Who let the dogs loose? Sabi Sabi Game Reserve.

"The hunting success rate of African wild dogs is as high as 80%, more than twice that of lions and the highest of any large predator in Africa."




Game drives are always a source of joy for me. I climb onto a vehicle with no expectations and that way I am never disappointed with the sightings that I experience during the time that I am out in the bush. It can be a chameleon on a branch, or in this case an elephant that was deciding whether it should leave the herd and investigate us. Up to this point of this particular outing, this was as exciting as it has gotten, but what we did not know was that things were about to change…radically!



For, not too far away we found THIS! And we thought that it was alone, but were mistaken as the rest of the pack was hidden in the long grass not too far away as we were soon to discover. This individual was just keeping an eye out for potential prey or other predators. With the exception of leopards, Wild Dogs always get my adrenaline pumping as the chances of witnessing a kill are much higher than with almost any other predator.



Making certain the ‘tools-of-the-trade’ are in good working condition. Compared to both lions and leopards their teeth are pristine white.



The pack also had a number of pups that were more focused on play than on what the adults were doing. The vehicle at the sighting with us became their playground, giving me the opportunity to get photographs.



One of the pups did stop and stare at us for a moment before continuing to cavort with its siblings.



Although it might look like play to an untrained eye, it is all a learning experience…even sticking your face into an exhaust pipe has consequences that will remain with this pup.




While the youngsters were investigating each other and the vehicle, the adults were up on this small koppie, seemingly on high alert as something had attracted their attention.



Backlit by the waning afternoon sun, the adult members scanned the area around us…waiting in anticipation of what? We were about to find out the answer to THAT question soon.



The symbolism of the Wild Dog is that of family, community, and a positive attitude. African wild dog as a totem teaches us success through perseverance, to be a good judge of character, and to be free with our affection.



Look carefully and you can see the face of a Spotted Hyena that had become the focus of the pack. We had heard the animal screaming and had followed through the bush, just in time to see the dogs biting its rear end in order to keep it from possibly attacking them. Hyena will often follow wild dogs in the hope of stealing their prey as the dogs are not usually able to retain a kill if there is more than one hyena.



Unfortunately for THIS individual, it was alone as can be seen by the blood on its rump, it came off the worst in this altercation. It waited on the rock until the dos left before coming out of hiding and slinking off in the opposite direction. Lesson learned, for now. Next time it will probably bring reinforcements.



As the sun sinks below the horizon, it is time to head back to Sabi Sabi Selati Camp for dinner and drinks.



A beautiful evening so we ate outdoors, which was a splendid way to end off what had been an exciting afternoon drive.



With the moon hanging above us, it was time to head back to our accommodation as an early morning drive beckoned and who knows what that might deliver. Good night and sweet dreams.



To find out more about what Sabi Sabi can offer, click on the logo above to be linked to their website.




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