Hi everyone! I hope you are all healthy and enjoying a little more freedom now that we are in alert level 3! We are doing well here at Malalane Gate. Even though Alex and Jack are getting very gatvol of being confined to the house and yard all the time, we still try to make the most of it!
We had three very entertaining animal encounters around the house the past week. I was sitting at my desk mid-morning when movement outside caught my eye. When I looked left, I saw a big warthog running in our garden. I thought we had closed the holes under the fence properly. But somehow this warthog managed to get inside!
The varkie looked about as confused about his whereabouts as I was about how he got in. The bristles on top of his head and back of his neck were all ruffled and out of place. It was an extremely entertaining sight! I quietly stepped onto to stoep at the back of our house. This, in turn, freaked the warthog out and he bolted for the front gate and belly crawled/flew under the gap and out of the garden leaving me in stitches!
Then at the beginning of last week, we had an attempted break-in… Not in the human criminal sense, but in the Vervet Monkey criminal sense! As you know, the Vervet Monkey residents of our little staff village sleep in the trees in our garden. They love foraging for their respective breakfast and dinner around the house in the early morning and late afternoons. They have never tried to break into our house before, unlike their cousins up in the Letaba Staff Village. (read: Vervet Monkeys – the staff village delinquents)
Occasionally I catch them sitting on our windowsills outside, looking in. But like I said they have never tried to break and enter. Now our gauze door at the kitchen does not close very well. We actually have to pull it closed, but if one of the boys doesn’t or we forget, the door stands slightly ajar. This must have been too much of a temptation for one of the Vervets. I was busy folding clothes when I heard a soft noise in the kitchen. Jack was napping and Alex was in the couch watching a story so it could not be them.
I popped my head in the door opening and saw a young Vervet Monkey peek around the corner. We gave each other such a fright! Haha, I still have to giggle thinking about it. I screamed, the Vervet Monkey screamed and then ran outside with me in hot pursuit. I have never seen a monkey run to the living quarters so quickly!! Note to self: we really need to fix that gauze door!
Not just to keep the monkeys out, but also the Skaapsteker that we are seeing quite regularly these days. Remember the snake that almost fell on my head? We have seen him three more times in the past two weeks. He probably lives somewhere in our garden. I don’t mind him as a neighbour, but he must just stay outside… if that is not a good reason to fix the door I don’t know what is;-))
Yesterday, I went for a much-needed trip to the Laundromat again. I went twice before in the past two weeks, but during those laundry days, I did not see much at all. I know how much you love to hear about my laundry days, but if I had written a blog about these two quiet days, it would have been an extremely short one. Something like: “I drove 13 kilometres to do my washing. I saw a heard of impala’s. I came back. The end.” Lol. So I thought let me rather wait until I see something great again!
Unfortunately, the animal sightings yesterday were a bit disappointing. But the spectacular view of Kruger’s winter veld more than made up for that in my book!
It was a beautiful cold morning. The sun had not even peeked over the horizon when I left. But the first light brought a beautiful palette of soft pastel colours from ranging from yellow all the way to blush pink. At the T-junction, a herd of impalas was taking up the whole road. They looked like they had their winter jackets on with their beautiful coats all fluffed up to keep warm.
In my rear-view mirror, the sun made its appearance, all orange and bright. Almost the same colour the leaves on the trees are now. A patch of fog was hanging low in the valley on my left. And as I stopped to take a picture of it, the fresh winter air entered my car through the open window. I love that smell. In fact, I love everything about winter in the lowveld. With their cold nights and mornings and lovely temperatures during the day. It is my favourite time of the year!
So although I did not see any cats or elephants during my trip to camp, I still had such a lovely drive! Kruger’s beauty is not just about seeing animals, it is about the sunrises and sunsets, the hills and valleys, the sounds and the smells, and the breath-taking scenery too.
I hope you all get to come and experience Kruger’s beauty again soon. I would lie if I said I am not going to miss the peace and quiet of Kruger without visitors. But I don’t mind sharing…;-)