Part 8...Leopard Day!...If you think the Big Five is something...How about the "Ridiculous Nine!!!...Day spent in Kruger with friends!



"Leopards are capable of carrying animals heavier than themselves and will often drag their prey into the fork of a tree several meters off the ground. This tree "lardering" protects the carcass against scavengers and allows a few days of undisturbed feeding."
















"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"

Southern ground hornbill on a walk in Kruger. "The southern ground hornbill is characterized by black coloration and vivid red patches of bare skin on the face and throat (yellow in juvenile birds), which are generally believed to keep dust out of the bird's eyes while they forage during the dry season. The white tips of the wings (primary feathers) seen in flight are another diagnostic characteristic. The beak is black and straight and presents a casque, more developed in males. Female southern ground hornbills are smaller and have violet-blue skin on their throats. Juveniles to six years old lack the prominent red pouch, but have a duller patch of grey in its place."
Most of today's photo captions were acquired from this site.
It's 1500 hours (3:00 pm) and we just returned from Kruger National Park for our self-drive for the four of us.  We piled in the little car and headed to the park with reasonably low expectations after our "Ridiculous Nine" adventure week ago today.

I'm rushing to get done in order to leave in a little over an hour to go to Lisa's (from Wild and Free Rehabilitation) property here in Marloth Park  where we'll have sundowners with Lisa and Deidre (whom we visited with yesterday at the rehab center in Hectorspuit) and see the rescued bushbabies.  
"These big cats eat a variety of food, from wildebeest to fish, but most of their diet comes in the form of antelope. Baboons and leopards appear to be ancient enemies. Leopards will often stalk baboons sleeping in the trees at night, and try to carry off one of the troop. There has been a case recorded in which a leopard that tried to attack a baboon in broad daylight was torn to pieces by the rest of the troop, which quickly came to the shrieking primate's defense."
This will be more excitement for Tom and Lois who are reveling in one fascinating outing after another. Of course, we're loving every moment as well.
Our day is Kruger was excellent as we'll be adding to our bursting inventory of photos we've yet to post.

The days and nights have been more action-packed than our usual schedule but we've thoroughly enjoyed all the activity and look forward to more during our guest's remaining 12 days until they depart to return to the USA.

"The leopard's hunting technique is to either ambush its prey or to stalk it. In either instance, it tries to get as close as possible to its target. It then makes a brief and explosive charge (up to 60km/h), pouncing on its prey and dispatching it with a bite to the neck. Leopards do not have the aptitude to chase their quarry over any kind of distance and will give up if the initial element of surprise is lost and the intended victim gets away."
Last night we did a repeat dinner at Ngwenya Lodge and Restaurant but ran into a major snafu on my part.  I must explain how this all came to pass by backtracking to last Saturday night.

Lately, I've been drinking low-alcohol wine which is readily available in South Africa by a few well-respected vineyards. Both the very dry red and white wines appeal to me but there are several restaurants in the area that don't regularly have these on their menus.
"The leopard is a graceful animal with an elongated body, relatively short legs, and a long tail. After the lion, it is the next-biggest African cat with an average body mass of between 60kg and 70kg, standing about two-thirds of a meter tall at the shoulder. Leopards in the wild may live up to 15 years. Unlike the lion, the leopard is a silent creature, only occasionally emitting a cough-like call."
As a result, I asked to pay a corkage fee and bring the low-alcohol wine for my consumption bringing home whatever is left in the bottle after my few glasses.  This has been well received by the restaurants.  

Generally, the corkage fee has been around ZAR 30 (US $2.09), not per glass but per evening.  Since I don't drink soda and don't care to drink plain water, this choice of wine, although not very strong in alcohol content, makes me feel as if I'm joining in the "sundowner" festivities.

Last Saturday night, with the four of us out to dinner at Jabula, I brought along an unopened bottle of Four Cousins Skinny Dry Red, my favorite.  Once we were all seated at the bar, Lyn, our hostess explained they now were carrying this same wine.  I was thrilled.  

We'd keep the bottle I'd brought along in my cloth grocery bag where I had the camera and a few odds and ends, never giving it another thought.  When it was time to pay our bill and end the evening, I accidentally placed the bag on the floor with a little too much vigor.  The wine bottle broke.
"Leopards are the least social - and perhaps the most beautiful - of the African big cats. They usually keep to themselves, lurking in the dense riverine bush or around rocky koppies, emerging to hunt late in the afternoon or at night."
If that's all that had transpired I wouldn't have given it much of a thought.  But, alas, the camera was in the bag and was totally destroyed by the red wine.  It was undoubtedly damaged beyond repair.

We had two identical cameras.  The one I destroyed was the older of the two.
We need two cameras since Tom has become more and more proficient at taking photos and we are often in situations where we're both taking shots simultaneously.

I left the destroyed camera on the table in the living room with both the data card and batteries out to at least ensure those weren't ruined.  I never gave it another thought other than to wonder how and when we'd replace the camera.  It's not as if there are many camera stores within any decent distance.  

Our friends, Lois, and Tom from New Jersey, USA, whom we met two years ago on the 33-night cruise that circumvented the continent of Australia.
The closest camera store in a five-hour car ride to Johannesburg and neither of us are interested in such a long distance drive.  We'll figure something out and report what we've decided at a later date.

So, last night, as we prepared to go to Ngwenya for another evening of river viewing, I grabbed the camera and off we went.  Little did I realize that I'd accidentally picked up the "dead" camera.  

Nor did we expect or know that there would be four rhinos in plain sight at the river from the veranda at Ngwenya.  I was heartsick.  Rhinos are hard to spot and there I was without a working camera.  Tom and Lois used an iPhone for photos and it doesn't have the long-distance capacity for these distant shots.

I asked a lovely woman at a table with her family next to ours if she'd send me a few of her photos.  I gave her our business card and she kindly complied.  She even went as far as handing her camera over to me so I could take a few shots myself.
Tom and I with friends Lois and Tom at Aamazing River View restaurant, overlooking the Crocodile River.
Hopefully, it will work out for her to send me the photos so we can post them soon.  In the interim, I put away the defunct camera, out of plain sight and will rely upon the camera we have left until we come up with a solution.

Oh, well, so it goes.  It's pointless for us to complain when we've had nothing but one great experience after another.  We're very grateful.  We'll live with it.

It's time to get ready to go to Lisa's home to see the bushbabies and share some sundowners with her and Deidre who'll also join us.  We'll be back with posts regarding our experiences with Wild and Free at both of these rescue locations.

Have a fantastic evening!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 19, 2017:
Although this Flame Tree appears to be sprouting bananas, these yellow pods are actually the flower prior to blooming.  Its a favorite spot for birds that stop for a visit including another variety of the popular flycatcher.  For more photos please click here.

Part 7...Rhino Day!...If you think the Big Five is something...How about the "Ridiculous Nine!!!...Day spent in Kruger with friends!


"A rhinoceros, commonly abbreviated to 'rhino', is one of any five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae, as well as any of the numerous extinct species. Two of the extant species are native to Africa and three to Southern Asia."
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
"Here are five interesting facts about them: These huge birds of prey have a wingspan of up to 2.4 meters, with the females larger than the males. African fish eagles are very efficient hunters and only hunt for about 10 minutes each day. Besides fish, they also eat young birds, monkeys, baby crocodiles, and frogs."
Note:  Some of today's photo captions were taken from this site.  Today's rhino photos are a combination of those we took last Friday and other's we'd yet to post from prior visits to Kruger.

The wonderful adventures continue with friends Tom and Lois.  Every day is action-packed with a combination of sightings in the garden, Kruger National Park and the Marloth Park fence overlooking the Crocodile River into Kruger.
Two rhinos grazing together.
Add in the fabulous dinners at a variety of local restaurants as well as right here at our holiday home as we make good home-cooked meals, we couldn't all be enjoying ourselves more.

Rhinos grazing in the grass in Kruger.  (Photo was taken a few months ago).
It's especially meaningful to see how much our guests are totally engrossed in the wildlife.  We had no idea it would mean so much to the two of them, as they revel in every aspect of life in the bush, a totally unexpected experience for them both.
"The White Rhino is the third largest land mammal. Massive, stocky, and with a reputation of being not quite as aggressive as the Black Rhino. The two distinctive horns are in fact very densely packed fibers, and materially not really horns. The record horn length is 1.58 m. Bulls, weighing up to 2 000 kg, are larger than cows which weigh up to 1 800 kg. Bulls are 1.8 m at the shoulders. The grey skin is almost hairless. They have a square-shaped, wide mouth. White Rhinos have a hump on the neck. The penis points backward and testes are located abdominally."
Last night we dined in and cooked chicken "flatties" on the braai which are simply whole chickens cut by the butcher to make them entirely flat.  Then, they are seasoned in special sauces and spices to enhance the flavor.

This shot was taken last Friday during our amazing safari day.
With a wide array of spices used for this purpose, we had three distinct flavors:  Portuguese, Sweet and Spicy and Garlic, all of which were excellent.  With homemade soup, salad and an Asian green bean dish, dinner was perfect.

This morning we had no less than 20 animals from four species in the garden.  We all were enthralled with this great turnout as we snapped photos right and left.  

"The White Rhino is strictly a grazer. Favoring short grass, but will feed on taller grass when short grass is not available. The wide mouth enables adequate intake with each plug harvested with the upper and lower lips."
Guest Tom loves taking videos to put up on his Facebook page and did quite a few excellent representations.  After coffee and breakfast, we headed out to see Deidre at Wild and Free Rehabilitation and show Tom and Lois the wonders she's performing in returning ill or injured animals to the wild.

"Even though most conceptions take place during the wet season, this huge mammal is not a strict seasonal breeder. Calves are born early in the dry season after a gestation period of 16 months and stay with their mothers for a period of two to three years until she gives birth to her next calf. Cows start breeding at about eight years and bulls reach sexual maturity at 10-12 years. During mating, sexual activity can last more than an hour."
We'll be writing a story soon with many fabulous photos from our visit to Hectorspruit to the facility.  Tom and Lois were totally excited and impressed with the experience.  

"In spite of their bulk and short stubby legs, White Rhino can run remarkably fast, but only for very short distances. Dominant territorial bulls occupy mutually exclusive areas of two to five square kilometers, but one or more subordinate bulls may share the territory. Female ranges may overlap those of several bull territories. A territorial bull will attempt to confine a receptive cow to his territory and will join her for five to ten days prior to mating."
It was our second time visiting Deidre at Wild and Free Rehabilitation but we loved it even more than the first knowing the wonder of hers and her staff's commitment to rescuing wildlife, dedicated to healing them and returning them to the wild.  Please keep an eye out for our latest story over the next several days.

"Formerly widely distributed throughout the bushveld regions of South Africa. In the 19th century, it was exterminated by hunters, except in KwaZulu-Natal's Umfolozi region. Although now thriving where it has been re-introduced into parts of its former region, it still suffers from poaching."
Tonight, we're heading back to Ngwenya Lodge and Resturant once more for the Thursday evening buffet dinner where pricing is based on the weight of the food on one's plate.  The food is great, the Crocodile River viewing is exceptional and surely, once again, the conversation will be lively and animated.  

Too much fun!  We're loving every moment!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 18, 2017:

We'd heard parrots may be seen in the trees in this park in Atenas, Costa Rica.  We'd visited several times to no avail. For more photos, please click here.

Part 6...Lion Day!...If you think the Big Five is something...How about the "Ridiculous Nine!!!...Day spent in Kruger with friends!


Three lions lounging in the shade, always on the lookout for the next meal.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
A couple of hippos and a yellow-billed stork at Kruger.
This morning, we'd planned to head to Kruger National Park but when it was raining upon awakening, we all agreed it made no sense to go today.  The animals tend to take cover in the rain and we figured we'd be better off going on Friday.

A relaxed female resting under the shade.of a tree.
Also, we were concerned we'd have fewer visitors in the garden if we stayed on the veranda all day in the rain.  Tom and I talked and suggested to Tom and Lois that we go back to Komatipoort for pellets and stop for lunch at local restaurant  Tambarina, known for their giant prawns.

Female lions often do the hunting.  The males will steal the kill, leaving the scraps for her and her cubs.
By 11:00 am after I'd done quite a bit of prep for tonight's dinner including making pumpkin soup, salad and bacony green beans as side dishes to the flatties we'll be cooking on the grill soon, we were out the door and on our way to town.

A female resting beside her mating male.
The lunch was good and afterward, Lois and I perused some shops in Komatipoort while both Toms took off to get the pellets.  Having completed our errands, we drove to Spar Supermarket for a few items.

Tom and Lois don't generally eat low carb during their holiday/vacation but we've been making some of our favorite meals that fit into anyone's way of eating.  

Two females and one male lion.
When I made pizza a few days ago, which I no longer can eat due to lactose intolerance, I made a separate meal for myself.  Tonight's dinner will work for me although there are a few items I'll need to eat in moderation due to the higher carb count, particularly the soup.

Her eyes are always scanning the terrain for a potential m
After we returned to Marloth Park from our pleasant lunchtime outing, we found many animals not only on the roads once we entered the park but also waiting for us in the garden.  

What a beautiful face!
Since we positioned ourselves on the veranda they've been coming and coming, from giraffes in the garden next door to Wildebeest Wille to Medium Wart Face to Frank and The Mrs. and many others, more than we can count.

Need I say, our friends are having the time of their lives.  Where does one ever go on vacation/holiday and have an experience like this hour after hour, day after day?  

A nice long stretch.
It certainly will leave both of them with wonderful memories and photos they'll always cherish.  For us, it has been a fantastic experience, being able to share our love and passion for wildlife and this magical place, one we'll always treasure as well.

Enjoy today's lion photos from our "Ridiculous Nine" sightings last Friday in Kruger while on a game drive.  We'll continue to share the balance of the nine stunning sighting over the next few days.

Such magnificent animals.
Thanks to all of our readers for sharing this special time with us!  It means the world to us!

Have a very special day and evening!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 17, 2017:
Her/his eyes opened and closed periodically while attempting to recover from hitting the glass in Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

Part 5...Jackal Day!...If you think the Big Five is something...How about the "Ridiculous Nine!!!...Day spent in Kruger with friends!

"Black-backed jackals are closely related, both genetically and physically, to side-striped jackals. They are leanly built and quite hard to spot in the wilderness as they swiftly move through the terrain into areas of thicker vegetation, with their long, bushy tails bouncing behind them. They are a ginger color below the middle of their sides and their shoulders, and a mixture of black and grey above this line on their backs (the origin of their name). They are generally smaller than they appear in photographs and weigh only 6 to13 kg (13 to 29 lb), the same approximate size as most species of dwarf antelope."
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Tom scanning the view of the Crocodile River at Ngwenya Restaurant.
The captions under today's jackal photos are from this site.

The sighting of the jackal in Kruger National Park on Friday was so fleeting we were only able to take a few photos which are shown above.  The middle photo was taken by Tom, our visiting friend.  Thanks, Tom for the contribution!

We were so excited to see the jackal when they are elusive animals as well as the wild dogs and hyenas as we explained over the past few day's posts.  Please see those posts here and here.

With so few photos and the information we gathered frothis site, we decided to include the balance of the facts regarding jackals as shown below:

Status

Black-backed jackals have shown substantial consistency in their population over the past decades, something that other carnivores like wild dogs would very much envy. They are classified as 'of least concern' and carry no current threat, nor are there specific populations within South Africa that are endangered. In fact, they are very widespread across a number of countries, which protects them from diseases or over-hunting in many aspects. Population densities vary drastically but are at relative constant 2 to 3 individuals per square kilometer within the areas of South Africa where they occur.

Habitat

Over most of the range of land they occupy, they can be found alongside another species of the jackal, whether it be the side-striped or golden jackal. They are, however, most common within acacia woodland areas or grasslands with some of these same trees scattered which provides some shade from the scorching sun. Oddly enough, they are not only carnivorous but also sometimes forage for food such as insects, and are thus not as dependent on the supply of catchable prey like wild dogs, scavenging spotted hyenas or cheetahs are. When there is prey to be caught, they do, however, take the opportunity, and are also regular scavengers alongside vultures and hyenas.

Social Organization

Black-backed jackals are another species that mates for life, or is referred to as a monogamous animal. Pairs observed for a number of years in the Serengeti stayed together for more than two years with the longest being eight years and where thought to be divided only by the death of one of them. When this happened, the other would not find a mate. They are also territorial creatures with average territory sizes encompassing an average of close to 2.5 square kilometers. Older young or offspring of previous seasons play an important role in the caring and survival of new litters and stay on the same territory until they are able to find or compete for their own permanent piece of land.

Social Behavior

Black-backed jackals are one of the three main species of jackal found in Africa, usually patrolling the landscape in an attempt to scavenge on a kill or find small enough prey to hunt themselves. Lion trails are often followed by the fresh trails of black-backed jackals who pursue them in an attempt to make ends meet by scavenging, something its fellow jackal species are not as profoundly good at. They produce a variety of calls through which they convey messages to one another. They also howl like golden jackals and most wolf species. They are nonetheless very aggressive animals, and an estimated 38% of their interactions with one another are thought to be of a defensive or aggressive nature.

Reproduction

When the time of the year comes when a pair must or are instinctively ordered to reproduce they often discourage current pups or young from following them by scolding them or even biting them when they do so. When courtship begins, there are three stages through which they go, starting off with scent marking the area. Next, they show very distinct signs of sexual behavior where females lift their tails to reveal a part of their genitals, and males typically rub against them or wag their own tails. Other ritualistic behavior also happens in at this stage. Genital licking follows along with a few mounts for the next few days, but no full copulation which only follows after this and is repeated daily and frequently. The female finally conceives after this and will give birth to 3 or 4 pups after 60 to 65 days.

Anti-Predator Behavior

Jackals are not immune to predators and are threatened by a number of species. Pups are particularly vulnerable and are considered prey to almost any species of eagle, along with sub-adults. Leopards are the main foes adult jackals look out for. Their only defense or survival option is to run and try to find a decent enough place to shield themselves from danger when a leopard comes around the corner, but eagles can generally be chased away by adults when the survival of their young is called into question. There is a fine line between predator and prey in nature, and jackals can be found on either side of that line depending on the conditions."

"Black-backed jackals are closely related, both genetically and physically, to side-striped jackals. They are leanly built and quite hard to spot in the wilderness as they swiftly move through the terrain into areas of thicker vegetation, with their long, bushy tails bouncing behind them. They are a ginger color below the middle of their sides and their shoulders, and a mixture of black and grey above this line on their backs (the origin of their name). They are generally smaller than they appear in photographs and weigh only 6 to13 kg (13 to 29 lb), the same approximate size as most species of dwarf antelope."
We just returned from an almost three-hour drive in Marloth Park and saw the following:

  • Kudu
  • Elephant
  • Giraffe
  • Impala 
  • Lion
  • Ostrich
  • Cape buffalo
  • Waterbuck
  • Zebra

"In Southern Africa, they range from southern Angola, throughout Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique as well as most of Namibia and the whole of South Africa. They are absent from the barren coastline and mainland parts of the Namib Desert mainly due to the insufficient supply of prey. Another sub-species of black-backed jackal occurs in parts of Eastern Africa near Ethiopia and Kenya. They are, however, very adaptive to human developed stretches of land and occur close to many rural towns surrounded by farms. They are regular victims of the rifles of livestock farmers because of the way they pester their animals, most often sheep and chickens."
No words can express how enthused Tom and Lois are over these daily outings where we see so much wildlife, let alone the excitement right here at our holiday home as visitors come in a steady stream.

Tonight, we're headed to Aamazing River View restaurant for more Crocodile River viewing.  A short time ago, we stopped by the restaurant to make our reservation and select the best table in the house for viewing the action-packed river.

Tomorrow morning, we're off to Kruger for a self-drive and depending on whether I have time in the morning the post will be uploaded a little later than it is today.

Please check back for more on our fun-fill adventures with friends Tom and Lois.

Be well.  Be happy.
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Photo from one year ago today, October 16, 2018:

This is the video we took yesterday when a little Flycatcher hit the glass wall, was knocked unconscientious and made every attempt to recover.  This video is 16 minutes and 42 seconds so you may want to scroll through it to see the best parts.  For more photos, please click here.

Part 4...Cheetah Day!...If you think the Big Five is something...How about the "Ridiculous Nine!!!...Day spent in Kruger with friends!


"A cheetah's food tastes are not as broad as that of the leopard, and it concentrates mostly on small and medium antelope. The cheetah's diet comprises of the young of larger animals, as well as warthog, ground birds, porcupines, and hares, as well as the smaller antelope."
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Stretching cheetah!  
Note:  Most of today's captions have been taken from this site.

It's almost 1600 hours (4:00 pm) and I've just begun to write the text for today's post.  We've had a very busy day.  This morning after the four of us was showered and dressed for the day, we jumped into the little car and headed to Komatipoort and Lebombo to shop and have breakfast at Stoep Cafe.
"While the lion and the leopard rely on getting close to their intended prey before breaking cover, the cheetah's speed gives it an advantage in the more open savanna. Cheetahs are slightly taller than leopards but not as bulky, probably weighing between 40kg and 60kg. Although cheetahs are members of the cat family, they have dog-like non-retractable claws. This limits their tree-climbing ability but gives them a speed advantage when charging."
We were excited to share the great experience and good food of dining at this special little place located shortly upon entering into the town of Komatipoort. Plus, the further trip down the road to Lebombo is culturally interesting as is Komatipoort, jammed with locals, mulling about their day.
"Typically, a cheetah will start a charge 60m to 100m from an antelope and, within seconds, will be racing at full tilt. If the buck is alerted in time, it will attempt to throw the cheetah off its trail by zigzagging and dodging between trees and shrubs. Using its long, heavy tail as a stabilizer, the cheetah will single-mindedly pursue its intended prey, trying to anticipate which way it will turn."
It appears that most of the local's activities center around selling and purchasing various foodstuffs including that which may consist of bartering, negotiating and generally striving to make their purchases affordable.
"At the right moment, it will knock the antelope off balance and grab it by the throat as it falls. Because of the relatively small jaws and teeth, cheetahs are not as effective in killing their prey as quickly as lions or leopards, and it can take between five and 25 minutes for its prey to die."
After the excellent breakfast, we drove to Lebombo to purchase carrots, apples, pears, and eggs for the wildlife. We didn't have room in the car to purchase more pellets and with almost two 40 kg bags left, we could have enough to get us through the next several days.
"The element of surprise in hunting is as important for cheetahs as it is for other big predators. While its speed gives it an edge, the cheetah's vulnerable point is its stamina. It will manage to run at top speed for only about 250m before it needs to catch its breath."
Tom and Lois appear to be having the time of their lives.  It couldn't be going any better.  These past few days, we had the most wildlife visits on a weekend, then we've had on any weekend since our arrival in Marloth Park last February.
"After a high-speed chase, the cheetah desperately needs to rest for about half-an-hour - even before it eats its prey. This is when cheetahs are at their most vulnerable. They are often robbed of their kill by lions or hyaenas during this recovery spell. If the cheetah is unmolested, it normally devours its prey at the kill site."
The animals have been coming in droves in the most literal sense, one fine species after another.  We only need to wait for a short period and another herd, dazzle, band, flock, harem, etc. will magically appear, leaving us all squealing with delight, cameras in hand as we make the sightings memorable.
"The cheetah's body is built for speed. Its legs are relatively long compared to its greyhound-like body; it has a big heart and lungs and wide nasal passages. It is the fastest land animal, timed running at speeds of up to 114km/hour."
Part of the fun of having them here with us, besides all the fantastic companionship, conversation, and laughter, is the unequivocal joy of seeing their delight and enthusiasm is having these exceptional experiences one after another.  
"The cheetah's kill rate is hard to determine, but the consensus is that each cheetah kills between 30 and 150 animals a year, depending on its size, hunting frequency and the condition of the area. Experts believe a single cheetah ideally needs between one and three kilograms of meat a day to stay in shape."
We've yet to be disappointed in anything we've done, except one undesirable dining experience in a local restaurant/bar on Friday night after our perfect day in Kruger National Park where we sighted the "Ridiculous Nine."
"There has been some scientific discussion as to whether they should be classified as part of the dog family because of their non-retractable claws, but they exhibit too many cat-like features, including the ability to purr loudly. Cheetahs cannot roar but can growl and spit like a cat and sometimes they make a peculiar chirping noise." 
And now, as we continue sharing photos from our outrageous safari, today we focus on Friday's sighting of two cheetahs that added so much to our breathtaking game drive.  
"Unlike lions and leopards, cheetah don't define a territory to defend. They have a home range which they mark with urine, but will not actively fight off other cheetahs. Socially, cheetahs are somewhere on the scale between lions and leopards. They do not form prides as lions do but small groups of between four and six cheetahs can be common, particularly groupings of brothers. Cheetah probably lives for between 12 and 15 years in the wild. Unlike most other major carnivores, they hunt during the day."
This week, we plan to do a self-drive in Kruger, most likely on Wednesday with a relatively early start to the day once again.  This time with no time constraints, we'll be able to spend more time dining at the Mugg & Bean in Lower Sabie and focusing on the wildlife we find most interesting.
"Despite their speed, cheetahs still rely heavily on the element of surprise. Experts believe that a cheetah has a one-in-10 chance of catching an animal that isn't taken by surprise, and that this rises to a one-in-two chance if the quarry is caught off-guard. Cheetahs are the most timid of the big cats and there is no record in southern Africa of a cheetah ever having attacked a human."
After we returned back to the house after today's outing and putting everything away, we parked ourselves at the big table on the veranda while each of us focused on our photos and documenting our experiences.

Tonight, we'll dine in having pizza and salad one more night, a dinner everyone thoroughly enjoyed.  Of course, I can no longer eat pizza due to lactose intolerance so I'd made myself a big mackerel salad consisting of canned mackerel, chopped hard boiled eggs, onions, celery, red and yellow bell peppers with a homemade dressing.  It was delicious enough to keep me from drooling over the smell of the pizza.

May you have a pleasant evening!

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Photo from one year ago today, October 15, 2017:
The hydrangeas in the courtyard of the Costa Rica property were gorgeous.  For more photos please click here.