Savuti Camp, Chobe National Park 15th - 17th Apr
Another great campsite in Chobe. Highlights included, seeing a lone male lion on a game drive, but the ulimate prize was seeing a wild dog kill in the camp ground, Susan's take on events are as below:
We had eaten dinner and Kaz and I had decided it was time for bed, just was I finished brushing my teeth and was climbing into the roof tent something bolted past the tent going at break neck speeds! Kaz and I got into our tents, from the safety of the tent I peered out into the darkness to see if there was a tired predator in pursuit but there was nothing. As I snuggled under the covers a guy from the next camp over passed by on his way to the toilet block which was about another 100m meters way, as he joined the main track I could here him shout, come quick a hyena has brought down an impala!! I raced to get my trousers back on and Kaz and I dashed along the path to where he was standing, it was no hyena but a wild dog!!! It had brought down the impala less than 70m from our camp and we were now standing within 30m of it as we watched it tear into the carcass. Everyone else joined us and as we watched we were joined by some other on lookers in the form of two hyenas who were skulking in the shadows, they were very close!! As these visitors arrived the lone dog tried to drag the carcass but didn't get far and decided to leave his meal after only a couple of bites. The hyena's had also disappeared so using all of our common sense we went to check out the carcass, I didn't have such a close look, Paul didn't recommend it but could see the poor impala lying there, it's heart gone! Dave's dad actually touched the animal and was surprised at how cold it was already. Thinking the excitement was over we headed back to camp, as I got ready to climb up again at least 6 or 7, impala I thought raced past again, Dave and Kaz were still out on the track watching the carcass from a distance when I heard Kaz say to Dave, 'Lets get out of here', they were no impala it was the wild dog pack back to claim there prize!! One of the dogs had stopped and barked at Kaz and Dave, warning them to stay away I guess while the others raced forward to the carcass. I grabbed my torch and we all headed back to watch!! As we looked on the dogs made short work of the poor impala, it was amazing to watch as they ripped and teared, we could hear the hide ripping and bones being crunched. As they filled up and started to lie down, obviously full from there rather fast meal we decided to leave them to it! It was AMAZING!! We were told that there are only a couple of hundred wild dogs left in southern Africa; we had been able to see something very special!! The next morning I was expecting some bones, a blood stain at least where we'd looked at the carcass the night before but there was nothing, everything had been cleaned up. All that was left were a lot of animal tracks, both wild dog and hyena. What could beat such a close encounter!!!