Wednesday was a travel day…Now amid more safaris at Kanha National Park…

Note: All of today’s photos were taken from the car on yesterday’s road trip. No captions needed.

Yesterday, as I wrote this post we were in a crisp clean white SUV with air-con comparable to other vehicles that have been transporting us from one location to another.

It was travel day once again with an expected 5½ hours drive time until we’d reach our destination and yet another safari camp, Tuli Tiger Resort, this time to Kanha National Park where we’d be spending another four nights with two game drives each day.

The drive is interrupted every three or four kilometers by small towns lined with shops and vendors selling fruit and vegetables, clothing, and a variety of tourist goods and household goods for the locals.

Cows, dogs, and goats wander through the streets aimlessly in search of the next meal and women walk with baskets of food and other items atop their heads, while men congregate in small groups discussing the events of the day.
The women wear colorful Hindu costumes impeccably draped and pleated regardless of their income level of poverty. The beautiful garb us unlike any other we’ve seen in the world. Although each town may have its own personality the premise of the Hindu philosophy is evident in every aspect of creating a certain familiarity from town to town.

Once back out on the highway, the landscape is brown and somewhat desolate, scattered with trees and vegetation of one sort or another.
It’s winter time here and until the monsoon season arrives everything the grasses remain brown and less hearty for the cows and other animals in search of good grazing fields.

With nary a patch of green for meandering cows and sheep, they often seek out public areas in hopes of food donations from the locals who appear at times to be very generous with their sacred cows. Hindus have a love of all creatures, both human and animals.

People often smile and wave as we pass through. School children in freshly pressed school uniforms play together in the streets without a toy or a ball and yet seem happy and content in their lives.

Their simple life is accepted with a powerful faith not so much as a religion but as a way of life leaving them grateful and accepting of whatever lifestyle they’ve been provided.

We are humbled and in awe of their dedication and their strength as they work their way through any obstacles life presents them. Many have no access to medical care, modern conveniences, clean water, and in many cases such taken for granted commodities such as electricity.

These individuals and families work together however they can to create the best life possible without complaint, without disharmony and without a longing for what could have been.

I often think of all the times I’d grumbled when making a call for customer service to end up with a heavily-accented Indian person on the line, often working in a hot uncomfortable boiler room taking calls for various digital and computer equipment companies all the way from India to provide customer service for companies in the US. Now, I have an entirely different perspective.

In a land of 1.3 billion people there’s is little to no government subsidies such as welfare, food stamps or government assistance. Overall, Indian people are on their own.

We’ve seen fewer homeless people here in India in the almost month we have been here than we saw in an equal time in the US. That speaks for itself and the powerful work ethic and life values imposed by their Hindu strength and principles.

This morning at 5:30 am we began our first morning safari from the resort. We didn’t see any tigers yet but we have five more safaris scheduled at this location, including another today at 2:30 pm. 

By the time we return for the afternoon game drive at 6:30 pm, we’ll freshen up for dinner, dine at 8:00 pm and head to bed shortly thereafter. It’s a busy and exhausting day but typical in the lives of wildlife enthusiasts like ourselves.

Have a fantastic day and night!

Photo from one year ago today, February 27, 2019:

The kudus give us “the look,” which means “more pellets please.” For more photos, please click here.

Answering questions about Africa from dear friends and readers, currently on a nine-month world cruise…

One of the most exciting sights in Kruger National Park is the elephants, along with the big cats, wildebeests, Cape buffalos, hippos, small animals, and birds. We were as close as we could safely be when we took these photos without the use of Zoom.

Last night, I received the following email from our dear friends Lea Ann and Chuck, who are currently on Royal Caribbean nine-month world cruise as follows:

On Wed, Feb 28, 2024, 12:21 AM, Lea Ann wrote:
I hope you dont mind we imposing upon your time but you are the most knowledgeable of anyone I know about this park. As you may know we have been rerouted around the African route to avoid the Suez Canal. We are sadly going to miss Egypt but no guarantees on seeing the pyramids anyway due to the other crisis up there. Going to Africa is my dream come true so we are elated!
Now for my much needed information. We want to go on a safari, of course. And what better place than Kruger National Park. Right in your wheelhouse!  Here are our thoughts. We are due into Dubai on 5/9. We would like to fly from there to Kruger NP and leave to meet the ship in Seychelles on 5/14. Not near enough time but it’s the best place in our schedule that we can go without missing a lot of the other opportunities on the cruise.  Here is a link of a place I was looking at for a 4-5 day trip. Have you heard of them? What do you think? We are looking at the luxury one. Otherwise, have you heard of any other types of safaris that can be all inclusive or partially? I know you have lots of contacts and Im hoping you could put me in touch with someone that you could recommend without a lot of trouble for you. I don’t want to impose but for me you are the one that knows this area more than anyone!
We are so excited and cant wait for this adventure. Thank you so much for  any help you can provide.
Chuck says hi too!
Love ya! Lea Ann

Our response:

Lea Ann and Chuck, we’re thrilled to hear that you are coming to Africa, particularly South Africa. We only wish we would be there when you come. We’re excited to hear about your experiences. We’re happy you are enjoying your nine-month cruise. I bet the days are moving too quickly!

We wish we had an easy answer regarding the quality of the tour company and lodges you are considering. During our four years in South Africa, we never stayed at a lodge or camp in Kruger National Park since we stayed in Marloth Park, which was only 20 minutes from one of the ten entrance gates, Crocodile Bridge.

About once a week, we did a self-drive into Kruger, which is allowed, but visitors aren’t allowed, for their safety, to leave the vehicle unless at a camp, lodge restaurant, or petrol station. We often participated in guided tours with visiting friends, using only one of the few guides or safari tour companies recommended by Louise and Danie, our dear friends and property owners/managers.

SanPark manages Kruger National Park, and they have a fantastic website with recommendations on where to stay and the camps approved to conduct business in the park. Their site may be found here. It is an excellent resource for safaris, camps, and lodges.

As for the tour company you’ve selected, we can’t give you any feedback on the quality of their camps and safaris. In our four total years visiting Kruger National Park, we probably went on over 200 safaris, most self-drive, and about a dozen guided safaris. All were exceptional.

But, as we became more experienced, we preferred the self-drive safaris since guided tours with others in the vehicles can become repetitive when they stopped for each impala and warthog when we were easily able to see them in our garden in Marloth Park, along with many other animals.

Since we were so close to the Crocodile Bridge entrance to Kruger, we never investigated any camps or lodges. We’d suggest you deeply research reviews on other sites for this company and its camps on such places as TripAdvisor or other travel sites. We’re sorry we can’t help in this regard. Their offerings may be legitimate and excellent for your five-day needs.

If you would like to check further before committing, since you have plenty of time, I suggest contacting Louise at Not only does Louise manage and own many properties, but she also owns a tourist center in Marloth Park that handles everything regarding safaris, camps, and lodges in Kruger National Park. There are many “scam” type operations in South Africa (not to scare you, but it is important to know), as there are in many countries.

Louise is a native South African, and there are no fees to you for her assistance. Her knowledge and experience with Kruger is astounding. She can also book venues for you if you consider other options. Also, she may know something about the company you are considering and if it is safe and legitimate.

As for your Seychelles return….This is urgent! To enter Seychelles, you must complete an immigration/visa form. Without this, you won’t be allowed to board the flight from South Africa to Seychelles. Here is the website with the critical notice you must read and comply with. Please click here. This must be done before traveling to Seychelles. Since you are going off on your own, I doubt the cruise line will arrange this for you. Please check with them for details, but proceed with caution if they say they do it. They may not know the nuances required to enter Seychelles from a plane, not the cruise ship.

I hope that we’ve answered your questions based on our personal experiences. We promise you will not regret visiting Kruger National Park. It remains one of our favorite experiences in our world travels and may prove to be the same for you.

Much love to both of you and travel safely.

Jess & Tom

Photo from ten years ago. February 28, 2014:

As we were getting ready to leave Marloth Park after a three-month stay…Thank you, Mr. Tree Frog, for serving as the mascot for all the “small things” that brought us so much pleasure during our time in Marloth Park. Even you will be remembered. For more photos, please click here.

Three days and counting…South America, here we come!…

Like all animals in the wild, this female lion is constantly looking for the next meal to feed her cubs. This photo is from ten years ago today, while on safari in the Maasai Mara, Kenya.

In a few days, we’ll start packing, which won’t take much time. We’ve replaced many of our old clothes with new clothes. We donated our old clothes in good condition to Goodwill. All we have now are the folded items in the few drawers in our room and hanging in the closet. If we had to, we could pack in a couple of hours.

On Tuesday, we’ll start the process and be done by the end of the day. We’ve made no plans for Monday and Tuesday other than dinner and trivia at Pizza Luce with Tammy, Tracy, and Vincent, our final time together. And TJ will stop by here tomorrow afternoon to say goodbye. Today, we’re visiting Greg and the kids to watch the Minnesota Vikings football game.

Madighan and I will most likely work on our crocheting project during the game. After the game ends, Greg and his lovely girlfriend Heather, and grandchildren Madighan, and Miles will join us for dinner, most likely at a nearby Mexican restaurant they all like.

We don’t have a lot of expectations about the Vikings game. They’ve only won one game out of four. But it’s always fun to watch with hopefulness and enthusiasm that perhaps they may win. That’s how sports viewing works, anyway. It’s almost like fishing…the anticipation is nearly as exciting as the potential win.

Yesterday afternoon, we watched the Minnesota Twins playoff game, but sadly, they lost. However, they still have more games to play to see if they can progress in the playoffs for the remote possibility of making it to the World Series. It isn’t very likely, but it is worth dreaming about.

This morning, we bolted out of bed after a good night’s sleep, showered and dressed for the day, and headed downstairs to breakfast. We put together our plates of eggs and sausage and poured our coffee, hauling it back to our room on the fourth floor. We wanted to watch CBS’s Sunday Morning show one last time.

We’ve spent 4½ of the past six months in the US, including the three months we spent in Florida, and now, when we leave for South America, it could be quite a while before we return, especially when we’re heading back to Africa in eight months, for an undetermined amount of time. It’s one of those “play it by ear” situations.

We hope to stay in South Africa for at least six months, leaving after 90 days for a new 90-day visa stamp to perhaps head back to the Maasai Mara, Kenya, which we’d like to do again over ten years later. We have such unforgettable memories of that time in 2013. Maybe it won’t be quite as exciting after all the safaris we’ve done, but we expect that we’ll very much enjoy it.

Besides the above, we don’t have any plans as we prepare to leave on Wednesday. Our flight to Quito begins at 2:02 pm. We’ll most likely arrive at the airport around 11:30 am to drop off the rental car and begin waiting to board the United Airlines flight.

We’ll arrive in Quito at 11:35 pm. Celebrity Cruise Line has arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport and bring us to the hotel, all a part of our Galapagos cruise package. Hopefully, we won’t have any issues with the altitude and can get settled in our hotel room for a good night’s sleep.

There are some walking tours of Quito arranged during the days at the hotel, but our participation will be determined by how we’re doing with the altitude and if I can walk the distances. Again, we can only “play it by ear.”

That’s it for today, dear readers. We hope all of you are enjoying your weekend.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, October 8, 2013:

Tom nudged me in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, to turn around when I had the camera pointed in the opposite direction. I gasped when I saw this, a gift from the heavens. Thank you, Kenya. For more photos, please click here.

Our friends have left…Doing exactly what we prefer to do…The golf cart included with our rental…

This is the Yamaha golf cart that’s included in our rent.

Late yesterday afternoon, Karen and Rich headed to her mom’s home, a 15-minute drive from here. I have known Donna for many years as Karen’s loving mom, and we plan to visit her in the next few weeks. On Tuesday, we’re taking Karen and Rich to the Orlando Airport as they take off for Karen’ts son Jack’s wedding in Minnesota.

They offered to leave their car with us during the two weeks they are away rather than leave the car in the parking lot at the airport. This works well for us. On Tuesday afternoon, they’ll return and pick us up while we drop them off at the airport, an hour’s drive from here. When they return at the end of the month, we’ll pick them up, and they’ll drop us back at our house. Geographically, this all works out well.

We plan to see Karen and Rich during our remaining time in Florida. They’ve offered to pick us up on another date to spend a few night’s at their fabulous new home in Bradenton, another two-hour drive. Otherwise, they may return and spend a few more days with us here, whichever works well logistically with everyone’s schedule.

The longer we are in The Villages, the more research we do to determine what appeals to us the most. We’ve gone through the list of daily activities, and many don’t appeal to us. We don’t play tennis or pickleball, and although that sounds fun, my weak legs prevent either of these sports from being possible.

This is the only storage area in the golf cart, leaving little room for groceries other than a few bags.

Many of the activities are those that are commonly found on cruise ships. If you like to see what’s available today, click here for the long list of activities. After sharing this list with Tom, he didn’t seem interested in any of the activities, and we accepted the reality that such activities don’t necessarily appeal to us after all.

Sure, we’d like to meet new people and hope to do so when we attend events in the various town squares and dine out each week. But we have a massive list of people here that would like to get together, which alone could keep us busy the entire time we are here.

Let’s face it; our interests have changed over the years of world travel. Also, we spend half of each day working on our posts, future travel plans, and communication with family, friends, and readers. After our walk in the morning, cooking and eating breakfast, doing household chores, and prepping dinner, the day flies by. We enjoy all these activities at the house and never feel bored or lonely. By late afternoon, we feel prepared to socialize, alone or with others.

These two bikes are in the garage, but I don’t think I can safely ride a bike anymore.

Many would say, “Get out! Try something new! Don’t be stuck in the mud!”

But our lives consist of always “trying something new,” and we never feel “stuck in the mud.” If it weren’t for this blog, no one would know what we do and don’t do. And we decided long ago that we can’t live our lives for the blog. The blog represents our chosen life and activities, not driven by it. That would be impossible with a new post uploaded daily. It would be too much pressure.

Our lives are about low stress, as much as possible, and choosing to do what appeals to us the most. Before we went into lockdown in India in 2020, we had embarked on about 20 safaris at three national parks. We never hesitated to do this. We never hesitated to interact with the people or the animals while in Africa. We rarely turn down an opportunity for social interaction.

Helmets are included with the bikes.

We never hesitated to embark on 10-person rubber Zodiac boats to explore icebergs and wildlife in Antarctica. We never hesitated to explore the souks in Marrakesh, Morocco, walk the hilly roads in Boveglio, Italy, or even attend a party where no one spoke English. We never hesitated to stand in the pouring rain, soaked to the gills for over an hour, to see the Gardens of Versailles in France.

We never hesitated to live on farms, learn about farm life, and spend time with farm animals and farmers. We never hesitated to embark on almost 30 cruises in the past ten years to see more of the world than any flights could ever offer us and so much more, the content of which is documented in over 3900 posts.

We’ve continued on when many others may have quit. Since that, too, was precisely what we wanted to do. And that will be the same for us while in The Villages. We are relishing the comfort and amenities of living in this lovely house and will enjoy many social events we plan for our time here. We are having dinner guests on Wednesday, people we’ve never met, and friends Carol and Mark are coming next Saturday for three nights.

Doing precisely what we like to do…

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 13, 2013:

Due to our 10-hour expeditions to Petra, Jordan, we couldn’t prepare a post on this date. Stop back tomorrow for the fantastic photos.

Let sleeping kudus lie…Dazzle of zebras came to call…Easy life…

Big Daddy was napping in the garden.

As we sit here enjoying views of the massive garden surrounding our holiday home on this slightly cooler and less humid Tuesday morning, we are reminded of the leisurely pace of our day-to-day lives. We love these times of low stress and less paperwork consuming our time.

Sure, there’s always work we could tackle, but right now, we’re both reveling in this quiet time back together in the bush and freeing ourselves from obligation and planning. In the next few weeks, we’ll have to ramp it up and start planning where we’ll go when we leave South Africa on June 8.

We think it will make sense to spend at least a month in an African country that we may not visit in the future since it borders South Africa, and when staying in this country, we can’t get our visas stamped for another 90-day stay in any country nearby.

He was nodding off before he finally succumbed to sleep.

Our first cruise sails out of Edinburgh, Scotland, on August 1. Since the UK is so expensive, spending from June 8 to August 1 in Scotland may not make sense. If we spend another month on the African continent in a country we haven’t visited, we’ll save money while enjoying a new country, going on unique safaris, and immersing ourselves in yet another culture. It seems like a logical plan for us.

When the month is over, we can then head to Scotland, where we’ll spend about three weeks reveling in the wonders of that beautiful country that we’ve never visited in the past. We always love trying new locations when we have already seen so much of the world in the past ten-plus years.

Sure, each day, we conduct a little research to decide in a few weeks. With a decision, it will make the pinning down of plans easier and less time-consuming. Some African countries don’t have many holiday homes suitable for our needs, and we may have to consider staying in a resort or hotel, which is OK for us after we’ve recovered from our ten months in a hotel in lockdown in India.

Zebra butts while dining on pellets. Check out the face on the second from the left!

At the time, we may have said we never wanted to stay in a hotel other than for a few nights. But, as time marches on, we’ve let that go and know that on some occasions, we may need to stay in a hotel or a resort, which we now fully accept as a possibility.

We can easily stay in a hotel suite where we may have a refrigerator, even if it’s small. Also, we prefer to stay in hotels and resorts that include breakfast, reducing our cost of dining. Also, the prices for many holiday homes have doubled since the pandemic and become less affordable when many hotels have had fewer increases.

Since we still only eat two meals a day, in the case of included breakfast, our only dining expense is for dinner and a drink, if desired. When staying in hotels in Minnesota and Nevada, we seldom had a drink with dinner, not because we were being frugal but more so because neither of us needs to drink alcohol every time we go out. For us, it’s more about a social scene.

This zebra kept watch while the other nine zebras ate pellets.

Tonight, we’re finishing our stir-fry dinners. Tomorrow, we’ll make something to last for two nights, and then it’s time for Jabula again. Friday night, we’ll go on our own as usual. On Saturday night, Louise and Danie are joining us to finally catch up after Tom’s return. We always have plenty of catch-ups to do with this lovely couple.

Have a fantastic Tuesday, and be well.

Photo from one year ago today, March 21, 2022:

A mom and baby mongoose sucking contents from an egg. For more photos, please click here.

Part 2…Wow!…What a fantastic party!…

These delightful amuse-bouche spoons were a party favorite. There were about 100 of these spoon starters (appetizers). There were several unique contents. They were fun to eat and delicious!

We’re rushing this morning, hoping to get as much of this post done before we leave for Malalane to Dr. Singh’s office for my dental appointment, All went well, and I didn’t have to have the tooth pulled after all. I am thrilled, to say the least.

We caught this kudu eating a display platter when Louise was putting out the food. We removed the food afterward but couldn’t stop laughing. Danie was keeping an eye out to ensure this didn’t happen again.

I cannot begin to tell you the positive responses we’ve had from many guests who attended my party. My Whatsapp notification has frequently been dinging in the past 24 hours, and we couldn’t be more delighted. Of course, we can take no credit for the party. It was all due to  Louise and Danie’s efforts.

Pretty decorations adorned the veranda at the party.

Some comments include:

From: Alan and Fiona: “Good morning, Jessica! Thank you for having us at your incredible 75th birthday celebration. The venue was lovely, the food was outstanding, and the company was great! You will always remember this one! Fiona and I wish you and Tom much happiness in your future travels, Much love from us!”

Roz, me, Myrdah, and Dawn.

From: Alan and Fiona to Louise and Danie:  “Hi Louise and Danie! Wow! What a magnificent spread last night! I don’t think Marloth Park EVER had a party catered to that standard before! Congratulations! I’m sure the birthday girl was impressed because the guests didn’t know what hit them!”

Fiona and Alan, coincidentally, were back from the coast for a few weeks and were able to come to the party.

From Dawn: Dearest Jessica and Tom, what a magnificent evening on Saturday…the best home birthday party I have ever been to. Thank you for all the trouble you went to. We love you lots.”

Leon and Fiona.

From Leon: Good morning! Saturday night was out of this World…too many things to mention. One of the best-prepared birthday parties we’ve been to in many, many years…Thank you. Please thank everyone involved from us!”

Doc Mel, Doc Theo’s brother.

From Janine and Vasco: Good morning Jess…just want to thank you for an absolutely fabulous birthday get-together. Have a superb day, and please don’t forget to send photos, as I have none.”

In all, we had 28 guests arrive at the party. Many of the guests knew one another.

Last night, we had a pleasant evening again, eating more leftovers from the freezer since after the party, when we didn’t feel like cooking, although the only thing I made for the party was the two cakes, one of which we wiped out at the party and the second, which we took home. It’s a keto chocolate cake that is not as moist as a regular cake made with flour and regular sugar, but to me (and to Dawn), it tasted great.

More cheeses and toppings for Danie’s homemade bread.

Last night after dinner, I cut myself a big chunk of the keto cake while Tom ate two cupcakes Louise had made for the party as shown in the photos below. They certainly looked delicious, and Tom said they were definitely tasty!

Louise set up this beautiful display of cupcakes she had made for the party. Tom was thrilled there was a dessert with regular flour and sugar, and he loved them!

Now back from the dentist with the good news, we can both sit back and enjoy another rainy day in the bush with many wildlife visitors. We have lots of red wine left, including some given to me as gifts and many bottles of white wine. We went through 11 bottles of Prosecco at the party with one bottle remaining.

Tom, me, Theo’s wife Myrdah, Doc Mel and his wife, and Doc Philip’s wife.

Together we brought 40 bottles of wine (including Prosecco) to the party and went through only about 20 bottles plus, we brought five cases of 500 ml (16.9 oz.) Lion beer and went through 1½ cases (24 packs). I guess the Prosecco and the beer were the biggest hits. Now we have plenty of beer and wine left for our personal needs (and guests) until we leave here in June. This is the place to come for sundowners!!!

Vusi and  Mpumi are in this photo, but Zef and Martha were all there to assist. They did a fantastic job of helping and cleaning the house and all the dishes the next day.

We’ve put everything away, including all the white wines in the refrigerator and all the red wines in boxes in the closet.  I got some lovely gifts even after telling everyone no gifts!  Thank you to all of our guests and all of our family, friends, and readers for a wonderful birthday I will always remember!

Vasco and Janine.

Tomorrow, there will be more photos from the party and an exciting African dance video of our helpers you will love!

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, February 27, 2022:

At Kwa Madwala, guests can opt for safaris on horseback. For more photos, please click here.

Aren’t we “The Traveling Lymans?”…Yes! We still are!!!…Photos from five years ago today…

At lunch today, one of the chefs was preparing a beef and vegetable stir-fry outdoors. We all partook in the delicious offerings! It was a fantastic lunch! See the post here.

Every weekday Tom sends an article to the podcast Garage Logic, and they always mention Tom’s name. Joy Soucheray, the show’s main host, always refers to us as “The Traveling Lymans” with the link to our site. Tom has been sending in an article entitled, On This Date in Minnesota History,” which they share with their audience daily. Note; We were guests on the podcast on May 7, 2022. Please click here for the show.

One of their listeners recently wrote to the show and said, “The Lymans aren’t traveling. They’ve been in that one place (in Africa) for a long time.”

Joe chuckled and suggested they look at our site. We may have been staying in Africa for some time, but we have traveled worldwide. Thanks, Joe, for clarifying this with your listener.

It’s heartwarming to see how close they hang to one another. See the post here.


Yes, we have “stayed put” quite a bit over the past two years since we arrived here in January 2021, after ten months in lockdown in a hotel room in Mumbai, India, due to the pandemic, when Tom first began sending Joe the article five days a week.

If we look back over the past two years, we have traveled, just not as much as usual, mainly due to conditions worldwide which impacted our travel plans on several occasions. Here’s what we’d planned, many of which were changed or canceled beyond our control due to Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, and other reasons:

2020: Canceled cruise by the cruise line due to Covid-19, for 28 nights from Mumbai to London via the Suez Canal and the Meditteranean.

2020: Canceled by cruise line; 22-night cruise from Lisbon to Capetown along the west coast of Africa. We rebooked the cruise for 2021, but the cruise line changed the number of days and the itinerary and eventually canceled that cruise.

2021: Ten days before our departure for an extensive tour of Kenya, their borders were closed, and we had to cancel all of our plans, struggling to get our money back, which we eventually recovered.

Macaroni Penguins in Stromness, South Georgia, are known for the pasta-like plumage atop their heads. See the post here.


2021: Left for the US since we couldn’t get a Covid-19 vaccination in South Africa, which was only offered to citizens at the time.

2021: Traveled to Zambia and Botswana for a visa stamp and more safaris

2022: Canceled booked plans to attend friends Karen and Rich’s wedding in Florida but canceled due to an increase of Omicron in South Africa with concerns over us infecting them and wedding guests

2022: Traveled to Florida to embark on a cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton but got Covid-19; during the last two days of the cruise, required we quarantine on the ship and then again while we stayed in Southampton.

2022: Canceled cruise from Southampton to New York due to still testing positive for Covid-19.

2022: Once we tested negative, we booked a driver for a two-hour road trip from Southampton to Gatwick to board a new flight to Reykjavik, then on to Minnesota.

2022: Two cruise itineraries were significantly changed, which were scheduled to sail to the Black Sea, Russia, and Ukraine when the war broke out. We canceled the cruises when the cruise line didn’t lower their prices for the new, less costly itineraries to locations we’d already traveled to on past cruises.

2022: Traveled to Zambia and Botswana for a visa stamp and more safaris

2022: We had to cancel three back-to-back cruises booked for 42 nights, which due to new Covid restrictions, required applying for visas for some of the countries on the itinerary. These visa applications would require us to send our passports to the appropriate embassies, leaving us in South Africa for over a month without our passports in hand. This was too risky in light of unforeseen events that may require us to leave South Africa in a hurry. Also, many venues in South Africa require us to show our passports. What if a war broke out here, and we couldn’t leave?

2022: Three cruises scheduled for 2022 were canceled by the cruise lines due to Covid-19, sailing for 14 nights from Singapore with multiple Asia ports of call, ending up in Tokyo. We were scheduled to stay in Japan for two weeks to tour the country, followed by two more cruises; a 14-night cruise circumnavigating Japan (canceled by the cruise line due to Covid-19), scheduled for a stop on the east coast of Russia) and a 12-night cruise from Japan to Vancouver.

2022: We missed our booked cruise to Seychelles due to the failure of the Seychelles government to approve our entry applications in time to board the plane, in part our fault for not applying earlier and, in part theirs. We had 24 hours to leave South Africa due to our visas expiring. We missed the expensive cruise and lost our money.

2022: We flew to the US, our luggage was lost in Joburg, and we arrived in Minneapolis in snowy weather with no clothes, shoes, jackets, and only the clothes on our backs. Had to go shopping after no sleep during the 53-hour travel period.

2022: In December, we flew back to South Africa to our holiday home, knowing our newly stamped 90-day visas would run out on March 9. We had no interest in traveling back to the US or another distant country to acquire a new stamp. Currently working with a law firm in Cape Town, applying for a new 90-day extension which will end in June.

2023: In June, 4½ months from now, we are leaving South Africa for over a year to travel to the US to apply for new driver’s licenses in Nevada and visit family in Nevada and Minnesota. From there, we are traveling to South America for several exciting adventures.

The landscape is littered with remnants of the whaling history in the area. See the post here.

Commenters may say, “You aren’t “The Traveling Lymans” anymore. But we beg to differ. We still are…in our hearts…in our minds…and in reality and practical application.

On top of all of that, we lost thousands of dollars that were beyond our control. Is it any wonder we haven’t booked much lately? Nor have we been willing to book trips and cruises far in advance. It’s been a relief to spend time in the bush while we frequently try to figure out our next move.

This is one of the disinfecting solutions we must use to clean our ship-provided rubber boots to clean off any debris that may contaminate other areas. We also use rectangular buckets with long handles and scrub brushes to scrub the boots before walking through this solution. Tom continually cleans my boots for me. See the post here.

No, we have no regrets. Sure, as one reader wrote, we could buy an RV and travel the US without these hassles or settle somewhere and learn to be content with that lifestyle. But that’s not us. As we sit here this morning, surrounded by wildlife on a slightly cooler day after a fantastic breakfast on the veranda, we are grateful with our hearts full of memorable experiences that we’ve documented and shared with all of you.

After dropping us off back at the ship, a Zodiac boat heads out to collect more passengers after the expedition ends. See the post here.


Please enjoy today’s photos from five years ago to the day while we were in Antarctica. Life is full. Life is rich, and life continues to be an adventure.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, January 29, 2022:

Hal has been stopping by each day. Now, we see less of Broken Horn. Could Hal have scared him off and claimed his territory? Only time will tell. For more photos, please click here.

What to do next?…Planning for the future…

Norman fluffs up his tail to make himself look larger when there is a Big Daddy kudu nearby. He doesn’t do this when he spots any other animals.

After traveling for over ten years, wherever we choose to visit at this point is of the utmost consideration. There are a few places left on this planet that appeal to us, but our top choices have been accomplished. After seeing enough museums, historic buildings, and churches to satisfy our curiosity all over Europe and other parts of the world, our thirst for nature and wildlife remains at the top of our list.

No, we don’t have a “bucket list,” so to speak. If we did, it might be close to empty by now. We’ve been on hundreds of safaris, including guided and self-driving game drives, and we’ve toured some of the world’s most wildlife-rich national parks. We’ve been to Antarctica, seeing millions of penguins, and other wildlife, toured three national parks in India, blissfully spotting the elusive Bengal tigers, and been blessed to spot the Big Five over and over again in Africa, including at one point, “The Ridiculous Nine.”

As for Africa, we’ve been to no less than ten countries and countless national parks, including the finest, the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti. No, we haven’t been to Uganda or Rwanda to see the gorillas in the wild, and we plan to do that sometime in the future. Without a doubt, there’s much more we can see on the continent, and good health permitting, we will do so in the future.

Bossy, pregnant with yet another calf, laid down in the garden to rest in the shade on a hot day.

We’re interested in returning to South America to the Galapagos Islands, something we’ve somehow missed along the way. We spent over two years in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, and many islands in the South Pacific.

We aren’t implying, by any means, that we’ve scoured the world. We haven’t. It would take many more years, if not decades, to say, “we’ve seen everything” we wanted to see. But, at this point and with our current ages and degree of stamina, we must carefully consider what’s next in the itinerary.

We’ve loved, as you know, spending this precious time in South Africa. But, as load-shedding escalates, we wonder how much time we’ll be able to spend here in years to come. If the power grid fails, we’ll be lucky to find a way out of here, as described in yesterday’s post here.

Do we want to return to places we’ve loved, such as Tom’s favorite place, Penguin, Tasmania? Or Costa Rica at that fabulous property in the hills? Or to Kauai, Hawaii, to see the life cycle of the albatross? These are all possibilities for the future.

Impalas stopped by this morning looking for pellets.

But, we figure that now, while our health is good, we should venture out to some new regions, experiencing more cultures, scenery, and wildlife. However, we must never forget that we need to be somewhat near decent medical care if something goes wrong. We know this can happen on a dime!

No, we can’t stay here in Marloth Park for extended periods as we have in the past. Realistically, we’d prefer to move on as we’re doing in June, not only due to the end of our visas for now but for many of these reasons we’ve shared here over the past many months. There’s no doubt we’ll be back in July 2023 when some of our family members are coming to visit, which is so exciting to us. But, next time we return, we won’t stay longer than three to six months.

We don’t feel stressed about making these decisions. We are confident we will choose locations that fulfill our desires and passions. It’s just that, this time, we aren’t planning as far out as we have in the past when so much is changing worldwide, and we must consider how those events impact our future travels.

Moments later, there were several more impalas.

Today, Tom is wrapped up in watching the final football games to determine which teams will go to the Super Bowl in the US. Once the football games are over, we will work on booking for the future and report back here as to our decisions.

Today, I’m cooking a keto beef and broccoli stir fry. Fortunately, there’s no load shedding during the day, but if that changes, cooking on top of the stove won’t be a problem when we can light the gas burners with the lighter.

Have a fantastic day!

Photo from one year ago today, January 22, 2022:

It was 4:00 am when our regular genet appeared in the garden sitting atop a rock observing these two female bushbucks. For more photos, please click here.

Zebra Day and Baby…On a rainy morning…

Mom and baby zebra. Of course, Lollie is photobombing.

What a way to start the day with nine zebras hanging around for a few hours, including a mom and very young foal, suckling every few minutes. Typically, zebras kick, yip, and pass gas when pellets are tossed. It was cute to see how the mom scooted the foal out of the way of the commotion. Zebras are not ruminants. They have only one stomach. Constantly grazing on vegetation, they become bloated and gassy.

The zebras approached the railing for their pellets.

The zebras never seem to injure one another when they get into a frenzy, but, let’s face it, the animals are hungry. No wonder they carry on over a few pellets. They all still look healthy, and we pray they can remain so until the “greening” of the bush. We’re moving into spring in a mere week or so.

The baby is tiny compared to the adults, as shown in these photos.

Three months later, it will be summer when the heat, humidity, insects, and mozzies will be in full force. But, the magic of summer is the beautiful green bush for the wildlife to eat. With so much food on hand at that time, you’d think they stop by less and less for pellets, but the fall and winter habits have been established, and they continue to stop by regularly.

The little one sticks close to mom.

Fortunately, this morning it’s drizzling, the perfect type of rain for the bush as opposed to a downpour that merely runs off.  It must have rained at night since we see a touch of green in the usually dry, brown bush. This indicates times to come when the rainy season begins soon.

Mom is determined to keep the baby away from the rowdy others.

As soon as I stepped outdoors this morning, after another fitful night’s sleep, it was exciting to see nine zebras, including a very young foal, in the garden. Tom had already taken several photos and tossed several batches of pellets. Of course, I decided to try for more shots to be added to today’s post, hopefully.

They moved closer to the veranda railing.

The animals were finally returning to our garden with the drones overhead last week and a bush weekend packed with tourists. We were a little concerned when it was sparse of wildlife with friends Connie and Jeff arriving in four days. We hope all of our regulars and more will stop by to meet them. The thought of sharing this wonderful environment with our friends is exciting.

Further out in the bush, away from the others.

I’m feeling slightly better today. The headache and facial pain are about 50% better. Maybe after 18 days of taking the tablets at night, relief is coming. I am hopeful. Having this pain for the past five months has been challenging and frustrating. I’ve tried not to complain or limit my activities. In the realm of things, this may have been the best way for me to handle it rather than lying in bed, feeling sorry for myself.

A few zebras were lying down in the background.

Unfortunately, the medication makes me sleepy during the day. I may have to take the drug for a long time, hoping the sleepiness goes away. On the 15th, if the pain isn’t completely gone, I am to increase the dose by 5 mg per day for a total of 25 mg per day. I started at 5 mg, and it knocked me for a loop. But today, I feel a little less groggy and maybe won’t need a nap in the afternoon, which was a rarity for me before Covid-19.

Little zebras seem to be dazed most of the time.

With our friends coming, I don’t want to be sluggish and tired. I will do my best to stay alert and engaged in sharing the wonders of the bush with them. We hope to go on a few game drives with a guide and do several self-drive safaris in Kruger National Park. Once they arrive, we’ll be able to plan our events based on how Jeff feels and can maneuver in his wheelchair. We can only wait and see how it goes. The long journey from the US is exhausting and requires a few days to recover.

A little grooming of the foal by the attentive mother.

Tom is sitting at the table on the veranda, which has a roof while watching football on NFL Game Pass, an app for which he pays an annual fee to watch all NFL games while out of the US. I came inside to sit at the dining room table when Vusi was here cleaning the veranda and have stayed here, now and then, getting up to do something. Tom is no more than four meters from me, and from this location, I can partially see into the garden in case a visitor stops by.

They are always side by side.

It’s blissfully cool today, and we’re both wearing hoodie sweatshirts. I love days like this when it’s cool and rainy.

The baby is fearful of leaving his mother’s side.

May you have a blissful day, as well.

This zebra stood in the garden sleeping for over an hour. Typically, zebras sleep standing up to ensure they can dash in a hurry if danger approaches. With the hungry lions in the park, they are mainly on guard.

Photo from one year ago today, September 13, 2021:

Little was using a rock for a pillow. For more photos, please click here.

Part 2…The earth is vast and fascinating…A view from space…Exciting adventures in Kruger Park coming in tomorrow’s post…

I realize this article is very long and may be hard for many to read. But, it is interesting and can give us a great perspective of our earth, its majesty, and its risks.  No doubt, I hesitated to copy and paste the length of this article as it continues from where we left off at the bottom of today’s post.  But, many may find it interesting. I did not edit the spelling and grammar and copied it exactly as I found it.

Today, we headed to Kruger National Park when the WiFi was out this morning. It was cloudy with the possibility of rain, but we decided to go regardless. We had to enter the office at the entrance at Crocodile Bridge since our former WildCard had expired in April, and it was time to renew the annual pass. The cost for the new one-year WildCard was ZAR 5345, US$311.

The enjoyment we get freely going in and out of the national park is well worth the cost. Once the pass was issued, we entered the park and had one of the most fantastic and rewarding self-drive safaris we’ve had to date. We can’t wait to share our photos in tomorrow’s and future day’s posts. Please check back tomorrow!!

Here is the continuation of this story about the Earth from this site.

“They owe it all to the Raikoke volcano.

Luckily, the volcano causing this beautiful sight was the Raikoke volcano. This specific beast is located on the Kuri Islands off the coast of Japan and is an entirely uninhabited area. There were no people that could be hurt by this eruption.

This volcano is part of the infamous Ring of Fire and has erupted twice in the past – the first time in 1778 and once again in 1924. This relatively small volcano was making a lot of commotion.

Their photos can lend a hand to NASA’s projects unlike anyone else

The astronauts aboard the International Space Station took the photos of the event and made quick work of sending them down to Earth in order to report it and also share the stunning views that they were seeing.

The photos were shared by space fanatics all around the globe. The images that the team captures over the years are also a possible helping hand in some of NASA’s future projects. They have viewing capabilities unlike anyone in the world, so they are able to monitor unlike anyone as well.

NASA is studying a post-apocalyptic scenario

NASA is best known for its abilities to send satellites and astronauts into space. So, would it be surprising to learn that they have a team of scientists working on a model of a post-apocalyptic New York City?

They are studying this model seriously, not in the least bit jokingly or as a side project. NASA is not known for being forthcoming when it comes to information and reasoning for projects, so this one is that much more ominous.

Air Force veteran and NASA recruit is convinced about the end of the world

Lindley Johnson is the man behind the study of this peculiar model. He was with the Air Force for 23 years and joined NASA in 2003. He has always been a practical man, but the fascination and belief of the end of the world has been a significant driver for him to study the possibilities.

He has been fixated on the end of the world for as long as he could remember. What he has to say is pretty convincing.

He is NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer

However, he is no crazy man. He is not talking about some dramatic apocalypse like you would see in a movie or television show. He is discussing it from an analytical standpoint. Lindley hold the position of Planetary Defense Officer at NASA (yes, that is an actual position).

He is therefore given all of the information that us civilians are not privy to, and knows what he speaks of when he talks and warns about the end of the world.

Lindley protects the Earth from space rocks

Lindley’s job is not to concern himself with how good of a job we humans are doing to ruin our own planet and endangering ourselves, he is rather more focused towards space and the amount of debris that can come in Earth’s direction and become a real threat.

The majority of the meteorites that head towards Earth are microscopic or small enough not to matter, but there are those that can be a real issue. It’s Lindley’s job to protect Earth from space rocks.

The likelihood of an asteroid hitting Earth

If an asteroid was speeding its way towards Earth and was the size of several football fields in diameter, it would most likely hit some form of ocean since the Earth is 71 percent of that makeup.

However, Lindley is not working on probability – he wants exact numbers and is not relying on luck here. The amount of threats from space are many fold, the amount of credible end of the world threats are not as common. Still, it takes just one to make it all disappear.

This is why they do their hypothetical studies

This is exactly why NASA and Lindley’s team do the hypothetical studies in regards to possible large asteroids hitting urban areas, such as New York City. Historically, thousands of years separate each massive catastrophe such as an asteroid from the other.

However, Lindley is not taking any chances and wants to be prepared in the event that they are wrong about timing, or that time finally does come. There is no scenario that a whole city is removed from the map that is okay by him.

Earth is littered with past collisions

There are many places on Earth that showcase the kind of destruction a collision with a large space rock can do. Earth is littered with craters and canyons that happened as a result of such events.

NASA is not going to allow Midtown Manhattan to become a crater like this one. However, they are looking into true scenarios where this could happen, and if so, how far the damage from such a collision would spread. It is not an easy model to analyze.

Congress finally understood just how important Lindley’s work is

Lindley and his colleagues have been working on this vital model for many years, and have been doing so on a very small budget. In 2015, however, everything changed when they were able to convince Congress about how important their work really is.

A convinced Congress beefed up Lindley’s budget and yearly spending power from their measly $5 million per year, to $50 million. That is the kind of budgetary lift that they needed to make even more projections.

Lindley and his team work on threats we never hear about

Now that he had more financial resources, Lindley was able to expand his team and research and get a better handle on what he is sure to be a galactic threat.

He and his team at NASA put together an arsenal of collected data and created high-end technology to make sure any astroid on its way to Earth that could possibly be a threat, be dealt with and kept away. That kind of work is not spoken of often; we never hear about the threats we almost face.

He knew what to do to keep an asteroid from hitting Earth

NASA keeps the information to the public at a minimum in order to prevent any sort of chaos. They have, however, documented more than 2,000 asteroids around our solar system who would have had the capacity – if came into Earth atmosphere – to decimate a whole continent.

When such a threat is imminent, Lindley knows that blowing up the space rock would cause a lot of fallout, so he and his team had other ways to deal with such a nuisance.

Using unmanned spacecrafts to push the asteroid in a different direction

The most efficient and promising way of redirecting asteroids seems to be by the use of kinetic impactors. These are unmanned spacecrafts that would purposely collide with the asteroid at an incredibly high speed, forcing it to change its trajectory and change course away from Earth.

For lack of a better analogy, it is pretty much like playing space billiards, just with all of our lives at stake. The destruction of the kinetic impactors is unquestionable, but that is the whole point of it.

Lindley doesn’t believe that landing on an asteroid would work

If this sounds familiar, it probably has to do with the fact that Hollywood loves to make films about possible end of world scenarios at the hand of giant asteroids.

Lindley takes offense with the Hollywood blockbuster film Armageddon, as he does not agree with the course of action of landing on an asteroid and drilling a bomb into it. While that is not the best course of action, NASA has not removed it as an option altogether should the need arise.

They simulate complicated asteroid landings anyway

Astronauts have to go through a lot of mental and physical training before they are sent into space. Among their many training courses, they are taught how to handle complex landings on asteroids.

No one in history has ever attempted such a thing, but they simulate it as best they can. NASA sees such a scenario more for the collection of samples than for the explosion of an asteroid. However, having these skills may prove to come in very handy.

NASA has more eyes in the sky now

NASA has kept their simulated scenarios sharp as they train for future possibilities, but they have also added more resources, financial and time, to their more experience-based handling of asteroid prevention.

For example, they have installed additional orbital telescopes so that they can have a better view to monitor space activity in case some form of large space rock decides to make its way too close to Earth. Everything is about being prepared and knowing what is coming their way.

First the asteroids need to be detected

The most important part of all of this is the ability to see far enough into space to spot these asteroids before they even get somewhat close to Earth. The majority of the deflection techniques that were Lindley’s specialty, take several months to years to be put into proper place. 4

Therefore, the first step is the kind of technology that will detect an asteroid years from its possible collision with Earth. NASA is not working on this mission alone, thankfully.

Lindley is working with FEMA to prepare

Lindley and his team worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to prepare for such possible damage from a collision with a space rock. Lindley said, “They are a great way for us to learn how to work together and meet each other’s needs.”

The two need to work together to detect and then react should there be a need to get people out of harms way, come to their aid when their area is hit, or the many other possible scenarios they are working with.

Lindley got several world organizations to work together

Lindley organized a conference in 2019 that included the International Asteroid Warning Network, and the European Space Agency. He knew that they needed to work together to make his plan a reality as they each had something the other needed.

Each of these organizations, Lindley representing NASA, have eyes in space and together, they are able to have a broader and deeper look at the sky. He was thinking outside of the box, just like a wise scientist and engineer would.

Lindley is ruining every doomsday preppers plans

The likelihood of such a drastic event such as an asteroid hitting Earth is so minimal, but there are those who are making sure that if it does happen, they are ready to go with provisions for years.

These individuals are called doomsday preppers, and they are impressive rooms and technology (low-tech for that matter) to ensure their survival. We don’t mean to ruin these people’s plans, but if Lindley has anything to do with it, they will never need to use any of that.

He is on his own form of space race

Lindley’s job is a serious one, with a heavy toll if the work is done right or wrong. While his job may be a life or death kind of situation, he says that he doesn’t have a problem sleeping at night. For Lindley, it is another day at work making sure that they are one step ahead of any sort of space rock that has the other idea. He and his team go in day after day to be on their own kind of space race.

Lindley’s colleague took his teacher all too literally

Lindley works with a man named George Aldrich. When Aldrich’s teach in elementary school told him that he could “shoot for the stars” when he was young, he took it literally. He worked hard and did whatever he had to do to make it to NASA.”

For the remainder of this article, please click here and scroll very far down the page.

We hope you’ll return tomorrow to see our exciting adventures on Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Kruger National Park.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, July 21, 2021:

Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa is a fabulous property. When we return to Las Vegas in years to come, we’d love to stay here again. For more photos, please click here.