast escape plan. Our hearts were pounding. We never saw him but the sounds alone were an adventure. Normally, lions don't cross the river into Marloth Park but we'd heard that on occasion they do.

    Your grandson's interest in birds is exciting. He needs a great camera so he can make a album of all that he has seen. It's wonderful that he's taken an interest in nature.

    I'm off to start the post for today with some good photos to be added and finish up later when we return. We're going out today for some shopping for supplies and tonight for dinner.

    Have a great day.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

  3. Kari Lyman Snell Reply

    Love the photos of your new house in Africa. So looking forward to many more photos that you share. Enjoy your time and outings there. I'm jealous to see the pictures with both you and Tom wearing Summer clothing when we are bundling up in Minnesota due to temperatures going down to -7 this weekend.


    Kari Lyman Snell
    Champlin, Minnesota USA

  4. Jessica Reply

    Kari, how sweet of you to comment here. We love hearing from you and appreciate you sharing about us on Facebook as well. It's wonderful to know you are following along with us.

    So sorry about the weather in MN. But every place has it pluses and minuses. Often warmer climates can be too hot. Here in South Africa, the weather seems to change daily and today after a huge storm last night, it's so cool, I am chilled sitting outdoors, a feeling we're both appreciating right now.

    Take care in the cold and please write anytime.

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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