The African Wild Dog pack at Chobe River front
Our trip from Savuti in southern Chobe National Park to Chobe River front was as peeling experience. The morning began with a hunt for Lions and ended with the wonderful sighting of Painted Dogs. In between we had a sand storm that peeled all the dead skin from our faces.
It was a was horrendous and I thought nothing could change our mood. But, when the Painted Dog pups emerge from the bush everything was forgotten.
When we arrived at our camping site we left our trusty camp assistant Bubbles to setup camp. Instead we headed back to the civilization and Kasane. We had now been of the grid for a week. This was the first time we saw other people than those in safari vehicles. The reason was that we needed to resupply diesel. We hadn’t much left due to more time on the road than our guide had thought.
Painted dogs at the floodplain
So we headed back towards Kasane along Chobe River Front. We drove slowly searching mainly for predators. After a week we were more or less already full of safari memories so our attention wasn´t the best. As we came to the river front and was about to begin the last climb out of the park we noticed another vehicle parked at a strange place. Our guide stopped to have a look out onto the flood plains when Fredrik yelled Painted Dogs. We started to count as one after the other emerged from the bush where the other vehicle stood. The count ended at 10, four adults and six pups. The first thought was that the pups just had an afternoon meal and I still think that was the case.
We sat in awe watching them play. Some of the pups even made a mock charge towards a group of Impala that stood watching their nemesis emerging on the floodplain. Sadly we needed to move on as we had the fuel business to attend to.
Back to civilization
Kasane is a small bustling frontier town that has logistic problems that we soon discovered. The gas station was empty of anything resembling fuel and this was not an uncommon problem. Fortunately our guide had friends in the area. We headed over to one that could borrow us some fuel for our last two days of safari.
Now we headed back towards Chobe after stopping at the local supermarket to buy supplies. We had probably spent more than an hour out of the park and felt the chances would be slim to find the Dogs again. When we entered the park we took a right turn to see if we could find them in the area between Kasane and where we left. Nothing to see until we emerged at the same spot where the other vehicle stood when we first saw the Dogs.
We couldn´t believe our eyes. The dogs hadn’t moved at all. They were still playing around so the engine was switched off and we sat there alone with the dogs for a long time.
Video: Playing Painted Dogs
Still we wanted our sundowner so we drove out onto the floodplain to watch the sunset as two Hippos fought in the water.
In total this was a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde experience. A wonderful day with big mood swings, but as we sat around campfire the blistering from the day was forgotten and the Dogs where the only thing we talked about.
Don´t forget to look at my album from the two days in the Chobe River Front.