Crikey! My Animals, and Other Families…

Two dogs, eight cats and two tortoises should be more than enough for any one family, right? No. Apparently not here!

Quite aside from the slithery terror of the rather undangerous Stripe-Bellied Sandsnake my brother had to remove on Monday morning, black-breasted orioles and yellow-billed hornbills rap at the mirrored glass windows of the lodge’s office incessantly, attacking the rivals they see reflected in their own images.

There have been droves of Mopani moths, and on Tuesday morning, the kitten was playing with a scorpion, of the genus Parabuthus Granulates (yup, a muesli parabat, by the sounds of things, but highly lethal if it stings you!)

Yesterday, at lunch time, we were called home to stop the dogs attacking and possibly being killed by the two wild warthogs that broke through the fence. On the mad dash homewards, we had to brake sharply, to miss the troupe of baboons that erupted out of the trees as we rounded the corner between the lodge and the homestead, and, once the warthogs were dispatched into the wild, the neighbour’s wife calmly informed us of the two-metre long spitting cobra that our dogs had killed before they took on the warthogs.

Without a doubt, the dogs have balls, and no brains, but I have a very active imagination, so have spent the last two nights screaming in abject terror every time one of the cats walked past me and tickled the back of my knees with its tail.

I think they do it on purpose!

Stripe-Bellied Sandsnake

Kitten Henry, checking Sis-inLaw Lara’s hair for scorpions…

Mopani Moth – HUGE!


Yellow-Billed Hornbill knocking at the office window

Wild Warthog in the garden…

…2-metre long Spitting Cobra killed by the dogs, also in the garden!

Erik Cat thinking, “Just you wait ’til this camera-wielding idiot turns his back…I’ll scare the Bejaysus out of him!”


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  1. Hey Dave, sounds like you've embarked on an awesome journey out of hell. I wish you all the best my friend, make the most of your second chance and shout if you need a hand – or shoulder to cry on! Enjoy the African bush – I can relate to the stories – and what ever you do… don't give up!

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