Photo of the Day
|Yet another amazing sighting of our pack of 30 wild dogs!!!|
(Chad and Herold)
3 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Motswari, Umbabat Cutline
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Peru, Klipgat Crossing
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Peru, Lily Pan
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Java, Back of Java
1 x elephant bull – Jaydee, Makulu Dam
(Chad, Shaddy and Herold)
30 x wild dogs – Scholtz, Kudu Pan
1 x leopard (Makepisi male) – Peru, Jack’s camp Crossing
3 x rhinos
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Argyle, Argyle Dam
2 x elephant bulls – Karans, Sumatra North-South Cutline
6 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Wedge River Rd
Heading out this morning, I was keen for lions, and as always, wild dogs! I checked the Wedge and the northern boundary, as lion tracks had moved north-east from Argyle in the direction of Motswari, but it was very quiet in that area, so when Herold called in tracks for the “smaller” pack of 16 wild dogs near Motswari, I went and checked the surrounding areas, finding a mother and baby giraffe and a breeding herd of buffalo making their way towards Xinatsi Dam.
Continuing with the wild dog tracks, they headed east, and I thought I would carry on and search for other things. Giyani had a nice elephant herd and some rhinos in the south, but on arriving in the area, all I could find were the elephants, so spent my time watching them instead.
Herold and I then went to relocate on another group of rhinos a bit further west, and leaving the trackers on foot, it didn’t take them long to find the rhinos – the mother and calf with yet another new male, and one that none of us recognised, and as usual, she was growling at him whenever he came close, making for an interesting sighting before we headed back to the camp as the mercury rose – it is was as if the sun knew that now that the woodland’s kingfishers were back, it could turn up the heat, and man alive, it was warm!
I was lucky to have my parents join me in the afternoon, and so we took it nice and easy as the clouds took away some of the heat. We began by going past Argyle Dam and enjoying the hippos and impalas in the area; Petros and I did a re-enactment of our leopard charge for them, and I can almost see this becoming a new feature on quiet drives!!! There was a lone giraffe near the dam, as well as waterbuck, impala and another giraffe on Piva Plains.
I took a chance and headed east to go and look for the wild dogs, as another station had found no tracks crossing north or east, so there was a chance they were still around, but we bumbled along slowly, seeing another baby impala and some elephant bulls as we went.
Our arrival at Kudu Pan couldn’t have been more perfect, as just as we were about to drive past it, my mother said “wild dog”, but so quietly, I wasn't sure if she was talking or saying she had seen one! As it turns out, it was one...and then two...and three....and eventually 17 adult wild dogs lined up at the water’s edge drinking and bathing.
A while later the pups emerged from the bushes and also went to join the adults, making a total of 30 wild dogs around Kudu Pan – what magic!
The pack was resting when an unsuspecting duiker came running past and got the dogs into action, and we followed, but mistakenly followed the pups that went to rest about a kilometre later and the adults went off on a real hunt; we had no sooner left when the adults returned with the remains of a steenbuck and the pack got to feast, but were left chilling at the pan as we went for a drink.
The trip home was a quiet one, only an owl, a chameleon and a new born baby wildebeest that got interested in our lights as we drove past and almost came chasing after us!
Shaddy got lucky with Makepisi male and three rhinos in the afternoon, giving everyone another wonderful day at Motswari...all we are missing are lions now!