African Wild dogs on Pidwa

We had driven all the way to the South of the reserve – we should know better. Whenever we do that, all the action is in the north! We had a call on the radio to say that the whole lion pride were enjoying a wildebeest breakfast so we picked up the pace to reach the sighting. It was a great scene, the 2 big males, females and cubs all gathered on a mound in the open under the shade of a single tree. Now it has to be something special to leave a sighting like that in under a minute but on this day it was! A call came over the radio, Issac our fence guy had spotted wild dogs. Ed was already on his way to confirm the sighting and soon delivered the great news that they were indeed in sight. We raced away from the lions and couldn’t believe our luck to arrive and find 4 African wild dogs in view. 2 were on the Langa langa side and 2 on the open system which meant they were staying put and trying to work out how to come together. We had an amazing sighting as they relaxed just off the road and did a little jogging to check on their counterparts across the fence. The following day they were all back together and began to move south. The following day I attended the EWT (Endangered Wildlife Trust) annual cheetah metapopulation project meeting. It was a great opportunity to speak to the wild dog representative and report our sighting. He explained that it is just before the mating season and so small numbers of dogs break off from the main pack and move off looking for new dogs and territory to form a new pack. These individuals are from the Kruger pack using the Phalaborwa area and it was a very special time to have them with us for a few days.

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