You know that feeling when you walk into a room and something doesn’t look quite right? You can’t quite put your finger on it and just carry on with what you were doing. But the feeling that something is off persists so you investigate…


That is how my day started on Wednesday morning. Alex was up early and wanted something to drink, so I went to the kitchen to get him some. It was starting to get light outside and while I was filling Alex’ juice bottle that feeling of ‘something looks weird outside’ kind of crept up on me.


So I brought Alex his juice and went back into the kitchen to see what caught my subconscious attention. I peered out of the kitchen window. It was a bit difficult to see in the little daylight there was, but it looked like half the front gate was missing?


“What the…..?” I opened the front door and walked up to what used to be the left part of our front gate. It was flat on the ground and had taken a big portion of the fence with it… F#$&(*!@$ ELEPHANTS!!!


The side gate (the one that used to be a gate, but we closed up) was in tact. So was the fence between the neighbours and us. Steven was also outside now and between the two of us we pieced together what happened. Elephants pushed the gate open just enough to get in and then pushed it the other way to get out. And that was just too much for the support post that was rusted at the bottom. It snapped off! I took a video of Steven doing some CSI if you want to have a look!;-)


So with no front gate the biiiiig open gap acted as an open invitation to all the impala’s that are always around our staff houses. They made short work of the only greenery in our garden and mowed down all of the 9m2 of grass that we were so proud of. It is very dry in the veld at the moment, so if I were an impala, I would do the same. No hard feelings impala! Ok, maybe a little. I’ll get over it;-)


After I fetched the boys from school that afternoon, Steven and I had a sun downer in our front garden. “Well, not having a gate or a fence really does open up the view…” I joked. “Maybe we should pack some things in the garage so the hyenas don’t eat them…” I pondered. Steven agreed. “What do you think we should put away?” I asked him. He though about that for a second and then said: “Everything!” Hahahaha, very true! Hyenas will chew on just about anything if they get a chance.


While we lived in Letaba, we lost a few inflatable swimming pools to the jaws of hyena’s as well as a blow-up crocodile. (read: The Day it snowed in the Staff Village.) They chewed the saddle of Aiden’s bike, ate a pair of flipflops Steven left outside by mistake, and a few of our welcome mats disappeared into the bush. And then of course there are my two trail camera’s… to mention just a few…(Also read: Trailcam Tragedy and Tickbite Fever)


At least, up until now, we actually had a gate we could close and keep hyenas and impalas out. They are not that lucky at Ava and Aiden’s (the boys older brother and sister) house in Skukuza, where they live with their mother. A hyena decided that the culvert next to their gate was the perfect place to start a den and have her babies.


Needless to say that makes it impossible for them to close their gate. Their swimming pool has also fallen victim to the hyena clan. And when it is time for Ava and Aiden to go to school, they make a run for the car and jump in. You don’t want to upset a hyena mommy! Poor choice of den site if you ask me, but hey, I am no hyena!


Anyway, I made a poor attempt to save the last few blades of grass by stringing a rope between the two trees at the gate, but needless to say that did not help at all. The next morning the impalas were all over the garden.


So I give up!! Elephants: 32 – Linda’s garden: 0. We have had a lovely 13mm of rain last week, which will cover our whole garden in paper thorns once again in no time. That plastic grass someone mentioned a while back as a comment on my blog: Gardening in Kruger NP for dummies, is starting to sound pretty darn good…;-)

7 thoughts on “Goodbye Gate!

  1. Goodness Linda – your life is never dull! So sorry about the gate and that lovely 9m2 piece of grass that you so carefully nurtured. I hope that its possible to replace the rusted pole with a new one so the gate can be re-hung? What happened to the video of Steven’s CSI work 🙂 ?

  2. You surely have a big problem….I don’t know if plastic grass will know. The hyenas will probably graze on that!!!

  3. What a dilemma. Can only imagine how frustrating this is, especially when your love for the animals is just as great. Have to admit I would go with gravel and a few pots with unappetizing plants. Please take a careful look around and make sure you have no culverts. That would just be the cherry on the top if you got a family of hyenas.

  4. Ek beny julle eintlik, sal enige tyd in die wildtuin wil bly, glo julle het nie n vervelige oomblik nie, ek sal elke dag laundry mat toe ry net om diere te kyk en dan is jy nog alleen met die leeus sonder n klomp karre en geraas om jou. Wow. Geniet jou stories baie. Groete Linda Venter.

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