Elephants from our yard in Kruger National Park

Our first two months at the Gate – Getting to know who is who in the “zoo”.

How time flies! This past weekend marked our first two months at the gate. After two months we are well and truly settled in. All of our belongings have found a new place in the house and the boys have adjusted well to their new surroundings. They love it here as much as we do!


We have started to get to know the animals that live around the three houses here at the gate. Some of the impala’s that we see early morning and late afternoon have figured out that there is one section of our fence still down. Each morning I find one or two ladies in the yard that have jumped the fence between the offices next door and us. They need a little gentle persuasion to leave the garden the way they came.


Generally, I would not mind having them in our yard. There is little to eat for them in the veld and maybe they feel a bit safer from predators in our garden. The main reason I gently usher them out in the mornings is that I started a veggie patch for Stevens two older kids. The boys’ brother and sister collected all the Checkers little garden seed packs and I thought it would be nice to plant them outside. I have no idea if we can get anything to grow, living where we do. Time will tell I guess. So far a couple of my pepper seedlings have already fallen victim to a hungry impala. And I see the Vervet Monkeys are eying the rocket and tomato seedlings. Haha, it will be a nice and entertaining experiment, I am sure.

veggie patch in our garden in Kruger
Our Checkers little garden radishes are coming along nicely

Speaking of the Vervets… I mentioned in my blog Hello Malelane gate that they were generally well behaved. Like us humans usually are when we meet new people. Well, the same goes for the monkeys. Now that we are almost on a first name basis and they sleep in the two Jackal-berry trees on either side of our gate, their true colours are showing. I think it is safe to say there is a mutual dislike between them and me. So much so that whenever I close the gate at the end of the day, one of them will deliberately try and poop on my head! I am not kidding… I wish I was. Nice hey?


There is so much animal activity at the front of the house and close to our gate that we decided to put a motion sensor floodlight up. Just to be able to see what is around when we come home after dark. Our neighbour saw a leopard a mere 2 metres from our gate last week. Better not have a cat waiting under the cover of darkness when you come home!


So my dear friend from Holland brought a solar-powered light for us and he put it up on the gate. The other night, we caught three elephants in the light! They were feeding on the Jackal-berry next to the gate! I think we should build a lekker stoep at the front of the house. And sit there at night and watch the light go on and reveal what walks past in the dark! Almost like a spotlight on a stage!


The elephants have been busy around the house as always. There are days we can see elephants from the house all day long. A beautiful breeding herd has been coming past the front of the house. Last week they were even feeding on the creeper that grows on our fence! The boys love it! Jack loves elephants so much, one day he wanted to open the front gate when the herd was coming past. His first word, except for mama and papa, was “olifant” How cute is that. I love that they get to grow up in this extraordinary environment!


Jack and the elephants in front of the house
Can I open the gate for the elephants mommy?


Elephant at our garden fence at Malelane Gate, Kruger National Park
Elephant feeding on the creeper on our fence.

So after two months, we feel very much at home here! Next step is for Alex to go to school and for me to find a job. And to get some veggies to grow in our veggie garden. I will let you all know how that goes;-)!









9 thoughts on “Our first two months at the Gate – Getting to know who is who in the “zoo”.

  1. Thank you for the lovely update on your move … good to hear you are all settled in … I don’t give that veggie garden much hope .. we have monkey troops living near us and no vegies would make it to our table from our garden 🙂 .

  2. I love reading your stories. Thanks for sharing . I live on the KZN south coast, so know all about vervets and vegies. I built a cage (at great cost) around my veg garden but they keep finding ways in! Can’t blame them when there is so little else to eat at the moment. Rain will be so welcome when it finally arrives. I remember October being “suicide month” from when I lived in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.

    1. Hi Janet! Our neighbour has a veggie garden that is more established than ours. The monkeys seem to love their beetroot. So I won’t plant that haha!
      Yes, we definitely need lots more rain. I believe the forecast is for Thursday and Friday! Holding thumbs!

  3. Glad to read that you and the family have settled in so well Linda and that you are getting on with the neighbours (well, the Elephant clan and the Impala family anyway – not so sure about the Monkey troupe who are boarding in your jackalberry!) Maybe you need to invest in a very broad-brimmed straw hat for Gate-closing Duty . . . ? (Washable 😉 )
    Best wishes for better monkey- relations!


    1. Haha Sal, I had a good giggle at your comment now! Yes, I should get some monkey protection for sure. Maybe a rain poncho? To also protect me from their pee…
      A bird pooped on me this morning when I opened the gate to go to town for some groceries… What is up with that??
      Have a great day! Linda

      1. LOL Linda: You are living the origin of the term ‘a crap day’ I guess!!!!
        Hope the evening is better!!! Oh – and holding thumbs for rain . . . .

  4. Hi, you are living my life. Lucky you. How did you end up being blessed with what your family is experiencing?
    Do you have dogs or pets?

    I would love to find work there


    1. Hi Thomas!
      It is a bit of a long story. I wrote some of it n my first ever blog “The Ranger and the Flight Attendant” if you wish to read…
      We are not really allowed to have any pets, like dogs or cats. Which suits me just fine for now, the two boys keep me busy enough as it is;-))

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