The African wild dogs are quite prominent on the Klaserie traverse, and guests have been enjoying consistent sightings of these mottled dogs frolicking in waterholes and indulging in ceremonious greetings. Sightings of the dogs are considered rare, and packs tend to cover wide terrain which means it’s hard to track their movements. What we do know is that the African wild dogs are far more sedentary during the denning period which spans roughly 3 months.
The wild dogs have been known to return to the old den sites, and there appear to be quite a few on the Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp traverse. The dogs have been seen outside of their sedentary period, and currently the surrounds of both camps enjoy sightings of a small pack of 6, a pack of 14 and a mega-pack of 25 dogs.
The pack of 14 dogs are the dogs that have most commonly been spotted, and there are times when rangers will only see fragmented groups of the mega-packs. However, if you observe the dogs for lengthy periods of time you will notice how the packs re-group, socialise and enjoy a rather loud-mouthed greeting ceremony with a range of vocalisations coming to the fore.
Just recently ranger Elmar Van Niekerk stumbled across the dogs devouring a recent kill. The fluffy whites of their tails were wagging as they shredded pieces of flesh from their prey, and plenty of high pitched twittering could be heard during their meal time. Prior this event, the dogs were spotted again, bringing the wild dog sighting count even higher. Just when we thought the wild dog sightings might be waning, the dogs re-appeared – and this time it was Chade from Africa on Foot who led guests into the sighting.
One of the Africa on Foot rangers, Chade, found the large pack of African wild dogs while he was out in the game viewer with his guests. After he radio’ed through the sighting, resident videographer Rogan Kerr moved towards the dogs and began filming.
Rogan says, “After guests of nThambo Tree Camp and Africa on Foot enjoyed a sighting with the Wild Dogs on the hunt during their morning drive, I found them post-kill lazing by a waterhole. The remains of the impala they had caught lay by the waterside, under the eyes of a dozen hungry vultures. A single dog on sentry duty worked hard to keep the scavengers off their prize, but the tenacious birds had the last laugh as they picked the bones clean!”
It’s all systems go for our admirable wild dog predators at the moment.