Elephant Plains: Wild Dogs Go For a Swim

Brendon Reports:

By late morning everyone had arrived at Elephant Plains, keen for our safari to begin, and to experience as much as possible of this fabulous part of the world.

We enjoyed lunch together followed by a get together and briefing. We also heard that Wild Dogs had been spotted at Big Dam this morning. Big Dam is close to the camp and we were raring to jump on the vehicles and find them.

And sure enough, when we left the Lodge and headed to Big Dam we were thrilled to see that the Wild Dogs were still there.


Some were lying on the banks of the dam, close to the water’s edge and a couple were lying right in the water. The day was quite hot and this seemed to be a good place to be.

We were delightedly photographing the scene when we noticed that more dogs were arriving from directly behind us. This meant that we could photograph them as they approached us, walked past us and went to join the reminder of the pack.

The joyful greetings carried on for ages as the dogs nuzzled one another, jumped on each other, licked and sniffed each other, vocalising all the time.

After the extended greeting ceremony and when all were satisfied that they had welcomed every other pack member they went off to the inflow area of the dam. It is quite cool and shady there, and they flopped down for a rest after first enjoying a long – long drink from the dam. The reflections in the water as they drank meant that we again captured some fabulous shots.


We remained with the Wild Dogs until darkness enveloped the area. Even when clouds rolled in and the sun began to set our cameras continued until eventually we needed flash or spotlights.

When we finally made our way back to the Lodge we saw a Small Spotted Genet, but as it was on the move we only managed a few grab shots.

The Side-striped Jackal that we saw next had no qualms about our presence or our cameras and allowed us to take as many images as we could wish for before it trotted off into the bush and we returned to the Lodge, thrilled with our encounters for today.

Tomorrow we would like to check on the dogs again, hoping that they may need to start hunting …