Alex finds a Scorpion

On Lock-down inside Kruger National Park – Day 7

Alex finds a Scorpion
We are slowly getting into a routine in this strange time that is called lock-down. Soon after breakfast, we head outside to spend time in the garden. While Steven and I work on getting our grass to grow, the boys play. They love sticks and turning over stones. We always warn them that they must call us if they see a scorpion or a snake.


So it did not even come as much of a surprise when Alex came running towards us yelling that he had found a scorpion while he was playing with some wooden offcuts of a bookcase we are busy building. Jack was hot on his heels. My heart always skips a beat or two when they find a snake or a scorpion. I am always worried that they try and pick it up before they come and call Steven or myself. So I am very glad our constant words of caution about the more dangerous critters in and around the house are starting to pay off. Both Alex and Jack had not touched the rather large ‘Scorpionidea’ and kept their distance while Steven coaxed the scorpion in an empty mayo jar.


It is not the first critter we have found in our garden during this lock-down. (apart from the hyena that ate steven’s flipflop and the Porcupine that came under the fence). Yesterday, we found a Giant Land Snail on the driveway!

How cool is it to have a ranger dad, who can tell you all about the animals we find! So part of the ‘home-schooling’ in the Oosthuizen residence during this lock-down consists of biology lessons from daddy! First, of course, Steven reminded the boys that they must never touch scorpions and snakes. And while we were on that subject I just had to add that Giant Land Snails and Leopard Tortoises are not pets. They will never be pets and are, therefore, not allowed to be petted!


Steven then explained to the fascinated Alex and Jack that scorpions are venomous and that they can sting with their tail. Some scorpions have big stings and small pincers and other scorpions have big pincers and a small sting. “Kan daai skerpioen my seer maak, papa?”Alex asked with a concerned look on his face. “Vir seker, seuna!” Valuable lessons learned!

The boys spent quite some time studying the scorpion in the jar and later, while Jack was napping and Alex was chilling inside, I saw Steven take the jar outside. I watched him spend a couple of minutes finding a suitable place outside our garden to let the scorpion go. After he found a nice stack of wood, he made sure that the scorpion was fine and none the worse for his time in confinement. That is one of the things I admire most in my husband: His love for all animals; from a small scorpion to the biggest elephant, he loves them all. He truly is a “Custos Naturae.”

8 thoughts on “On Lock-down inside Kruger National Park – Day 7

  1. I remember Steven as our trail Ranger. It was one of our first wilderness trail and it was not his usual trail.. probably Olifsants or Nyalaland . around 2006. He really turned us on to the Wilderness trails and have done 8 more. We are in lock down in rural Washington State. We are fully booked for Sept-October 2020 and hopw to be there. For now we will enjoy your adventure

  2. Your blog is manna from heaven during lockdown.
    We should have been going to Kruger with my Childrrn from HongKong tomorrow. ?.

  3. Linda,,,am loving following you and your family during ‘lock down’……I am here in Arizona in the Sonoran desert….and we also are on a lock down…..perhaps a bit milder than yours…but, I have chosen to self isolate…and actually finding it rather nice . It is amazing what one can come up with to occupy time.
    Keep the stories coming…..always fun to read them.
    Best to you and your family

  4. I see that the grass is growing well! The boys obviously love all the interesting things that they find and its wonderful that you are making this part of their home schooling. I’m sure they will grow up to be custodians of wild life what ever their professions. That is an impressive looking scorpion! As always, thanks for bringing the Kruger to us in your blogs, much appreciated.

  5. I just love your blog, Linda. My mom’s brother was manager of the shop in Pretoriuskop when I was about18 I am now 81. While they were living there my mom and I would visit them every July. I always helped in the shop,selling gifts to overseas guests. I met one elderly guy who regularly came to the shop in the evenings to buy gifts for his wife back in the States. We chatted away but I never knew his name until the last evening when he told me that he was Prof David Lockmillar, Rector of the Chattanooga University in Tennissee and he offered me a scolarship provided by Rotary for a year.that could be extended. I was a first year student in Pta majoring in Languages and Music at the time. He suggested a meeting with my mom and myself over lunch one day when we would all be back as time was too short to discuss everything at lengh with all the details. We subsequently met him in the Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg and he said that i could lodge with him and his wife on the Campus for the first year until I had founf my feet.. Unfortunately the Suez Canal crisis happened a while later and it could turn ugly and I couldn’t leave my mom all by herself in SA as I was an only child and my father had died earlier. I will always treaure the memory of those days in Pretorius Kop when I got the chance of a lifetime that I had to miss. .

  6. Hi Linda .Every time I read your blog post, I can virtually get transported to the smells,sounds and sights of KNP. Thanks for this.
    Having a powerful animal all to yourself on the road is special. They relax so easily and that raw interaction is special. One such occasion was with an intense female leopard on a backroad between Tschkwane and Orpen.She stared at us from a tree right on the roadside, then leapt down and sauntered off elegantly as only a cat would!
    Looking forward to our annual trip as soon as Covid departs.

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