We're back!! And they're back, too!...Final expenses for Zambia and Botswana...Playful Chobe kudu video...


Our most recent bag of pellets contained a lot of dust.  As Tom began to sweep the dust from the pellets off the veranda's edge these four kudus took a spot to begin licking off the dust
"Sighting of the Day on the Veranda"
This young male's horns have started to sprout.  He was mature and experienced enough to know that looking into our eyes would reap some rewards.  How right, he is!
We'd intended to post more Zambia and Chobe National Park (Botswana) photos today but have decided to do so over these next several days instead.  We wanted to focus on the expenses today but something magical occurred this morning...we had a record-breaking 19 kudus come to call including moms and their offspring of varying ages.
There were more out of view of the camera for a total of 19 in our garden this morning, more than our prior record of 17.
There aren't words in the English language that can describe the elation we felt as one-by-one they approached the veranda making direct eye contact with us.  Our hearts were pounding with sheer delight.  We couldn't toss the pellets quickly enough.
Sixteen kudus in this photo with more on the sidelines.
It was great to be back at the bush house in Marloth Park.  Louise had arranged a deep "spring" cleaning as she'd done last time we were gone and the house was dust free and spotless.  They'd even rearranged and tidied the kitchen drawers I have a tendency to make messy from time to time.  We couldn't have appreciated it more.
Kudus are smart.  They sure know how to grab our heartstrings.
No more than seconds after we pulled into the driveway, we had visitors waiting for us...Mr. Bushbuck and Ms. Bushbuck, Baby Bushbuck and Friend, who must have been waiting for our return.  Imagine their curiosity as to where we were for seven days and nights.  As I write this now, the three bushbucks are here, content to see we're still here.
Shortly after their visit, Josiah came to thoroughly wash the veranda floor, preventing the spread of disease among the kudus.
We'd planned to go out for dinner after our arrival but neither of us felt like eating out again.  Instead, we stopped at the Spar Supermarket in Melalane while Tom stayed in the car with our luggage while I shopped, buying enough to last until well into next week.  This way we wouldn't have to leave right away.
They each picked a spot, licking to their heart's content.
By 1900 hours, 7:00 pm, we were pulling the steaks off the braai, the salad and vegetables were prepared and we were both completely unpacked, sorting piles of laundry to get done today.  (As it's turned out, it's a cloudy drizzly day and we've had to hang all the wet clothes on hangers throughout the house, after we had to bring them inside when it started raining).

Last night, as always, we set up the veranda for the evening and set the table for dinner.  We weren't disappointed when several warthogs, a few kudus, our usual male duiker and the usual bushbuck family hung around while we dined.  (We never feed them any of the animals our leftover food.  They get pellets, fresh raw vegetables, and apples at this location), all fit for their consumption.
A few determined kudus, anxious for some greenery, began chomping on the "house" plants of the veranda.
As for the immigration situation, we'll share the details in tomorrow's post after we'd had an opportunity to do some research today.  The news is both good and not-so-good.  Somehow, we'll figure it all out.

I'm back to feeling like myself again since the side effects of the malaria pills have finally worn off after stopping them two days ago.  After reading about the possibility of long-term side effects after stopping the pills, I'm relieved to feel great once again.
This kudu particularly liked the lemongrass plant.
I was a little queasy and dizzy on the return flight especially when it became turbulent for a while but once we landed, I felt better.  South African Airways is a good airline and we feel safe and comfortable flying with them overall.  

They offered a complimentary lunch but we both declined.  We'd have our last (included) breakfast at the hotel and had no problem waiting to eat again until dinner.
A determined oxpecker held on tight while this kudu participated in dining on the pellets.
We're looking forward to seeing Louise and Danie later today when they mentioned they'll be stopping by to say hello. Tomorrow night, we're meeting up with Kathy and Don and friends for dinner at Jabula.  As usual, it will be another social weekend with both humans and animals.

We couldn't be happier, nor could we be more grateful for this wonderful life we live.  Sure, it has its ups and downs as you've read as they occur and, in tomorrow's post we'll share a realistic down we must face going forward.  

This happened so quickly we barely had time to set the camera to video. It was fun to see this Big Daddy having a good time.

But, there's always the joy of living in the moment, remembering the joys of what transpired in the past and the excitement of the treasures the future holds.

Here are the expenses we incurred for the seven-night trip to Zambia and Botswana as we continue to strive to extend our time in South Africa:
 Expense  US Dollar  South African Rand (ZAR) 
 Hotel & Flights (rt) 7 nights  $                  2,730.22  $                 39,073.66      
 Tours  $                     968.35  $                13,858,58        
 Taxi  $                       78.90 $                   1,129.18       
 Dining Out  $                     235.07  $                   3,364.21     
 Tip $                       69.04 $                       988.07
 Visa (Zambia Immigration)  $                     160.00 $                    2,289.85
 Pharmacy & Misc.  $                       41.90  $                        599.65
 Total  $                 4,283.48 $                   61,303.20
 Avg Daily Cost   $                    611.93 $                      8,757.66

If you'd like to review our expenses for our last seven-night stay in Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, please click here.  These visa extension trips are pricey as shown.

May your day bring you joy!
________________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, August 24, 2017:
We had the opportunity for numerous iguana sightings at the rescue center in Costa Rica.  For more photos, please click here.

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