Fanus Shares from the Botswana Khwai, Savute, Chobe Safari: Drama, Drama, Drama!
This morning, being October, we were allowed to leave the Lodge earlier … which meant that we could reach Marabou Pan just as the sun rose.
The carcass was still there – but that was all that was similar to the previous days – now there was chaos everywhere. Jackals, hyenas, and different species of vultures jostled each other, trying to access the carcass.
At the same time there were plenty of elephants at the waterhole.
We spent the whole morning at Marabou Pan photographing the elephants and the drama as hyenas tried to force the jackals away, the jackals retaliated or slunk closer to the carcass from a different angle. The vultures were the least disturbed, hanging on to the carcass grimly, and simply flapping a little whenever the jackals or hyenas disturbed them. And every now and again something would suddenly disturb all the scavengers and while the vultures took to the skies in a huge cloud, the hyenas and jackals scattered – and returned furtively to start feeding and arguing again.
On the way back to the Lodge for lunch we encountered two – yes – two separate packs of Wild Dogs. Both we fast asleep in the heat of the day.
We quickly detoured past Pump Pan where we found two lionesses – members of the Northern Pride that total five. We saw a third lioness during the afternoon and assume that the males were either resting or maybe they were out marking their territory. The two females were starting to hunt a herd of buffalo, but the wily buffalo got wind of them and moved quickly into some thick Mopane bush.
This afternoon we went straight to Pump Pan where we photographed an almost uncountable number of elephants from every angle, different lighting conditions, wide angle, close ups – you name it we did it all, including this rear-end close-up image taken by Frans Pieterse.
Towards sunset we popped back to the Northern Pack of Wild Dogs and waited for them to wake up and get going – as they did after a few minutes. As the sun dipped below the horizon the dogs were up and almost immediately they started to hunt.
They found a large male Sable Antelope and started their chase in earnest. We followed for a while, but as it was time to return to the Lodge we had to leave them to their pursuit … but, wow! was it ever exciting while we followed along breathlessly –
I guess this is where we will probably start our morning, to try and determine the outcome of the chase …
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