When we went on our first game drive with Takura, our guide, he asked us, what we would like to see. The answer was: Wild Dogs!! Until now we had not had the luck to see them. But of course we were open for everything and lions were second on our list.
We had booked a bungalow at Madikwe River Lodge, from which we had a great view over the river and could watch many animals during the day. We had about 30 elephants at the river at one point and 2 of them wandered up the river, coming past our terrace.
In the morning, we started early with Takura, looking for wild dogs. We were fascinated, how all the guides from different lodges worked together to find them. When somebody had spotted a group of wild dogs disappear into an impenetrable area, each car took a position from where he had a good view of the roads around this area and then we waited. Suddenly the radio call came, that they had left the bushes and we were racing there to finally spot our first wild dog!
Like the brown hyena, wild dogs are endangered, threatened by habitat fragmentation, human persecution, and outbreaks of disease.
The next morning, we were looking for lions. Takura had spotted fresh lion prints not far from our lodge and we were following them. Over the radio, the others were informed where to look and soon a beautiful lion called Blondie was spotted.
He was sniffing the air and calling out for his girls. We had never seen such a beautiful male lion before, he looked as he just came from the hairdresser with his wonderful mane.
Later we found Blondies brother, who has a different colouring, with a more black mane, and his family. The group consisted of 4 females, a young male and the boss.
What looks very aggressive on the picture, was actually only a yawn, but it shows that these are no pussycats.
We were very happy we had booked a lodge for a change and drove with a guide. We might have spotted some animals ourselves, but the cooperation of the guides was just phenomenal and we had seen the most amazing lions, and the very special hyenas and wild dogs.
We are now on the way to Pretoria, stopping at Sun City to celebrate Edi’s birthday. More soon!