We're off to Kruger National Park today...Exciting sighting from Marloth Park into Kruger...

There's nothing as heartwarming as any animal and its young, especially baby elephants.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Last night Scar Face, Mutton Chops and Wart Face all showed up at the same time.  We happily tossed them several cups of pellets.
Up, dressed and outside by 6:30 am, we decided to hurry with today's post and try to get going to Kruger early but got sidetracked doing some household tasks. It appears we won't be out the door until around 10:30 am.
We were so thrilled to see these amazing scenes while standing at the fence between Marloth Park and Kruger National Park.
Many assume that going into Kruger must be a very early undertaking and yet, we've seen so much midday we aren't concerned about going in a little bit later than some prefer by starting as early as 5:00 am when the park opens.
Some of the young were born this season while other, slightly larger elephants, may have been born last year.  The young females may stay with their moms and the matriarch for life while males are tossed out by thirteen or fourteen years old.
Now that the holiday crowd is gone it won't be too busy in the massive park although there will be many newcomers having arrived for the weekend.  It won't matter much to us since often in a three or four hour period we may only see a dozen cars at most, along with a few safari vehicles.
A few days ago we drove along the Crocodile River while still in Marloth Park to find this "parade" of elephants.
Not all spectators like to do the self-drive, especially those who've never been inside the park in the past.  There may be a bit of trepidation in driving through this rough and wild terrain for possibly hundred of kilometers surrounded by massive wild animals, some of which could easily tip over a car, especially by elephants.
There were dozens in this sighting but they were scattered along this lush area of vegetation on the river.
There are many rules posted about doing a self-drive in the park due to the risk of being attacked by wild animals.  However, if one stays in their vehicle and respects a distance when observing animals, the risks are minimal.  For a full list of the safety rules, please click here.

Of course, one wouldn't want to get a flat tire in the park and have to change it.  That would be very scary.  In those cases, it's best to call for help at one of the emergency numbers listed in the map book.
We could see them in every direction which was on the side of the Crocodile River, closest to us.
This morning Tom took the little blue car to the petrol station to fill the tires with air.  The little car's tires are small and for some reason tend to get low on these bumpy dirt roads.
We were so close we hardly had to use any zoom on the camera.
Louise loaned us a dongle (a Wi-Fi hot spot) we can use during our remaining time in Africa.  She loaded one gig of data which should last quite awhile for emergency purposes.  Plus, its great to be able to use MAPS on our phones for navigation when in unfamiliar areas.

As for the past 24 hours, we've been having the time of our lives.  At least once an hour, we have visitors, as many as eight to ten species in a day.  Of those species, we may see many repeat visits throughout the day, enjoying them just as much when they return.
Hearing their sounds was music to our ears.
As time goes on, they've come to recognize us as we develop our own precious means of communication by looking into each other's eyes.  One female kudu has really come to know me as she approaches the veranda begging me to pay attention to her. 
There were no less than six or eight babies in this sighting.

She's one of few animals I'll feed from my hand.  She nudges me insisting on it, preferring my hand to eating pellets, carrots, and apples off the ground.  Of course, I scrub my hands afterward, each and every time. But this level of intimacy between us and nature is what brought us back to this magical place after four years away.

So now, as I quickly wrap up today's post so we can take off for Kruger on a bright sunny day, after many days of clouds and rain, we're as excited as if it was the first time.  One never knows what one may discover.
This may have been a mom and some aunts watching over the baby.  Their hides were dark from being in the muddy water.
And if we come back empty-handed, we need only park our butts in the comfy chairs at the big table and wait patiently.  They'll come.  They always do.

Enjoy today's elephant photos we took while cruising along the Crocodile River from the Marloth Park side of the fence.  See...we don't even have to leave to have magic happen.

Have a magical day of your own.
Photo from one year ago today, April 13, 2017:
A pier in Manly, Australia busy with beach-goers and diners.  For more details, please click here.


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