Wim Reports from Okavango – Machaba: Wild Dogs …
After a light breakfast we were ready for our morning game drive. We had received reports of Wild Dogs in the Mogotlo area, and we headed that way immediately. We found tracks while it was still dark, and followed these for most of the morning, but the dogs remained just a step or two ahead of us.
While searching and following the dog tracks, we did turn our attention to the game in the area, stopping to photograph Lechwe, Elephants, Zebras and so much more – and of course the wonderful birds. The bird life along the Khwai River is almost overwhelming, and one doesn’t travel far without seeing the iconic African Fish Eagle – listening to that beautiful call as it echoes across the bushveld is a sound that never fails to stir the heart.
While we were back at the Lodge to catch up on nourishment, to download our images, and to have a quick rest, we heard that the Wild Dogs had moved to an area close to the airstrip.
And that is exactly where we found them! Sixteen dogs in total, with a heavily pregnant alpha female. She was very restless, clearly searching for a suitable den for the arrival of her pups. She was joined in the search by the alpha male, and the remainder of the pack. We found it fascinating to watch how the pack gathered around her, watching over her, and caring for her at all times.
As the afternoon progressed, the dogs started to hunt. Again, this was amazing to witness. Again and again a number of dogs climbed termite mounds to scan the area for prey. As you can imagine, our images of clumps of dogs, alert, looking around expectantly, all excited, from the top of a mound are superb!
After a while we could see a massive storm building up on the horizon, and a strong wind started to gust … it took a few moments for the dogs to hunker down together on one of the islands, where they will wait out the storm.
We headed back to the Lodge, also keen to escape the storm and now that we know where the dogs are, we will head that way before sunrise …