Answering your questions

A few days ago I asked you if you had any questions about my life in the bush, and today I will be answering them.

The first question came from Jocelyn from O Mighty Crisis (and from Quin)

What foods do you wish you could have easy access to…but don’t?  What do you crave?

Although our home is quite isolated, we are about 23 km’s from the nearest town. In town there are two national chain supermarkets which carry most products that we need on a daily basis although sometimes our choice is limited. For instance, it took us some persuading to get the supermarket to stock my daughters favorite breakfast cereal.  Before that, we got people to bring some to us when they came to visit.  She still wants another variety too but I’m not sure if it is still being sold in South Africa (Fruit Loops?)

Things like tahini, that I need to make my own humus, is not available, so a couple of us from our town place orders when someone is going to a city.  Other things we crave sometimes are Kentucky Fried Chicken and Sushi (we can get a limited amount at one of our restaurants on a Friday evening only – and then you have no choice).



I think because there are quite a few luxury international safari lodges in the area, the shops tend to stock most of what we need.  Besides food though, we have a very limited choice when buying shoes and clothes and prefer to drive a few hours to do that kind of shopping.  There are also no fabric stores, movie cinemas, home decor stores, or book stores, and we don’t have a functioning fire station (a few homes burned to the ground recently) or a decent hospital.

The second question came from Greg from Greg’s World

What is a legavaan?

Well Greg, it’s kinda like a huge lizard. (rock monitor)

(image from here)

(Varanus albigularis),  the legavaan or white-throated monitor, is a species of monitor lizard found in southern Africa. It is the second longest lizard found on the continent of Africa and the heaviest bodied.

Last week Cleo, my dog, had a run in with one at the pool. She barked at it and grabbed it in  her mouth and tossed it into the air until I called her off.  The legavaan didn’t seem to care much but moved off eventually.  Cleo is very lucky that it did not hurt her.

Question 3 comes from Sweffling from Stopping by woods

Which animal/s do you have the most difficulty keeping out of the house and allied to that, which animals wish to come in and share your house during the winter?

Luckily, because we have extremely mild winters, most animals are quite happy to stay away from human habitation in our area.  The creatures that give me most problems are squirrels because they like to make their homes in our thatch roofs. We have to regularly rescue birds that have flown inside and release them and on a couple of occasions have had to remove snakes from our cottages and relocate them. So far we have not had any inquisitive mammals who would like to move in (thank goodness).  On the insect front, it’s really another story. They ALL want to live with us and it’s an ongoing battle to keep our cottages reasonably insect free without resorting to poisons.  I must admit that even although I am considered a greenie, and I save and release spiders,  – cockroaches, flies, mosquitos and ants get sprayed.

My veggie garden on the other hand gets many visits from all types of buck, porcupines and hippos.

Question 4 is from Mark of The Idiot Speaketh

What is the strangest ANIMAL or creature that you have found taking a secret dip in your pool?

Now I know Mark is longing to hear about gorillas, and constantly teases me about them, we DO NOT have gorillas running wild in South Africa.  The strangest thing I have found in the pool is a long extremely thin worm like creature that wriggles and squirms its way across the surface of the pool. It is so thin that it almost looks like a hair and is a few inches in length.  I have yet to find out what it is.

Other creatures we fish out of the pool are bees, frogs (lots of frogs), huge beetles, grasshoppers and unfortunately once a drowned snake.  The larger animals on the game reserve don’t even come to drink the water from our pool.  They are fussy and I think prefer chlorine-free that they get from the river and watering holes.


I hope you have all learned a little more about us and our home.  If you have any more questions, please post them in the comments and I’ll do another post like this if necessary.












7 thoughts on “Answering your questions

  1. It’s interesting learning what foods are difficult to find in your part of SA.

    When we lived in Vietnam, the only fast food in the country was Kentucky Fried Chicken. Though we rarely eat McDonalds when we’re home in the US, my plane had no sooner hit the airport in Seoul on my trips back to the States, than I was off to have my burger fix. It’s amazing what you suddenly want when you can’t have it.

    Great post, Jackie!



  2. We were surprised by the number of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) stores during our visit. Our guides talked about their popularity but, of all the fast food outlets from the States, I guess I didn’t expect KFC to top the list in SA! Thanks for the lizard explanation and photo. That’s one big guy. I’m guessing they have a nasty bite!

    The long, slender worms might be gordian worms (similar to nematodes). We have a version here called Horsehair worms. They’re a parasite of insects (not harmful to humans), mate during the spring and fall, and love wet areas (even swimming pools).


    • Yip, both KFC and MacDonalds are a big hit here. We don’t have a macDonalds either but dont miss it really. – I prefer more real food 🙂

      The gordian worm is definitely what I saw as it had attached itself to a beetle. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!


    • Hello Pilar! I only saw your comment now. I guess I am too late but yes I am always happy to chat to you. I am off on a new adventure again too! I hope you get to see this reply!


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