Off to Nelspruit...Return rental car for a new one...Still waiting for immigration response...

 
We drove past friends Kathy and Don's home yesterday and their front garden was filled with kudus and impalas.  See more photos from this scene below.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Our regular visitor, Medium, got busy with a mature female.  The gestation period is three months.  Mating season is from September to December.  We should begin seeing piglets soon.  They may have from one to eight piglets.
This morning, as soon as we upload this post, we're off to Nelspruit to drop off the little car and pick up another.  This will be the last car we'll rent while we hopefully remain in Marloth Park for three more months.
Bougainvillea has begun blooming in the park.
The rental car companies, in this case, Hertz, through Firefly will only rent a car for a 90 day period.  Thus, we've had to start over at the end of each period.  

In the past, the rental return has coincided with our travels outside of South Africa to get our visa renewal for another 90 days.  But this time, we're waiting to hear from immigration if they'll extend us to February 20th, the day we fly to Kenya for which we've already purchased airline tickets.
Waterbucks are much larger than they appear.  We rarely see them up close to grasp their actual size.  From this site: "This is a large, robust antelope. Bulls have a shoulder height of 1.4 meters and can weigh up to 260 Kg. (551 pounds)  Cows are smaller than bulls. Waterbucks have a brownish-grey shaggy coat. The eyes and nose are patched with white, and there is a white collar under the throat. The rump has a characteristic white ring. The large rounded ears are a prominent feature. Only the bulls have long, forward curved horns. Both sexes emit a, not unpleasant, musky smell which normally lingers at resting sites."
No word as yet on our immigration status but we continue to check every few hours at this point.  It would have been great if we could have been informed to appear in Nelspruit yesterday, today or tomorrow.  

We could have changed the car rental return to a different day (the fee for doing so is minimal here) and "killed two birds with one stone" as they say, avoiding another long drive to Nelspruit.  
Proud mom showing her youngster the ways of the bush.
It could happen that they're ready to give us an answer (must appear in person) in the next 48 hours and off we go again on the long drive.  In the realm of things, its an inconvenience, nothing more.
Mom and young giraffe.
On the return drive today, we'll stop at the bigger Spar Supermarket in Malelane to pick up a few groceries and avoid doing so tomorrow when we return to Komatipoort to visit the eye doctor to pick up my contact lenses and for Tom to select glasses from the supply the doc is bringing from his distant location.

At the moment Tom is at the local car wash.  Rental cars must be returned in pristine condition or additional fees will be levied.  This includes a spotless interior as well.  The car wash at the Bush Centre charges ZAR 60 (US $4.28) for a beautifully hand-done interior and exterior wash.  
This mom or matriarch may be babysitting. These two young ones appear a few months apart in age.
We're continually reminded how affordable things are here in South Africa.  Such a car wash in the US would easily be ZAR 351 (US $25).  Once again we'll experience "culture shock" when we return to the US for a visit in about four and a half months.
Apparently, they'd all jumped the fence at Kathy and Don's house.
Yesterday was hot and humid with temps running at 40C (102F) and higher humidity than usual.  Although it's cloudy today it appears it will be another hot and humid day.  Maybe spending three hours in the car in air-conditioned comfort won't be so bad after all.
A little blurry from Kathy and Don's garden but I couldn't resist sharing this adorable impala face.
Yesterday, we did our usual drive, sighting a female lion beyond the fence.  Photos will follow tomorrow.  Today, most likely we won't return until around 1500 hrs (3:00 pm) after which I'll finish making tonight's dinner of iced cold dishes: chicken salad, egg salad and tossed lettuce salad, a perfect meal for a hot day.

We'll see you tomorrow with more!

Have a phenomenal day!
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Photo from one year ago today, November 21, 2017:
There was no post on this date one year ago today.

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