Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?...New, or shall we say, returning special feature?...

With a lack of rain, there was little water in the Crocodile River.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
We love Hornbills.  "The hornbills are a family of bird found in tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia and Melanesia. They are characterized by a long, down-curved bill which is frequently brightly colored and sometimes has a casque on the upper mandible."
Note:  Today, we're beginning a "Sighting of the Day in the Bush" feature which we'll continue during our time in Africa.  We hope our readers will enjoy this feature which we've presented similarly in certain past locations. 

The first zebra we spotted in the park.  We've seen several more since taking this photo a few days ago!
This is the first dinner party we've had since Fairlight, Australia when we invited our dear landlord Bob and another couple we'd met who was also staying in his properties.

A baby zebra, most likely approximately four to five months old.  Zebras weigh from 30 kg to 35 kg (66 to 77 pounds) at birth. 
With friends Kathy and Don and Linda and Ken returning to Marloth Park yesterday we could hardly wait another day to see them all once again.  We haven't seen Kathy and Don since we were here four years ago.

As for Linda and Ken, we met up with them for lunch in Sydney, Australia and had a spectacular time together.  Please click here to see the post about our get-together.

"Ossicones are horn-like (or antler-like) protuberances on the heads of giraffes, male okapis, and their extinct relatives, such as Sivatherium, and the climacoceratids, such as Climacoceras. The base that a deer's antlers grow from is very similar to an ossicone."
We've stayed in close touch through Facebook, Messenger, and email, never losing touch with any of our South African friends during the past four years after leaving on February 28, 2014. 

In a way, it feels as if it was a lifetime ago we were in Marloth Park.  But now, as we've settled in, it seems as if it was only a short time ago.  Lathering up in repellent several times a day, sweating in the high temperatures and humidity, batting off the mozzies while living every moment to the fullest is not hard to forget.

Giraffes lay down to rest but rarely sleep for more than five minutes at a time.
Yesterday, after we uploaded the post, we drove for two hours in Marloth Park searching for wildlife.  During the first hour we didn't see much and what we did see was too far away for good photos.

During the second hour, everything changed, which is typical when on safari.  You search and search often coming up empty-handed and suddenly there they are, one after another.

A male giraffe can weigh  1200 kg (2646 pounds) while a female may weigh 830 kg (1830 pounds).
I should mention that when we refer to "safari" we're always referring to "photo safari."  At no point would we ever participate in shooting wildlife for sport or trophy.  Thus, going forward we'll simply say "safari" here, always referring to photos safari unless stated otherwise in regard to the senseless slaughter of endangered animals. 

With dwindling populations of most animals in Africa and the toll poaching is taking on nearly extinct wildlife it makes no sense to kill any for sport or profit.  But, I won't get into that here.  Our readers know how we feel about this controversial topic.

No words can describe how excited we were to see these giraffes. Not wanting to disturbs them we stayed on the road, taking photos from afar.
Much to the delight of all of us here in Marloth Park, its been raining off and on since yesterday afternoon.  This provides much relief for the wildlife who so desperately need to eat the greening vegetation. 

Right now, it's nearing the end of summer.  The green vegetation will begin to wane in the fall season commencing on March 21st and throughout the following cooler winter months. The wildlife will be on its own trying to find food.  It's a sad time for them and many don't survive the long winters.
Large ant hill with trees growing from it.
Today is a busy day, like few others, as we prepare for our six-person dinner party tonight.  What a unique and special experience for be entertaining in our "temporary" home, here in the bush in South Africa.

A vervet monkey sitting in a yard of a house as we passed.
The temperature today is currently 90F, 32C and the humidity is a bit uncomfortable after the rain.

May today bring you unique experiences!
Photo from one year ago today, February 17, 2017:
Tom was proud of their big catch, all flatheads when he went fishing with our landlords.  He had a great day!  For more3 details, please click here.


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