Visitors and more visitors…Eight sets in one day…Astounding!…

The following photos were all taken in our yard on Monday, December 9, 2013, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, during which we counted eight separate groups, none repeats, on that same day from what we could tell. The eight groupings are separated by paragraphs of text for easy viewing.
Various groups of kudu males came to call throughout the day. 
Notice the impalas in the background to the right.
The female kudu’s big pinkish ears perk up to full attention when we moved about taking the photos. We walked softly and whispered to avoid scaring them off.
This shot was taken while we were sitting at the table on the veranda. They were so close to the railing that we didn’t want to scare them off by standing up as they gingerly approached.
Their huge horns are a sight to behold.
She says, “What’s with all the photos?”  Notice the hair standing up on her back.

How can this be? How can we walk out onto the veranda each morning, coffee in hand, to not only find evidence of visitors in the rain-soaked driveway, but a wide array of visitors themselves coming and going throughout the day, often looking directly at us with curiosity? Of course, we return the look without fear in an effort to let them know they have nothing to fear from us, welcoming them to stay for as long as they’d like. After all, this is their home, not ours.

The impalas appear to be the most skittish of all the larger wildlife we’ve seen so far. We hardly breathed, taking this photo.
Blurry and distant, but none the less, in the yard.
We hoped they’d have moved closer to us. We were thrilled to see them.

Most often, they stay for an hour or more nibbling on trees or grass, to finally make their way to “greener pastures,” or, perhaps they are like us humans, making our way through the buffet line, anticipating the best morsel yet to come.

These zebras appeared to be a different group from those that had visited in the past. It’s not easy to memorize the stripe patterns, all different, but we’ve tried.
Many tourists have been known to hand feed the wildlife. As much as we’d enjoy this, we refrain for their safety and ours. Hand feeding them may make it difficult for them to forage for food and become too domestic. We chose to enjoy them in their natural habitat.
It felt as if these zebras were waiting for us to hand feed them, as they patiently stood at our railing. We don’t doubt they’ll return anyway.
They’d pushed the gate open!
Neither of these two zebras seemed to mind being in this photo with me.

How did we find our way to Marloth Park? How did we find this magical location? How was it that it popped up about 20 months ago on my computer screen to leave me anxious for Tom to return from work that evening anxious to tell him what my day of searching had revealed. 

Having gone inside for a moment, we missed the remainder of the mongoose family that ran off the moment we came back outside. Can’t leave for a moment!

At the time he said, “Oh, boy. What are we getting ourselves into?” Now, he says, “Oh, boy! This is unbelievable!” He loves it as much as I do.

This mom warthog is always staring at us with the babies in tow. If we move quickly, she’ll quickly jump away.
Our resident warthog family of two moms and seven babies, never fail to stop by and we never fail to welcome them.
Many visitors enjoy the shade under the carport.

We’d booked Kenya first, from photos we’d found on Homeaway. Once the booking for Kenya was cemented, we agreed, “If we’re going to be all the way to Africa, let’s extend our time there by visiting other countries.”

Later in the day, more impalas arrived to partake of the abundant greenery in the yard.
This impala posing made me jump for joy!

It was only a week or two later that I literally stumbled across Marloth Park. At the time, I felt that choosing Marloth Park was one step down from Kruger Park, a short distance away, which has hardly proved the case. This is definitely paradise. The price and private house with its many amenities was appealing. But, above all the lure of the wildlife roaming free around the house cinched the deal for both of us.

This appeared to be a separate grouping of males that visited later in the afternoon.
The kudu’s markings are consistent on the face; a white chevron on the bridge of the nose as well as an adorable white mustache.
Using a gentle voice they move closer to us.
Their spindly legs are well-formed and strong.
This amply horned male stood proud for us. No zoom was used in this photo.
We’ve developed a special affinity for these majestic animals weighing as much as 760 pounds, 366 kg. The biggest known kudu in Marloth Park, which we’ve seen once so far, is “Kevin” as named by the locals. We posted Kevin’s photo on the December 6, (click here to see) when we’d gone on a local game drive with Leon, the owner of Jabula Lodge.
One of the kudus is always on watch as the others nibble on bits of vegetation. They seem to love the greens at the base of this grouping of a few trees.
These young males practicing for next spring’s dominance to impregnate females. Sadly, on occasion, the male’s antlers may become locked. Unable to separate, they eventually die of starvation.

Now, having been to Kruger Park with its many lodges and resorts we know we’ve made the right choice for us. It was unaffordable to stay in a lodge for three months. We don’t care for camping. And, Marloth Park has proved to be beyond our wildest dreams. 

Although this photo is similar to another we posted a few days ago, this was from our eight group sightings on Monday, December 9th when later in the day the second group of zebras visited. The attendance of this young male prompted us to determine that these were new visitors.
This zebra was pushy, making light taps on the railing to get our attention.
Two heads are better than one.
“We love it under the carport! My turn!”
Zebras seem to be the most curious and fearless.
Unprompted by any noise or distraction by us, they decided it was time to leave our yard. As we’ve seen with other wildlife, the biggest male seems to “hold up the rear.”

Each new day brings an entirely new day of wonderful surprises that we’ll never tire of in our three months in Marloth Park, a much longer stay than most travelers.  But, it’s a pittance compared to the many homeowners that live here full-time or have made this area their second home which they visit several times each year.

Thank you, Louise and Danie, for providing for the comforts while we’re here, and thank you, wildlife, for gracing us with your presence. We’ll never forget.

Comments and responses Visitors and more visitors…Eight sets in one day…Astounding!…

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Hi again,

    You were certainly right about your day being astounding! You got some really good pictures of the Kudo looking directly at the camera. I have never studied them before like I could with your pictures. Their markings were so pretty, I especially liked the red on the ears. I will definitely pay more attention when we go to our Zoo the next time.

    The zebras really did look like they were waiting for a handout and after deciding that they were not getting any, it was time to move on. You look so cute standing there with the zebras at the fence. It really is exciting to see all these different animals coming right to your yard. You did some good planning when you put together this African trip. I was a little nervous about your being in Kenya and Diani Beach, but this place is heavenly. You have your entertainment right at your door and more creature comforts than before.

    We had another busy day running errands and doing household chores. For dinner I cooked pork chops and made a salad. After cleaning up, I went into the family room to wrap more presents. Dan had started a fire in the fireplace and we watched an old movie called, "The Kissing Bandit" with Frank Sinatra. It was so corny that it was funny. Sinatra was so young in it that I guess he was just starting out. But it was fun to sit and laugh!

    Later I told Dan that it is so late that I won't be able to write to Jess. But then I just had to check your blog to see the visitors you had for the day. Your blog is like a magnet pulling me in, I have to see what you and Tom are up to. Then, of course, I have to respond. So here I am at the computer and it is approaching midnight. That's ok because remember, we are retired and tomorrow is, hopefully, a slow day.

    Thinking of you probably sitting on your veranda by now, Lucky!!!!


  2. Jessica Reply

    Good day, Pat!

    You're so thoughtful to write even when you're pooped from the day. As you get busier with Christmas, please don't worry about writing. I will look forward to "seeing" you again in the New Year. Before you know it, you'll be going on your cruise.

    We just moved out to the veranda. Big storm overnight. It blew our outdoor cushions around. We cleaned everything up and now are comfortable in out regular spot so I can write today's post. Right now, there is a female and male Zebra visiting. I did get up to say hello. They are such gentle animals.

    Sounds as if you had a nice dinner and movie. We did the same last night after a very exciting day yesterday which we'll share tomorrow. Wait until you see who came to call!

    Have a wonderful day of "retirement" doing exactly what you'd like to do. Isn't that what it's about after all?

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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