Can you believe we have been at our new house at Malelane gate for two weeks already? Time flies, especially when you are unpacking boxes, hanging pictures and doing all sorts of other DIY projects around the house. Oh ja and don’t forget cleaning; lots and lots of cleaning;-)
After two weeks of hard work and elbow grease, I think we are 90% there: settled in and comfortable. There are going to be things to fix and walls to paint for a few months still, but that is the fun part of moving: making a house feel like your home.
With all the unpacking, we have not really been out exploring our new area much. We have spent most of our time in the house and the garden. The bush we can see from the house is extremely dry now at the end of winter. And our garden has not been watered for I don’t know how long. It is mostly dust, leaves and paper thorns. Those pesky little things get into everything. So the boys will have to get used to wearing shoes when they go outside!
Luckily the dry vegetation does not stop the animals from coming to visit! Every morning and late afternoon, we see a herd of impala at the front gate. They sometimes wander into our garden from our neighbour’s side where the fence is down. They make a trip around the house and quickly realise there is no food in here what so ever. Poor things. We really need to get some grass growing soon!
And I have to say; the monkeys and baboons here have been very well behaved. So far at least;-) They sleep in the trees at the office buildings next door. So I consider them to be our neighbours, but so far there have been no attempted break-ins or messy garbage situations. A very nice change from the monkey delinquents in Letaba! (I wrote a blog about their criminal ways. You can read it here.)
I have been longing to see elephants from the house. It took a good few days before we saw the first breeding herd. They were crossing the river and making their way to Leopard Creek, which is right there after you exit Malalane gate on the other side of the bridge.
That is where they bump into Kruger’s southern boundary fence. Steven told me one of the reasons why our area on the northern bank of the river is so overgrazed, is that the elephants basically feed on the vegetation here twice: Once while they are on their way to cross the river, and then again after they have to turn around at the boundary fence.
It seems like the ellies here so nice and naughty too! We had to make a quick trip to Pretoria for a few days last week. And while we were away, our neighbour had some sports with a bull in their garden. They have a little veggie patch and apparently, this hungry ellie found the spinach leaves absolutely irresistible! When they politely asked the elephant to leave, he got a bit of a fright and bolted straight through the little gate between our two gardens and out our front gate. Which was closed at the time! Ah, elephants. Got to love them!
Last weekend, we had a lovely breeding herd walk straight past the fence towards the bridge. I am so happy seeing elephants around the house again! It is the absolute best part of living in the Kruger.
The birdlife around the house at the gate is amazing too! Brown-hooded kingfishers are here every day. So are the little blue waxbills. We never saw those in Letaba and they are too gorgeous! There is a pair of Trumpeter hornbills that we believe is nesting in one of the trees around here. Their call is so interesting. It almost sounds like a crying baby!
We are still on the lookout for a nice sundowner spot to enjoy the sunset at the end of the day. But until we do, I am quite happy to watch the sun set behind the Schalapia hills at the front of the house. It is spectacular every afternoon! So we sit there in our camping chairs at the kitchen door and just watch as the sun disappears behind the mountain. The sky goes from blue to orange, and then from pink to purple into darkness…
All in all, the first two weeks at Malelane gate have been not bad! Not bad at all…