When does this ever happen?…

We spotted this giraffe in the parking lot at the medical clinic when we stopped by for PRC tests required for us to travel tomorrow.

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There’s never a time we aren’t in awe of wildlife in Marloth Park and yesterday was no exception. We drove into the parking lot of the medical clinic for our PCR tests in the park, and lo and behold. A giraffe was in the parking lot. We couldn’t help but laugh when both of us said simultaneously, “When would you ever see a giraffe in the doctor’s office parking lot?”

We looked at one another, and Tom said, “Never before in my lifetime.”

We had our tests, and a short while later, when we exited the building, the giraffe was still there, munching on the treetops of what appeared to be lush and green. Giraffes’ food sources are more abundant during the dry winter months when they only have to share, instead of hundreds of herbivore animals living off green vegetation close to the ground.

Kudus, taller than most wildlife, can reach portions of greenery on trees within their reach, but in no time at all, those sources disappear during the dry winter months. At this point, we hardly see any options for the kudus, wildebeests, impalas, duikers, and others in the antelope family.

Warthogs love to eat grasses, indigenous plants, and bushes, and roots they dig up with their tusks and snouts. With the ground dry and hard-packed, the option to dig up roots is slim to none this time of year. No wonder they and the other grazers are frequently hovering around bush houses in hopes of human-provided sustenance in the way of pellets, sweet potatoes, vegetable scraps, carrots, apples, and bananas.

Warthogs are picky about vegetables. They never eat cabbage, lettuce, or other leafy greens and often turn up their noses when we offer them carrots. The other antelope will eat any of the fruits mentioned above and vegetables. Bushbucks and kudus particularly love cabbage, and we often buy a few giant heads to share with them.

Here’s a “Little” look-alike with two oxpeckers cleaning his ears. Very funny! He also looked as if he was in a trance.

Today, we’re packing and getting as much done as possible. While we’re away, Vusi and Zef will do a “spring cleaning” on the house. It will be spotless when we return on October 26th to begin our remaining 90 days in Marloth Park until we depart on January 23rd.

Knowing they would be doing the spring clean, along with defrosting the refrigerator, we washed towels and organized spaces to ensure there was less clutter than usual. Although we both are tidy, we often have our digital equipment, suitcases, and various items sitting out. We’re not exempt from having some clutter.

We’ve eaten most of the food in the refrigerator with only a small amount remaining in the freezer, which we’ll drop off to Louise later today to store in her big freezer.

Twice this morning, Tom headed to the carwashes for a total clean on the rental car for tomorrow’s return when we arrive at the Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger Airport. There are two carwashes in Marloth Park, one of which was closed today and the other on both occasions, busy cleaning trucks and other vehicles. Tom would have had to wait for hours. Instead, we paid Vusi extra, over and above the tips we tendered for both of them, for him to do the thorough car cleaning.  He’s outside now wrapping it up. We do not doubt that he’ll do an exceptional job.

Are we excited about going to Zambia now that we aren’t doing the expensive cruise on the river? We are. The short flight is no longer than the drive to the airport. We already know about the quality of the hotel when we’ve stayed there twice in the past and feel good about returning. There are several restaurants we’ve enjoyed in the past which we’ll visit once again.

The oxpeckers went after Thick Neck also. He got a glazed look on his face when they started cleaning off his hide.

Once situated, we may decide on a few sightseeing venues we are looking into now. We’ve already experienced the significant events the area has to offer, but we may choose a few remaining highlights, depending on availability while we are there.

At the moment, Tom is checking us in on tomorrow’s flight. Soon, we’ll hear back on our PCR tests, and as the day progresses, we’ll wrap up our packing, which is minimal for this five-day trip.

We won’t be posting tomorrow until later in the day, once we’re situated at our hotel in Livingstone, Zambia. Thus, the post may appear four or five hours later than usual.

Have a super day!

Photo from one year ago today, October 20, 2020:

 This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #211. The Gold Dust Day Gecko’s full-body shot shows the colorful spots on her back and the cute little blue fingers. For more photos, please click here.

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