Brendon from Okavango Machaba: Wild Dogs Hunt, and Hunt, and Hunt …
The morning started with a search for Wild Dogs, but although we found tracks, there was no sign of dogs.
But anyway, as usual we were taken by the plethora of game, and besides the large herds of Zebra, hundreds of Impala, numerous Kudu, we were thrilled to see a herd of no fewer that 16 Sable Antelope. They looked so stately against the green, lush surroundings.
The river also provided plenty to see. Not only Hippos showing off, this morning there were two young bull Elephants fighting in the water. The sight of the two jostling, shoving, creating huge splashes as they vied for dominance was a truly fabulous sight to photograph.
In fact, the riverside was so magnificent that we stopped for our coffee break along the banks of the river, and then found ourselves very reluctant to leave the beautiful spot. We remained for much longer than originally intended as we photographed all types of bird species as they flew by, or landed next to us to check us out!
So, Open-billed Storks, Egyptian Geese, Spurwing Geese, Red-billed Teals flew around busily, while African Jacanas trotted around on the Lily-pads and Pied Kingfishers hovered above the water before diving to catch fish.
Every minute presented something to photograph.
On the way back to the Lodge we heard that the Wild Dogs had been spotted and although we detoured in that direction, they had disappeared into some very thick bush.
This afternoon we headed back to the same area, hoping to see the dogs – and this time they were right there – sleeping out in the open.
Now, how do I describe the remainder of the afternoon? It could not be more different from the serenity of the morning! The afternoon was loud, frantic, exhilarating, fast-moving, breathtaking – you get the idea!
The dogs were hunting!
And what a fast-paced, nonstop action this proved to be, with adrenalin, breathlessness and moments of sheer heart pounding excitement. First the dogs spotted, and went after a herd of Impala, with us close on their heels. Then another two Impala chases followed – each with all the incredible anticipation of the chase!
Then the dogs spotted a Waterbuck, and this was the closest, most dangerous, frenzied and electrifying chase of all. The dogs chased – again with us following closely – and just as they were about to grab the Waterbuck, it suddenly veered and plunged into the safety of the river, and swam across to the far side! Whew! I think we are still shaking from that chase!
The hunting continued up and down the river banks, and we remained with the activity until it was simply too dark to see anything.
Tonight we are having a Braai out in the bush! Think how amazing that is! And of course there is always something extra wonderful to end a spectacular day like today. Tonight it was a Giant Eagle Owl, watching us with a deep blue-black sky behind it. So, our cameras are still busy …
Tomorrow is our final morning on this safari … hopefully we will be lucky enough to see the Wild Dogs again …