Last week was SANParks week. The one week a year where South African citizens have free access to all the beautiful national parks our country has to offer. Kruger tends to be a bit busy for us during that time, but we certainly cannot complain. We were surrounded by elephants for a big part of SANParks week. We had our own ‘elephant week’!!
Elephant week started with our neighbour (the one with the veggie patch I wrote about in my last blog post: Hello Malelane Gate), coming to warn us that a young bull wanted to come into our yard. They were braaiing that evening when they heard him push open their gate. Can you believe this elephant actually knows how to open a gate?? I actually can. Elephants are so incredibly clever! I would love to see him do it one day.
Anyway, the spinach in his veggie patch was just starting to grow again, so they persuaded the elephant to retrace his steps and leave the yard. (If only he knew how to close gates too;-) That is when this hungry bull wanted to come and visit us. I have no idea what he was looking for in our garden. There really is nothing here to eat for him. So it did not take a lot of convincing for the ellie to leave our gate, fence and garden alone. I am sure though, that when marula season comes along, and the marula trees in our garden are full of fruit, there is no way of keeping them out.
In September we have five of our birthdays in the space of 9 days. Moving house is expensive business, so this year we wanted to keep it small: just a little camouflage cake and a few small presents with the neighbours under our new lapa. The kids helped me decorate the lapa with balloons and streamers. It looked very festive!
I never expected two huge breeding herds to come and crash our small party! They came right past the fence while we were eating our birthday cake! In one herd, I counted about thirty elephants. There were some tiny babies there… That was the best part of ‘elephant week’ for me! Who can say they had a herd of elephants came to their birthday party! Well, Alex can! What an amazing way to grow up! (I will post a video on our Facebook page of the herd that came past the birthday party)
And then finally at the end of the week, I had two young bulls keep me company while I was taking down the washing. I opened the front door, and there they were! Such a lovely surprise to see them that side of the house! I quickly brought the washing inside and sat down at the front door. They slowly made their way past the open gate and towards the parking area at Malelane gate. Amazing. We really are very fortunate to live here…
So all in all, I think I can say that ‘elephant week’ was a huge success! We should consider making this an annual event, like SANParks week. Although… every week can be ‘elephant week’ if you ask me!