A very special Laundy Day!

Locked-Down in Kruger National Park – Day 50

A Special Laundry Day!!

Steven and I have been very busy around the house the past week. We are finally catching up on all sorts of little DIY projects that we have been putting off for a long time. We simply cannot use the excuse that we are ‘too busy’ any more. 😉 Besides, keeping busy gets the mind off the lock-down blues. But in all our DIY endeavours, I have not been to the Laundromat in a while. And I urgently needed to!!


So Friday morning early, I left for camp. The mornings are really getting nippy now. The leaves on the trees are slowly changing colour and are slowly starting to fall. On some mornings, we can see some mist coming up for the river. This time of the year is simply stunning and it was a real treat to get out a bit and enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons in the park.


The elephants have made short work of the Marula tree they pushed over at the T-junction. The only thing left there are dry twigs on the asphalt and lots and lots of elephant poo. I had a silent chuckle when I drove around the debris. The ellies are loving their ‘holiday’ from people.


Not far from the T-junction, a shape on the left-hand side of the road caught my eye: it was the reddish-brown mane of a beautiful male lion! I have really been lucky and blessed with my lion sightings on my way to do my washing! And this big boy was so handsome! He was enjoying the warming rays of the morning sun.

I sat there next to him for a while. I might be struggling emotionally with this lock-down from time to time, but spending quality time with a lion is a great way to lift the spirits!! It reminds me of how lucky and privileged we are to live here. And of how thankful I am that I am allowed to do my washing in camp. Since we are not allowed to drive around just for the fun of it. Hugs, being social and having people visit will happen again. But having Kruger all to myself is a once in a lifetime experience!!

“Having Kruger to myself is a once in a life-time experience…”

Once my two loads of washing were on, I drove to the campsite. I thought it would be nice to wait there for the 45 minutes it takes for the washing machines to finish a load. It was still very early in the morning and in the shade, it was still quite cold. So I decided to sit in my car for a bit with the windows open and reply to a few messages.


I wasn’t there for more than a minute when a big family of crested Francolins came rushing to my car. The adults were tsjrrrrr tsjrrrr-ing to their half-grown babies to hurry along. The whole family group came to a halt close to my door. “Hello, julle!” I said to the Francolins that were all looking at me, obviously expecting food. “I have nothing for you. Besides, we are not allowed to feed you!” I then told the beady-eyed birds.


Then, without any warning, two of the youngsters flew up and almost flew into the car!! I waved my arms at them while yelling I cannot remember exactly what. Luckily, instead of landing on the windowsill, or worse, inside the car, the two Francolins ended up on my bonnet!

“You gave me a big fright, birdies!”

“Jislaaik, you two gave me a big fright!” I reprimanded the two young birds, who then tsjrrr-tsjrrrrr-ed at me through my windscreen in response. In my haste to take a video of this comic scene, I accidentally turned on my windscreen wipers! And that waved the two birds off my bonnet and sent the whole family on their way.


I was still smiling from my funny Francolin encounter when a movement on the other side of the fence caught my eye. It was a wild dog!!! He was trotting past, occasionally stopping to look behind him. There was blood on his face.


My jaw dropped to the floor. “Oh my goodness…” I whispered and climbed out of the car as quickly as I could. I rushed over to the fence and scanned the fence-line from right to left to see if there were any more dogs. The wild dog I saw from the car went through the dip on the left of the camping grounds and then disappeared from view.

Quickly, I walked along the fence in the direction the dog was looking before. I looked and looked. And then another wild dog appeared in the distance. And another one!! I could not believe my luck! They must have made a kill close by because their faces all looked covered in blood. I probably just missed it!


When I wanted to wait for my washing in the camping grounds, I thought I would maybe see a few impala’s and possibly a zebra or elephant. Never in my wildest dreams, I expected to see Wild Dogs on Laundry Day! How special is that!! So with a whole bunch of clean washing and an amazing story to tell, I returned home.


Look after yourselves, everyone! And stay safe!


Warm virtual hug, Linda




22 thoughts on “Locked-Down in Kruger National Park – Day 50

  1. Hi Linda
    You are so, so lucky. We all envy you I’m sure. Are you not allowed to take the children with you considering there is no one else around?

  2. Hi Linda, you are so fortunate to be able to drive through the park and use the facilities at the camp for your washing: not exactly wash-day blues, is it? Ha Ha. Nice sightings along the way, lion, francolin and the wild dogs: amazing. I imagine it is nice to be able to see the animals with no crowds around but I am also sure that you, Steve, Jack and Alex will be glad to see all lovers of Kruger returning to the park, hopefully in the near future. I for one will make bookings for around six weeks most probably staying at Crocidile Bridge, Skukusa, Letaba, Shingedzi and Punda Maria, the last two being my favourite places but in saying that, The Kruger National Park is the must be place to visit for all South Africans and overseas tourists. Best Reagrds to all and keep safe and well. Ray

  3. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I cant wait for laundry day. I too pray that things will.improve . Am.thankful for a device but also realise as we use we isolate ourselves from others who may be in the room and then along comes Corona and isolates us even more.
    Just to smell Kruger again.
    Stay safe

  4. That was really special. Your experiences have given me new interest in berg en dal. While it is my favorite camp because of the architecture I haven’t had luck with game spotting there.
    If and when I can make it, I will definitely book there.
    Take care.

  5. Lucky you Linda, we had one of our best wild
    sightings at the fence in Bergendal more than a dozen dogs finishing off an impala kill on the edge of the dam and we were the only ones there ?

  6. Hi Linda. Lees al heeloggend al jou blogs, sommige vir die hoeveelste keer. Ons al van 20 Februarie in ons Marloth huis om opknappings werk te doen. Die idee was om een dag te werk en die volgende in Kruger deur te bring. Dit het goed gewerk totdat die grendeltyd aangekondig is. Gelukkig kry ons heelwat “besoekers” rondom ons huis; koedoes, duiker, blouwildebeeste, bosbokkies, vlakvarke, muskeljaatkat en nagapies, maar jou en Steven se stories neem ons direk in die wildtuin en daarvoor is ons dankbaar.

  7. Sunday … no … Friday bloody friday as U2 sings. We never met wild dogs at KNP despite of our 13 trips ( from 2007 to 2018 1 or 2 stays a year !! ). Once we saw some of them at a rehabilitation center near Moholoholo. What a marvellous pic this lion resting and waiting for uncoming visitors ! I won’t see my laundry day as I used. I will watch carefully …. maybe this small gecko running on the wall is an incredible crocodile. Who knows ? Enjoy your week safely but deeply. School is starting again in Reunion island but with small groups to respect the distances between each of my pupils : I ‘m a teacher and I will have to teach my subject ( french litterature ) repeating at each sentence : Don’t forget to wash your ends at the break, don’t touch your fellows, keep safely away. Hum ! I wonder … no I’m sure …. what they call ” wild ” life is not in KNP !!! Do you understand what i’m meaning ??? LOL .

  8. Looking at my pile of laundry and wishing I could take it to camp like you do. Ah! but I live through your posts Linda, thankyou for an awesome laundry trip. How amazing to see wild dogs from the fence.

  9. You are so right . This is a once in a lifetime opportunity . Time to reflect on how we will go forward and things that will change . Your opportunity of being alone in the best place on earth is certainly unique and you do seem to appreciate it . Thanks for taking us along with you ??

  10. Ons het heimwee om daar te wees, is bespreek vir Aug, maar ons weet nie of dit gaan realiseer nie. Julle is bevoorreg. Geniet dit. Groete Linda

  11. Cant wait for later in the year as we have booked for a Kruger holiday. Really enjoy your posts. Thank you

  12. The luck is with you Linda . . . . What an amazing experience. I’m so glad you get these wonderful surprises now and then to balance the Covid Blues.

    1. It really was awesome. I have been saying to steven: I wonder when I am going to get a kill in the middle of the road on my laundry day. #lockdowngoals…;-)

  13. Hi
    Wow you are so fortunate to enjoy the Kruger park.
    I love the big handsome lion sighting.
    Will be visiting soon…..on my wish list for 2020. Our 6th or 7th time. A new experience everytime.
    Enjoy. Stay safe.

    Oush .

  14. Hi Linda and family
    Hope you guys are well and in good health. Like everyone else who is hooked on your family’s life in KNP and reminding us city dwellers of what we missing. We hope to see your updates in the very near future .
    As substitute I am again for the 3rd time reading Bryce Bryden’s “A Game Ranger Remembers” Still enjoy every story and a great book for anyone who loves the bush and especially KNP.
    Stay safe bless you all and thanks for looking after our heritage.

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