Today, we enjoyed a lovely breakfast at Madhams and I did a bit of catching up on e-mail & work.

I just have to post photos of the food because it’s so beautifully done!  Here’s what I ate for breakfast:
avo and health toast

and this…

madham cappuccino

And then… after ice-creams and a new pair of shoes (for Morgan’s rapidly expanding feet)… we drove off to visit Jessica.

Jessica is the only tame, people-friendly adult hippo in the world (and is very famous).

She was washed up by floods as a tiny calf and discovered by a game ranger who lives on the river banks of one of the smaller off-shoots of the Blyde River.  The game ranger and his wife took the hippo in… and now, she is fully grown – and utterly domesticated.

This is strange behaviour for a hippo.  Hippos are known for being exceptionally aggressive and territorial and for killing more people in Africa than any other wild animal!  Everyone knows that you never approach a hippo… that you keep away from hippos! They have enormous jaws, enormous teeth… and a single bite can kill you.

And yet – there was Jessica… this sweet, friendly hippo… who drinks copious amounts of Rooibos tea – and who happily munches on sweet potatoes and corn.

What makes it even more interesting, is that she’s not a captive hippo.  She spends most of the time with her human family… and occasionally wanders up-stream to bond with the other wild hippos in the vicinity… and then comes back again.

We all fed Jessica – although Joah was a bit nervous and didn’t want to touch her or feed her from her favourite tea bottle.  I loved touching her snout – it almost felt rubbery… with bristles of hair poking out.  And yes – I even kissed her!

Here’s some pics…

jessica 3

That's my hand... with a chunk of sweet potato...

That’s my hand… with a chunk of sweet potato…

Morgan feeding Jessica...

Morgan feeding Jessica…

Joah feeding Jessica...

Joah feeding Jessica…

Time for tea! Jessica loves sweetened Rooibos tea...

Time for tea! Jessica loves sweetened Rooibos tea…

I kissed the hippo!

I kissed the hippo!

Soon, Morgan was confident enough to feed Jessica on her own...

Soon, Morgan was confident enough to feed Jessica on her own…

Happy Jessica...

Happy Jessica…

After visiting Jessica, we headed out to a lovely tea garden that overlooks the distant Drakensberg mountains and an ancient, giant Baobab tree.  Wow!  I have definitely never visited such a huge tree (and the photos definitely don’t do it justice) and I was annoyed to see how many people had scratched meaningless graffiti into the ancient bark…

baobab

baobab 2

baobab 3

Anyway… so we enjoyed divine pancakes… and I enjoyed the lovely view while the kids cooled themselves with wishing-well water… and ran through the sprinklers.  Here’s some photos…

Morgan ordered a chocolate mousse pancake...

Morgan ordered a chocolate mousse pancake…

I ordered a banana-caramel pancake... and Joah opted for ice-cream...

I ordered a banana-caramel pancake… and Joah opted for ice-cream…

Joah cooling off in the wishing well...

Joah cooling off in the wishing well…

Then, it was back to Clare’s house for an afternoon nap… and afterwards, the cousins enjoyed dusk game of lego on the trampoline.

When it was dark, we drove into town for pizza at a fantastic Italian restaurant – owned and operated by Sicilian foodies who moved to Hoedspruit just a few years ago (and who speak with very strong Italian accents).

The kids played… Clare and I yakked some more… and were eventually joined by Michel (who had been away in White River on a consulting trip).  Lovely company… lovely food… happy children… another fabulous day for grateful-happy-me!  🙂