Wild dogs on the hunt

Early one morning during our December visit to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, we were travelling slowly along one of our favourite game viewing drives, the Sontuli Loop, on our way to a picnic breakfast.

Around a corner, we encountered a pack of African Wild Dogs running down the road in the opposite direction, passing our vehicle at speed. There was at least thirteen dogs in the pack (it is very difficult trying to count them as they duck and dive through the bush and into and out of the road). We made a U-turn and followed them; it is not every day you get to see wild dogs on the hunt! Every now and then they’d stop and scan the area around them for prey, giving us an opportunity to take some photos, before setting of again.

(Click on any of the photos to enjoy the sighting with us in a carousel gallery)

The kill was over in a blur. My eye caught a flash of dogs chasing an impala lamb into a thicket. In between the excited yelping of the dogs the impala lamb gave one of two feeble bleats, and then it went quiet. Suddenly the dogs burst out of the thicket, scattering in every direction, each with a small morsel of impala in their jaws to enjoy away from the rest of their hungry pack mates. A baby impala does not go far when it has to be shared between so many mouths.

Just as unexpectedly as they first appeared, the dogs were up again, heading towards the Black Umfolozi River and out of sight. All that remained on the scene was a lonely hyena lucky enough to have found some entrails, and a bunch of vultures descending from above…

Hyena cleaning up after the wild dog kill

Hyena cleaning up after the wild dog kill

 

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29 thoughts on “Wild dogs on the hunt

  1. Pingback: Summer at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi | de Wets Wild

  2. iAMsafari.com

    Great series Dries, that close up from ground level is excellent. Only saw a glimpse of a pack at Hwange NP, another hot spot for wild dogs. But that was in the early ’90s and Hwange’s wildlife has been struggling a lot ever since unfortunately…

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thanks Sylvia! We were very lucky, and it will probably be a while before we see anything like it again. But who knows? The beauty of being out in South Africa’s wild places is that you don’t know what you’re going to see around the next corner…

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  3. UnderAnAfricanSun

    I have been pretty lucky to see dogs a few times but never on a hunt that would be amazing to watch. The very first time I ever saw them was at Imfolozi and I will never forget that or the people that had told us where they were laying and sent us out to look for them. Your photos are beautiful.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      We were very lucky to have seen three different packs during our five day visit to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi in December, Matthias. Next time you’re in SA, that’s the best place to go looking for them 😉

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