Thinking of future plans for visiting family in the US…Giraffe attack in South Africa…

Kudus are usually early morning visitors, although we’ll occasionally see them during the day and evening. 

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Guess who always has the right of way?  He stopped traffic while leisurely meandering across Oliphant Drive, the paved road in Marloth Park.

As much as we strive to live in the moment, it’s hard not to think about plans, mainly when they include returning to the US to see family. With our current itinerary, we’ll land in Minnesota on April 8, 2019, staying until April 25, 2019, for a total of 17 nights.

It’s always exciting to see hippos by the river. Hippos are the most dangerous land animals on the planet, killing more humans than any other: “The hippopotamus is often cited as the most dangerous large animal in the world, killing an estimated 500 people a year in Africa.

As it turns out, we’ll be returning to Minnesota again 17 months later (in September 2020) for daughter Tammy’s 50th birthday boating trip, which Tom will attend while I spend time with son Greg and his family.

In between these two planned trips, we’ll be returning to the US again to visit son Richard in Henderson, Nevada, and sister Susan in Las Vegas, Nevada, where we’ll spend Thanksgiving 2019. It looks like I’ll be cooking the Thanksgiving dinner since Richard also follows a low-carb way of eating, and it’s fun to adapt the traditional menu items accordingly.

They all get along well when there’s plenty of food on the ground. They start pushing, shoving, and kicking one another as soon as it gets low, although not with much vigor.

After Thanksgiving, we’ll head to Apache Junction, Arizona, to see Tom’s three sisters (and two spouses) who spend their winters in the warmer weather, as opposed to “roughing it” in frigid Minnesota. We may stay a few weeks, depending on available accommodations, which are pricey in Arizona.

Female zebras often stop by with their young, all looking for pellets, carrots, and apples.

From there, we’ll be heading back to South America, which is an easy flight from the US. We’re still up in the air as to which countries we’ll visit and in which order, but we’ll decide over this next year. We’d like to see several sites we missed last time we were there.

It will be great to see family during these three US visits, which will occur between April 8, 2019, and around September 25, 2020. In total, we’ll be spending approximately 53 days in the US during this time frame. Then, we’ll be off for the next chapter of our world journey.

A new mom and baby bushbuck stopped by the first time. Bushbuck moms hide their young for the first few months while she forages during the day enabling the baby to nurse freely at night. The mom eats the baby’s feces to deter predators.  After a few months, the youngster joins the mom in her daily grazing. This was the tiniest bushbuck we’ve seen, who may have been out with mom for the first few times. 

Other than staying at son Richard’s home in Henderson, we’ll be staying in hotels for the remainder of these periods. We don’t want our grandchildren in Minnesota giving up their bedrooms for our visits and, I’m allergic to cats which two of our three kids have as pets. It will all work out.

“Elephants may spend 12-18 hours a day feeding. Adult elephants can eat between 91 kg – 272 kg (200-600 pounds) of food daily. As herbivores, elephants consume grasses, tree foliage, bark, twigs, and other vegetation daily. Elephants can also drink up to 189 liters (50 gallons) of water a day, about as much as a standard bathtub holds.”

For now, our top priority is reveling in whatever time we have left in Marloth Park, South Africa. And celebrate, we do! Again, last night we had a spectacular time at Jabula Lodge & Restaurant, constantly being made to feel so welcomed by our hosts, Dawn and Leon.  

The food, as always, is fresh, hot, and delicious, cooked perfectly for my diet. It couldn’t have been any more enjoyable, except, when we pulled out of the parking lot at the end of the evening, four giraffes were blocking the road. I tried to take a photo in the dark, but their placement made it impossible.  

During the dry season, the elephants can sustain themselves, grazing on surrounding greenery.

It’s foolhardy to get out of the car around giraffes. Only recently, we’d read a new story of a giraffe with her calf who attacked a woman and her three-year-old son while at a game reserve. Click here for the news article on this dreadful situation.  

During the upcoming rainy season, this entire area will be covered in water, providing a rich source of water and surrounding vegetation for wildlife to thrive.

The giant animals are very protective of their young, and one swift kick could be deadly. Apparently, according to this article, the giraffe and her calf are being relocated to another reserve.  

This is why when we spot giraffes on our daily drives through Marloth Park, we stay in our little car, regardless of how motivated we are for good photos.  Otherwise, locals and visitors may be on foot, on bikes, and on paths staying mindful to remain at a reasonable distance when encountering large animals.

With no rain to speak of for many months, the elephants take advantage of any water they can find on the Crocodile River.

After all, these are wild animals regardless of how attached we become to them in their frequent visits and how generously we feed them pellets, carrots, and apples.

Today, we’ll head out on yet another drive. It’s cool and cloudy and a perfect day for a drive. A pleasant Sunday dinner has been prepped to be cooked when we return, a beef roast for Tom and a chicken “flattie’ for me. It will be another good day.

May your day be good as well!

Photo from one year ago today, September 16, 2017:

We didn’t see any reason to walk on the rickety old railroad bridge in Costa Rica. For more photos of the railway station, please click here.

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