Giraffe Day!!!...All seen in Marloth Park, not Kruger...Planning our next adventure...

This lovely girl (determined by the hair on her ossicones) posed for a face shot.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
The adorable bushbabies move so quickly, its difficult getting photos in the dark.  In this instance, we counted seven on the pedestal at once.  Now we'll try for eight.
No words can describe how exciting it is when we take our almost daily drives in Marloth Park, usually in the afternoon.  "They" say that we're less likely to see much at that time of day but we rarely go out without spotting some interesting and magnificent wildlife during the two-hour drive.

The dirt roads are very bumpy and at times, I literally hang on as we maneuver our way through deep potholes, crevices and uneven roads.  Tom, good driver that he is, somehow manages to lessen the bumps along the way.  The little rental cars don't handle these roads that well and we certainly don't want to damage the vehicle.
"Giraffe feet are the size of a dinner plate with a diameter of 30cm (almost 12 inches)."
As for the bouncing around, we're both used to it as are the residents of Marloth Park.  Bumpy roads and wildlife are a way of life here, a small price to pay for what we're all gifted to see each and every day.

Giraffes necks are surprisingly too short to reach the ground.  As a result, they must awkwardly spread their front legs to drink.  Based on their diet of vegetation they derive most water from the leaves they eat and only need to drink every few days.
We don't see giraffes each time we're on the drive.  Instead, we may spot them approximately 10% of the time.  And, when we do, we can barely contain our enthusiasm. 

Unlike some wildlife, they don't run off when they see humans and vehicles on the roads.  Although one surely wouldn't want to get too close since one swift kick can be fatal to humans and destructive to vehicles.  We always stay back a reasonable distance in an effort to respect their space and always give them the "right of way" when walking down or across the road.

This giraffe had five oxpeckers on its hide.
There's so much to see right here in the park, we understand why some people we've met don't necessarily go into Kruger often.  For us, with our limited time remaining (eight months) in Marloth Park and the fact we purchased a one-year pass to enter Kruger (referred to as a "Wild Card") as often as we'd like, we love seeing wildlife in both locations.
Driving around and finding giraffes in Marloth Park is indescribable.
On days we don't go into Kruger, we take advantage of the opportunity to encounter so many marvelous creatures right here in our "garden."  When we were here four years ago, it was hard to get me out the door to go anywhere. 

Those three short months in 2013/2014 flew by quickly and when we left, we knew it would never be enough.  Now, over this extended period, we can freely come and go as we please never worrying we're missing out.  We have more stunning photos we took late yesterday that we'd never been able to see if we had been in Kruger.  We'll share those tomorrow.

She turned her head for an alternate view.
Today, we're busy planning our tours and safaris for our next trip to Zambia and Botswana for which we're leaving on August 16th for one week.  We have no choice, due to visa restrictions to travel back to Zambia as mentioned in earlier posts. 

This way, we can fly in and out of the small international airport in Nelspruit where visa restrictions are easier than traveling through Johannesburg. Few visitors stay in South Africa for such an extended period unless they apply for residency which we didn't want to do due to the complicated and time-consuming process which takes many months or even years to acquire.

 We were thrilled when we spotted this "tower" of five giraffes.
Once we firm up the details of these tours, we'll post the information here. In the interim, we're enjoying the planning.  As for the distant future, we've had several inquiries as to when we'll be posting a new itinerary. 

"The giraffe is the tallest mammal in the world, standing at around 4-5m high (13-16 feet), and the tallest giraffes can be recorded up to 5.9m (19 feet). That’s over a meter higher than a double-decker bus."
The last time we posted an itinerary was on January 7, 2018 (at this link).  But, since that date, we've made several changes which we'll update in the next few months as we add more bookings and re-post an itinerary that is up-to-date and accurate.  The itinerary you'll see at the above link doesn't include the Zambia and Botswana trips or the upcoming photo tour in Kenya next February.

"Despite being incredibly tall, giraffes still only have seven vertebrae in their neck - the same number as humans and most other mammals."
That's it for today folks.  We want to thank our readers for sticking with us during the somewhat repetitive experience.  How many giraffes, warthogs and kudus can you see?  For us? There's never enough.  For many of you?  Not so much. 

Have a spectacular day!

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Photo from one year ago today, June 19, 2017:

Wild turkeys are everywhere in the metro area in Minneapolis.  Our friend Sue had shared this photo with us that she'd taken the morning before we got together in the evening.  It was wonderful seeing our dear friend Sue and this turkey too!  For more photos, please click here.



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