Next trip booked...But, no need to travel far for exciting and heartwarming experiences...


As we drove along river while in Marloth Park, we spotted these elephants.  Finding a place to park on the road, we walked across the grass and vegetation for a better view.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Little Wart Face was so warm during yesterday's 34C (93F) he climbed into the cement pond to cool off! We couldn't stop laughing.  After he exited the pond, he found a shady spot for a nap.
When we realized the safest way to ensure we could stay in South Africa was to travel to Zambia every three months through the small Nelspruit/Mpumulanga airport and thus avoid going through immigration in Johannesburg where re-entry could be complicated, we knew a few more trips to Zambia was on the horizon.
This small "parade" of elephant drank and cooled off in the river for quite some time.
Sure, we'd love to have traveled to more African countries but the bottom line is that we will have visited many African countries by the time we leave after the upcoming Kenya adventure: 
1.  South Africa
2.  Botswana
3.  Zimbabwe
4.  Zambia
5.  Mozambique
6.  Swaziland (will visit soon)
7.  Kenya (re-visiting in February)
8.  Morocco (2014 - stayed for 2½ months)
9.  Egypt (2013)
10. Tanzania (2013)
It's always a pleasure to see the babies when they manage to get out from under the safe confines of the adults.
Upcoming in the booked cruise embarking from Lisbon, Portugal on November 2020 (Wow, that's only two year and five months from now) ending in Cape Town on December 2, 2020 (22 nights) will add the following countries to our African experience:
11.  Gambia
12.  Ivory Coast
13.  Ghana
14.  Angola
15.  Namibia
This sighting occurred at 4:15 while in Marloth Park looking toward Kruger National Park.  Visitors to Kruger would be unable to see this from the roads and are unable to get out of their vehicles. 
With 54 countries on the continent of Africa, we still have several we'd like to visit.  We haven't as yet been able to go to Uganda to see the gorilla but plan to do so next time we come to Africa in 2020.  We never seem to run out of places we'd love to experience.

Realistically, we'll never visit many African countries due to high risks of crime and terrorism.  There's no point in taking chances any more than we have.  There certainly is plenty of crime here in South Africa, much of which is not too far away.  We proceed with the utmost of caution in everything we do.
We also spotted these two hippos napping on the bank of the Crocodile River.
Here's the link to a website that lists various cities in countries with the highest crime rates in Africa.  South Africa is in the top four.  As heavily guarded as Marloth Park is, as a  24-hour a day gated conservancy, there is a degree of crime, mainly as a result of burglaries. 

Our property like all others is secured by alarm systems directly linked to a major well-regarded armed security company based here in Marloth Park.  We keep the emergency red button close at hand at all times. But, these risks are rampant, even in cities throughout the US.  Nowhere on earth is entirely safe, especially in and near the big cities.
It's always a great joy to be able to watch their interactions with one another.

As for our next upcoming trip back to Zambia on August 16th, we've made plans for the following during our one-week stay:

August 16- Fly to Livingstone, Zambia, staying at the Protea Hotel by Marriott Livingstone for a total of six nights except for August 20.
August 20 - Transfer from Livingstone by land and by boat across the Zambezi River to Botswana
August 20 - Spend an entire day in Chobe National Park on safari with a break midday for lunch.  Stay overnight at the Chobe Safari Lodge.
August 21 - Spend a second entire day on safari on the Chobe River.  Transport via land and boat back to Livingstone in the evening.
August 21 to 23 - Stay at Protea Hotel, until the flight back to Nelspruit/Mpumalanga on August 23rd.
This is the spot where we stood watching the elephants, which was at quite a distance.
We're excited to return to Zambia where we'll spend several days working on our posts with hopefully exciting new photos, dining at our now favorite Zambian restaurants (we love the Zambezi Café) and touring the city which we didn't have time to do last time we were there.
It appeared this young male was getting a "lesson" in elephant behavior.
We contacted the same tour operator again, Chris Tours, who'd done an excellent job for us last time and yesterday completed all the details for this upcoming trip.  We highly recommend their services should you decide to visit Zambia to see Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park, Chobe River, Zambezi River and a wide array of high adventure experiences.

The cost of the one night at the Chobe Safari Lodge and the two full days of private safaris, both on land and the Chobe River is a total ZAR 12852 (US $939) which includes round-trip transport to the airport.  This total doesn't include air, the Protea Hotel, and meals (breakfasts are included).  We'll post all expenses on the last day of the trip, as usual.

Oops, gecko poop just landed on my hand, falling from the ceiling of the veranda.  So it goes.
The scuffle continued for quite some time.
Today, we're attending a new class with Marloth Park Honorary Rangers Uschie and Evan (who were here for dinner on Friday with HRs Sandra and Paul).  We'll report back on what we've learned tomorrow.

May your day be educational and interesting!             
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Photo from one year ago today, June 20, 2017:

Greg, Camille, Miles, Madighan, and Maisie on the Jonathan Padelford on the Mississippi River on Father's Day, one year ago.  More family photos will follow.  Click here for details.

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