A Royal Wedding watching party in the bush...Close encounters of the elephant kind...

Albert our guide in Chobe National Park and on the Chobe River had pulled the safari vehicle close to the river so we could check out some crocs near the end of this post regarding this story).
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Impalas are very skittish around humans making it difficult to take photos of them when they rarely visit.  This male was moderately interested in a few pellets.  But, when he heard a noise in the bush he took off.  When fighting for dominance during mating season, they bark like a  crazed dog, the weirdest sound we've heard in the bush.
Today, we're sharing two stories, one an unreal elephant encounter in Chobe National Park and another, yesterday's Royal Wedding viewing party I attended on Saturday at Jabula Lodge.
I sat at this table with Gail, Leslie, Pat, and Jeanine.
I'd hesitated to commit to attending the party when the invitation was posted on Facebook several days ago.  My concern was we'd be preparing to leave South Africa if and when our passports didn't get stamped for another 90 days and the last thing on my mind would have been the Royal Wedding.

As it turned out, for those of you who may not have seen yesterday's post (please click here), we were able to have our passports stamped for another glorious 90 days we're able to stay in South Africa...in Marloth Park.  We couldn't have been more thrilled.
Also, included in our viewing group Gail, Danelle and Rhona.
Thus, I kept my RSVP intact and joined the lovely women after I'd completed and uploaded yesterday's post.  I was exhausted from lack of sleep the prior night, our first night back in Marloth since I kept awakening wanting to see if any visitors were stopping by. 
Dawn, Felix and Lynn (behind the bar).  
"Settle down," I reminded myself, "They'll be plenty of time for visitors." But, sleep alluded me and I was awake from 3:00 am on.  Last night, I did better after a great homemade meal on the braai and managed to sleep a full eight hours, only awakening from time to time.  It's amazing how a good night's sleep makes us feel the next day.
Dawn, the owner of Jabula, had arranged a beautiful spread for the ladies.  She'd offered to make something for me but I wasn't hungry.
The party was fun.  I knew a few of the women in attendance and had the opportunity to meet several others.  The food, the champagne, the decorations and the festivities were totally delightful. 
Three baby elephants were off at a distance and the moms were angry they'd wandered off.  They started calling for them and they came running.  This happened so quickly we had no time to react and take a video.  When the babies returned it appeared the moms were scolding them as they kicked up sand while bellowing.
Although there wasn't food suitable for my way of eating, Dawn offered to have the kitchen prepare a few items for me but I politely declined.  I wasn't hungry and eating was the last thing on my mind.
They were so close to us we didn't need to use any zoom on the camera.
I didn't have much interest in the Royal Wedding but it was fun to see her dress and the hats and clothing worn by the guests...such a wide array of colors,, styles and personalities. 
The huge matriarch came from a short distance and ran toward the herd to see what was going on.
The chatter around the table was entertaining and interesting and I was never bored for a moment.  With my short attention span, a true personality flaw, I always make every effort to stay engaged and connected whether in a group or one-on-one.  It was no problem yesterday with the playfulness and banter between the women.
A few stragglers who'd been grazing followed suit.
By 2:00 pm, Tom stopped in to pick me up, taking a few minutes to meet everyone and then we were on our way back "home."  I hesitate to use the word "home" when we truly are homeless nomads but here in the bush, it feels like a home not so much due to the house, but as to our comfort in living in this environment.

As for the second part of today's story, we are still reeling from last week's exceptional elephant encounter in Chobe National Park.  I don't need to write much about it here today.  
 One baby insisted on suckling after all of the action.
By following the photos and the captions, the story will be clearly told.  All I can add is that it was unlike any elephant encounter we've had in the past, one we'll always remember.  What a spectacular week we had!
Things started to settle down.
Today, we'll embark upon our usual drive through Marloth Park to see what we can find.  However, after yesterday's rainy day and predictions for more rain today, we may have to postpone for another day.
Finally, they decided to wander off.
We've only had a handful of visitors today; one guinea fowl, one female bushbuck and one male impala as shown in the above photo.  

Weekends tend to be quieter in the bush when there are more tourists and subsequently more cars in the park.  We always look forward to Mondays for that very reason.
The worry exhibited by the moms was heartwarming to witness.  We were grateful to have witnessed such an event.

And, another calf began suckling.

Have a peaceful and meaningful Sunday, wherever you may be.
_________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, May 20,2017:
In each of the ports of call in Alaska, we've noticed several fur shops including this shop in Juneau.  For more details, please click here.

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