We made it to Zambia…Settling in for another week…

The matriarch blasts a sound, “Come on kids, back up the hill. Playtime is over.”

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Mom and baby making their way back up the hill, as they follow the matriarch who’d signaled it was time to go.

Around 4:30 am I awoke with a start. Something was off. It took a few minutes for me to realize the power was out. I checked my new phone to see we didn’t have wi-fi which goes down when the power is out.

Driving down a dirt road, we spotted this male ostrich fluffing his feathers in this pile of bush debris. At one point, he spread his wings and did some mating ritual-type dancing.
Oh, no, I thought, we’re getting up at 6:00 am and there won’t be hot water for showers or lights to put ourselves together for today’s trip to Zambia for our second visa-stamp exit from South Africa in the past six months.
When he noticed us at a distance, he stood up to watch what we were going to do.

As many of our readers are well aware, South Africa only allows US citizens a visa for 90 days in their country. The laws dictate that we cannot exit and re-enter from any of the many countries bordering South Africa. Plus, if we fly in and out of Johannesburg, the hub, we may not be able to get back in.

The cape buffalos don’t seem to mind the presence of the elephants.

Subsequently, our safest bet has been to fly from the tiny airport in Nelspruit (an over one hour drive from Marloth Park), fly to the only country to which that particular airport flies non-stop without stopping in Johannesburg, where immigration laws are considerably more stringent.  

Our fingers are crossed this will work out again (and one more time in November) when we return from Zambia on August 23rd through the Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger airport.  

A massive matriarch elephant with a herd of cape buffalos.

Now that I’ve explained this necessity one more time (sorry to our readers who’ve heard this many times), our immediate concern this morning was getting ready to leave with no power. The house was dark when we got out of bed.  

More cape buffalos and an elephant, two of the Big Five in one scene.

Determined to shower even if it was in cold water, I was shocked to discover some hot water remained in the pipes, long enough for me to take a quick shower and for Tom to do the same.

Tossing mud and water to stay cool on a very hot day.

Somehow, using a flashlight and a small hand mirror, I was able to get myself looking presentable enough to tackle the day. About 30 minutes before we left to begin the drive, the power came back on, giving us time to recharge our digital equipment, pack it up and be on our way.

The drive to the airport during which we encounter road construction took 90 minutes this time but we arrived in plenty of time for our 11:35 am flight. From there, everything went smoothly.

Lessons in rough play.

Our driver from Chris Tours, Steve was waiting for us at the curb with a sign with my name and he whisked us off to the Protea Hotel Livingstone with a stop at an ATM for cash, Zambian kwacha, and a quick trip to a pharmacy.  

A mom and a maturing offspring.

Tom felt like a cold or hayfever was coming on and he needed a nasal spray and antihistamine, just in case. Once we checked into the hotel and got situated in our lovely hotel room, he seems to be doing better. We have no time for colds and being sick!

The last time we stayed at this same hotel, we had a second-floor room with no elevator in the complex. This time, upon our request, we’re located on the main floor close to everything. Perfect.

This one-tusk elephant was sitting down in the vegetation.

Tonight, we’ll head to our favorite restaurant in Livingstone, Cafe Zambezi, as we’re both contemplating the fabulous food we enjoyed last time we were here, a mere three months ago.

Tomorrow, we’ll explore the town of Livingstone which we hadn’t done much last time we were here. We were too busy with the tours we’d arranged at the time.  

More elephants on the bank of the Crocodile River in Marloth Park.

Now with only two days and one overnight booked to go to Chobe National Park and stay at the Chobe Safari Lodge, we’ll have more free time to check out the historic town, known for its gateway to Victoria Falls. Last time we visited the falls from both the Zambia and Zimbabwe sides which resulted in a full day.

Thanks to Louise and Danie for stopping by for a “sundowner” last night and the treasured handmade gift of a jar of 90% dark chocolate-covered coffee beans.  What a treat when the sweet tooth hits after dinner! Such good friends!

Truly a large parade of elephants on the river.

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with new photos of Zambia we’ll be sharing along the way. Today, we’re finishing posting a few Marloth Park photos we’d taken earlier in the week.  Our posts over this next week will be uploading at varying times of the day based on the tours we’re planning. But, there will be a new post daily.

May your day be filled with new adventures, big and small, regardless of where you may be.

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

We’d been anxious to get photos of unusual frogs in Costa Rica, especially the colorful species. That will have to wait until we get out soon. We’d yet to see a colorful frog at the villa. But, this plain frog attached to Henry’s left rear bumper satisfied me for now. Check out those toes!  For more, please click here.

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